Bite rises with the temps - When the going gets tough, the tough keep fishing

Tim Bishop of Michigan shows off a Big Eye he caught on the Destiny with Capt. Chris McConnell. The Big Eye is sometimes referred to as Toro and often takes the bait intended for red snapper and is tasty to eat. Bishop also pulled in red snapper, mingo and white snapper.

Although it's been nice outside the last few days, captains are looking for consecutive warm days to bring the water temperature up and heat up the bite.

"Fishing is still a little slow," said Capt. Cliff Cox of the Sweet Jody. "You just have to work hard at it. You can see' em down there, but they just won’t bite. The water needs to come up about four or five degrees."

The water temperature the last couple of days has been between 55 and 57 degrees.

Nevertheless, Cox and his 35 customers managed on Monday to pull in a good mix of mingo, triggerfish, white snapper, a gag grouper and 40 red snapper on an eight-hour trip.

Jim Bossom of Iowa was thrilled with his stringer of mingo and snapper. "This is great. I'm going again."

Martha Litscher of Fort Walton Beach and her son Jesse pulled in a good catch of red snapper. "We took advantage of the day off," Martha said, noting the kids were out for President's Day.

Stan Kelsmith and George Walters, both of Wisconsin, filled a stringer with red snapper, mingo and triggerfish.

Capt. Chris McConnell took 43 folks out on the Destiny and reeled in mingo, white snapper, a handful of triggerfish and nine red snapper.

McConnell said the bite is still slow; however, his customers were satisfied with what they pulled in.

"We got enough to eat," said Dave Yunker of Minnesota. He and his buddy Jim McCalvy had a nice stringer of snapper, mingo and white snapper.

Gary and Margarette McDaniel of Michigan reeled in a good catch of triggerfish, mingo, white snapper and red snapper.

"It was my first time to go fishing," Maragrette said. "I never wanted to touch a worm. It's hard work … the reeling is hard. But it was on our bucket list. I'm glad that bucket's done."

Capt. James Botelho on the Inshore Angler and his crew of three from Michigan loaded up on the sheepshead. Botelho said they tried for redfish first, but had no luck. They ventured over near the Destin bridge and filled the bucket with sheepshead, and could have caught more.

Capt. Tony Davis and a group of guys from Tennessee and Kentucky went on an eight-hour trip aboard the charter boat Anastasia and pulled in a mighty big catch of amberjack. They put 10 amberjack on the racks, along with triggerfish, mingo and a scamp. Davis said they were fishing about 25 miles out.

Fishing is fishing — some days good, some days bad. If the anglers loaded the boat every time they went out it would be called catching instead of fishing.

See you on the docks.