Fish Flash: Anglers bring in good catches in final days of 2020

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

What better way to wrap up the year than on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico hooking up with fish.

That was the route some folks took on the last few days of 2020. And the ones who took advantage of the calm seas and 65-plus degree weather did quite well.

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I have to admit I was surprised to see so many folks milling around the boardwalk along Destin harbor on those last days of 2020. Some were boarding the dolphin cruise boats, others were having fun just strolling and checking out the sites as well as taking those last-minute fishing trips.

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After chatting with a few of the captains, I soon realized they had been busy the week after Christmas, at least until the rain and high seas kicked in Wednesday and on through the weekend.

Anglers from Maryland aboard the Miss Nautica with Capt. Jimmy Miles pulled in mingo and white snapper on Dec. 29.

But before all that happened, some of the charter boats were getting in two trips a day..

Capt. Jimmy Miles of the Miss Nautica took a group from Maryland out Dec. 29 for a good morning catch of mingo. The folks were happy with the catch as well as the almost 70-degree temperatures and sunny skies, which they said was much different from what they left at home.

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Mingo also was the catch of the day aboard the Reel Legend with Capt. Tyler Short on Dec. 29. 

With triggerfish, red snapper, amberjack and now grouper (as of Jan. 1) all off the table for anglers to catch, mingo, white snapper and tuna top the board.

Deckhand Jesse Vonderosten on the Hiliner cleans up the day's catch of mingo and white snapper, along with a pair of redfish.

A group of guys from Crystal River went fishing aboard the Hiliner with Capt. Michael King. They had some big mingo on the rack that were flanked on each end by big redfish. Capt. King said they caught the redfish in about 80 feet of water, which is a bit unusual. Most folks target the redfish inshore.

Ohio anglers fishing with Capt. Brandy Miles on the 5th Day came in from a morning trip with a rack full of mingo and white snapper. They also had about a 60-pound blacktip shark on the center nail.

Ohio anglers aboard the 5th Day with Capt. Brandy Miles pulled in several mingo and white snapper, plus a blacktip shark on Dec. 29.

Miles said they were not targeting shark, but it took the bait anyhow. She said it only took them about five minutes to get the shark onboard. Part of the reason for the quick catch was the shark was already injured. It had marks near its neck where it had been wrapped in line. 

Miles had another trip set for the afternoon.

Capt. Stan Phillips on the Destination was pulling out of his slip for a four-hour afternoon trip, while Capt. Ken Bolden of the Just-B-Cause was at the fuel docks at the Fisherman's Co-op fueling up for his second trip of the day.

The Champion Ship with Capt. Matthew Champion came in with a good catch of mingo on Dec. 29.

Colorado anglers aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher loaded up the racks with mingo and white snapper.

Anglers from Colorado pulled in a good catch of mingo and white snapper aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher on Dec. 29.

The party boat New Florida Girl's American Spirit with Capt. Casey Godwin came in from a five-hour trip on Dec. 29 with two tubs filled with mingo and white snapper. They had folks booked for the 30th but canceled because of rough seas.

A deckhand aboard the New Florida Girl's American Spirit washes off the many stringers of fish brought in Dec. 29 with Capt. Casey Godwin.

Fishing has been good this year out of Destin, and I think most would say it ended on a good note with good times and good catches.

See you on the docks.