Fish Flash: It's the calm before the storm for charter boat fishing

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Just two weeks ago it was like red snapper days on the fishing docks, with charter boats taking one or two trips a day. 

However, this week it’s been a bit slow. The charter boats are ready to go, but there aren't as many people in town right now.  

But they are coming, don’t fret. The short-term rentals are booking up as well as the calendars for the charter boats — this is the calm before the storm of folks hitting the Emerald Coast.

Anglers on the Phoenix with Capt. Scott Robson loaded up with mingo, white snapper and a few triggerfish on Tuesday.

As a matter of fact, one of the boat captains said Tuesday that he already has 20 days booked in June, the start of red snapper season. 

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The red snapper season for federally permitted boats, which is the majority of the Destin charter fleet, begins June 1 for its 63-day season. 

In the meantime, boats are still taking folks out, and the ones who are going are pulling in some nice fish. 

Fishermen aboard the 100 Proof with Capt. Allen Staples and Capt. Ben O'Connor loaded up with a variety of fish. They pulled in scamp, grouper, mingo and white snapper.

Capt. Chris McConnell of the Au Sum and his group of anglers from Kentucky pulled in a king mackerel, mingo, white snapper and a few triggerfish Tuesday. 

North Carolina anglers on the Nothin’ Matters with Capt. Tyler Brielmayer reeled in a good catch of mingo and white snapper. They had one triggerfish on the racks that was huge, it looked to be 8-plus pounds. 

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Capt. Randy Hanshaw was at the helm of the Backdown2 on Tuesday. He and his anglers from Colorado had a big day on the Gulf. They loaded up on mingo, white snapper and some big triggerfish. 

Colorado anglers on the Backdown2 with Capt. Randy Hanshaw pulled in a big catch of mingo, white snapper and triggerfish.

Anglers from Maine on the Just-B-Cause with Capt. Ken Bolden filled the racks with mingo and white snapper.  

Bolden said they tangled with about a 120-pound blacktip shark for about 30 minutes before they got it to the boat and cut it loose. 

Anglers aboard the Just-B-Cause get a blacktip shark close enough to the boat so the deckhand could cut the line and release it. The shark was estimated at 120 pounds.

Capt. Stan Phillips on the Destination and his group of anglers filled the racks with mingo, a few white snapper and triggerfish. 

Anglers on the Phoenix with Capt. Scott Robson pulled in a pile of mingo and one lone triggerfish. 

Capt. Kyle Lowe and his group on the Special K filled the nails with triggerfish, a few mingo and white snapper, and a couple of almaco jack. 

Anglers on the Special K with Capt. Kyle Lowe came in Tuesday with a nice catch of mingo and triggerfish.

Capt. Ben O’Connor and Capt. Allen Staples on the 100 Proof came in from a 10-hour trip with a smorgasbord of fish. They had scamp, grouper, red grouper, some huge mingo and white snapper. 

Fishing is good and some nice catches are being bought in. 

See you on the docks.