Fishing through the fog

Fred Milani shows off a huge red snapper he caught Monday on the Destiny

It might have been a bit foggy on Monday, but it didn’t seem to bother the fish or fishermen.

More than 30 anglers boarded the partyboat Destiny with Capt. Reid Phillips at the helm for a six-hour trip on Monday.


“It was real nice and clear out today,” said Capt. Phillips, despite the apparent fog at the docks. Captain said they didn’t hit the fog until they started heading back towards Destin. He said when they got about four to five-miles from the beach “it started to look like pea soup.”

However offshore it was clear and  the fishing was good. The crew, made up of mostly snowbirds, fished about 17 to 18 miles out in about 130 feet of water most of the day and pulled in everything from mingo, white snapper, red snapper, scamp, triggerfish and more.

“We’re just happy to have ‘em biting,” Phillips said.

And bite they did.

Fred Milani of Atlanta, Ga., reeled in a huge red snapper that weighed in at 15 pounds. When asked if it pulled hard, he said, “not too bad.”

The Destiny is one of three headboats or partyboats in Destin that is part of a pilot program that allows them to keep red snapper. Each of the boats are allotted a bank of red snapper for the year. Once they have reached their allotted number, they are barred from catching the area’s signature fish. The other two boats able to land red snapper are Destin Princess and Sweet Jody.

Snowbird regular George Wainwright and his fishing buddy Ray Fischer of Minnesota loaded a stringer with mingo, white snapper and red snapper.

It’s good to see the familiar faces on the docks every winter.

Wayne Laing, another winter-time regular from Iowa and his buddy Pete Johnson filled a stringer with red snapper, mingo and white snapper.

But not everybody on the boat was a regular.

Randy Simon and his family from South Dakota went fishing on the Destiny Monday for the first time. The family of five pulled in mingo, red snapper, white snapper and triggerfish. They all said they had a good time. “Back home we fish for walleye,” Simon said.

Well we may not have any walleye around here, but we still have plenty of fish to catch.

See you at the docks.