Variety is the spice of the docks

Marlin Perry, fishing regular on the American Spirit, shows off a grouper he caught Wednesday.

Time and time again, Destin's charter boats find a way to get it done, despite fish closures.

With triggerfish and amberjack closed in federal waters and to those holding a federal reef permit, the charter fleet has found other fish in the Gulf to catch.

Capt. Greg Marler on the Gentle Winds and crew came in Wednesday with a pile of mahi mahi, along with several mingo and white snapper. One of the deckhands said, counting the ones in the basket as well as what was on the cleaning table, they had 56 mahi mahi.


Anglers on the First Light with Capt. Steve Hauesler came in from a morning trip with mingo and white snapper.

King mackerel was the catch of the day aboard the Sea Venture with Capt. Jim McMahon and Capt. Craig Mann on the Mary Lou.

Texas, Georgia and Pennsylvania anglers on the Screamn Drag with Capt. Brian Kelley came in from a five-hour trip Wednesday with black snapper, mingo, white snapper and a mahi mahi. First Mate Shag said the triggerfish were so thick they couldn't get away from them.

Anglers on the New Florida Girl's American Spirit with Capt. Jim Green loaded several stringers with mingo and white snapper. Marlin Perry, fishing regular on the Spirit, pulled in about a 15-pound grouper.

"I caught him on a dead rockfish," Perry said. "He licked it one too many times."

The Destin Princess with Capt. Reid Phillips at the helm came in with some massive mingo. Captain said they reeled in 212 mingo and four red snapper.

"When you find beeliners like that … we're happy to have them," Phillips said. Beeliners is another name for mingo as well as vermillion snapper.

"It was as pretty as it gets," out there on Wednesday, he said.

Thursday was not too shabby either.


Capt. Kyle Lowe on the Special K came in from a four trip with 14 king mackerel.

Louisiana anglers on the Fifth Amendment with Capt. Chuck Turbanic reeled in a dozen king mackerel on the six-hour trip.

Birmingham, Nashville and Indiana anglers on the Anastasia with Capt. Tony Davis had a big day on the deck reeling in some big mingo. Matt Hollis of Nashville, who is here with his wife Andrea celebrating their third anniversary, went fishing with his dad Paul. "She went and had a massage and got her nails done and I got to go fishing," Matt said.

Matt had a big time on the Anastasia and was all hands on. He even hung a few fish on the nails.

Capt. Paul Cox on the Al-Le came in from a six-hour with a mixed bag. They had triggerfish, mingo, white snapper, a king mackerel and a few Key West porgy.

The boats that are going are getting it done, so don't get left sitting at home.

See you at the docks.