From good to great in a matter of moments

TINA HARBUCK | Fish Flash
Christian Eiler shows off a pompano she caught on the Double Time with Capt. Tim Adams while Reed Benson holds up a sheepshead he pulled in Thursday afternoon. Captain said they were using sand fleas and shrimp for bait.

When it comes to describing the fishing of late, it gets better each and every day.

In just a matter of seconds on Thursday it went from good to great.

"The bite is the best I've seen this year," said Capt. David Nettles of the Gulf Ranger.

Capt. Nettles and his group from Michigan pulled in a good catch of mingo, white snapper and triggerfish.

"We were fishing about 12 miles out. It's good, great fishing," he said. Although they didn't have any amberjack on the rack they did pull in several, but they were all about an inch short. Amberjack have to be at least 30 inches to keep.

"We also saw about a 40-pound cobia at the sea buoy on the way in," Nettles said.

Capt. Jimmy Miles on the Miss Nautica and his crew from Michigan pulled in a big catch of mingo, triggerfish and white snapper. As a matter of fact, the young anglers aboard were grabbing some of the fish out of the tubs to hold up before the deckhand could put them on the racks.

Georgia anglers on the Indian Outlaw with Capt. Buddy Godwin pulled in a pair of big red grouper.

"I had three people helping me get it in," said Julie Christian who landed about a 25-pound red grouper.

Luke Christian pulled in a red grouper that weighed close to 20 pounds.

In addition to the red grouper they had triggerfish, mingo and white snapper.

Anglers on the Fish N Fool with Capt. Casey Weldon had some of the biggest mingo this reporter has seen in a while. They also had several triggerfish.

Capt. Tony Davis took 11 anglers out from Georgia on the Anastasia. They filled the racks with triggerfish and several big shiny red mingo.

Capt. George Eller on the Checkmate II came in around noon with a rack full of triggerfish, mingo and white snapper.

Michigan and Illinois anglers on the Sea Venture with Capt. Jim McMahon filled the boards with mingo, triggerfish and white snapper.

"Fishing is good," said Capt. McMahon, noting it's been getting better every day. On Thursday they were fishing about seven miles out on a five-hour trip.

Capt. Ken Bolden on the Just B Cause backed with from a five-hour trip with several mingo, triggerfish and white snapper.

"We were steady catching fish. Fishing is great," Bolden said. Some of the Michigan anglers were still talking about the big red snapper they had to let go — in the 12- to 14-pound range. Red snapper are currently not on the catch list.

Michigan anglers on the No Alibi with Capt. Chris Schofield and his group from Michigan filled the boards with mingo, white snapper, one triggerfish and one red grouper. Captain said they were fishing about 12 miles out.

Capt. Tim Adams and a couple from Georgia on the Double Time pulled in a good mix of fish. They had sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and pompano.

"We were right out by the jetties and trolling the beach," Capt. Adams said. They were using sand fleas and shrimp for bait.

Capt. Joey Sauvageau of Panhandle Fishing Charters also had a nice inshore catch of sheepshead, pompano and Spanish mackerel.

Capt. Larry Henley with Destin Inshore Fishing Company filled the racks with sheepshead.

Gainesville anglers on the Inshore Angler with Capt. Justin Brantley pulled in with a rack full of blackdrum, redfish and sheepshead. Capt. Brantley said they did the majority of their fishing over around Fort Walton Beach.

Anglers on the Backlash with Capt. Jason Mikel came in with mingo, triggerfish and white snapper.

"We had a really nice day," said the Georgia anglers as they posed with their catch of triggerfish, mingo and white snapper on the Outta Line with Capt. Trey Windes.

Capt. Matt Woods and his group on the Rookie came in from a four-hour trip with eight triggerfish, mingo and porgy.

Carter Noah of Kentucky had one of the biggest triggerfish of the day weighing about 8 or 9 pounds. He was fishing with Capt. Dennis Kendricks on the Finest Kind. The Kentucky group also had several more mingo and triggerfish. Squid works well for bait when luring in triggerfish, captain said.

Capt. Greg Marler and his group of 26 on the Gentle Winds filled the rack with triggerfish, mingo and white snapper, as did the crew on the Silver Lining with Capt. Ed Shields.

All the fishing wasn't done on the bottom Thursday. Capt. Paul Dale Wagner on the Un Reel came in with about a 45-pound cobia off the beach.

The crew on the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill, after doing a little bottom fishing they cruised the beach and snagged four cobia, between 25 and 48 pounds.

Capt. Don Dineen on the Sure Lure also had a pair of cobia.

Fishing is good and it looks to get even greater in the next few days.

See you on the docks.