No holds barred: Fishing is picking up and the convict fish are on the run

Capt. David Knight of the Cover Girl has his hands full cleaning sheepshead Monday afternoon behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar.

The convicts have been released — at least in the bay.

A couple of Destin's charters came in with some huge catches of sheepshead, or convict fish, Monday. The sheepshead is often referred to as a convict fish because of the pronounced horizontal black stripes on the fish.

Anyhow, Capt. David "Catfish" Knight had a rack full of sheepshead on his first charter trip of the year.

And he could have caught more, Knight said as he was elbow deep in cleaning the fish just after lunch Monday.

Fishing aboard his boat the Cover Girl, Knight said they caught the sheepshead in the Choctawhatchee Bay. He said the best bait is a fiddler crab or a shrimp.

Not long after I ran across the Inshore Angler with Capt. Jordan Whiteman at the helm. He and his crew from South Carolina hauled in 31 sheepshead on a four-hour trip. Whiteman had so many sheepshead on the racks, he called in Capt. Daniel Pike to help clean the tough-skinned fish. Capt. Whiteman said they used mostly shrimp for bait.

Sheepshead wasn't the only fish biting on Monday. Capt. Scott Robson on the Phoenix and his group brought in a huge haul of mingo, white snapper and a few triggerfish.

Capt. Robson said the fish were biting extremely well on the six-hour trip. "They were catching two and three at the time," he said.

The party boat Destiny with Capt. Chris McConnell came in a little after 2 p.m. with some nice stringers.

The group of 17 on the Destiny filled the stringers with mingo, white snapper, triggerfish and a few amberine.

Whether it’s in the gulf or bay, fishing is starting to pick up.

See you on the docks.