Fishing and catching: Anglers do a little of both

Wayne Conley, Wayne Wahlstrom, Bill Clements and Roger Smiley show off their stringer of fish caught aboard the Sweet Jody earlier this week with Capt. Cliff Cox.

“Some days it’s fishing and some days it’s catching … today we did a little bit of both,” one guy said as he stepped off the Destin Princess earlier week.

However, from what this reporter was seeing they did pretty good on the catching as the deckhands unloaded stringer after stringer filled with a wide variety of fish.

“We started out with a bang, but then it slowed down” said Capt. Reid Phillips of the Destin Princess. He and his crew of 21 anglers fished about 20 miles out in 140 feet of water most of the day.


They pulled in about a dozen amberine to go along with the many mingo, white snapper, triggerfish and red snapper.

“We had a good bite of triggers today,” Phillips said, noting they pulled in some big triggerfish.

As a matter of fact Phil Mosel of Wisconsin pulled in a pair of big triggerfish. He also had several mingo and a red snapper on his stringer. This is Mosel’s fourth or fifth year to make it to Destin for the winter and fish.

Ron Linker of Ontario, another familiar face, said he’s been fishing out of Destin for about nine years. On Tuesday he had a big red snapper along with some triggerfish, mingo and white snapper on his stringer.

Fred Milani and Mike Covington of Atlanta had a big time on the Desin Princess pulling in mingo, white snapper, red snapper, triggerfish and amberine. For Fred it wasn’t his first time, but it was for Mike.

“It was my first time here and on the boat,” Mike Covington said. “It was good … I’m coming back.”

It was a first-time event for Stephan Maryliw of Michigan as well.

“It was my first time to fish at all. I loved it. I’ll go again for sure,” Maryliw said as he held up his stringer of fish for a photo op.

Not long after the Princess backed in, the Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox at the helm backed in at the docks.

“It was nice out, for a winter day. We got a mess,” Cox said.

Getting in on that mess of fish were Wayne Conley, Bill Clements and Roger Smiley all from Ontario and Wayne Wahlstrom of Minnesota. The four guys filled a string with mingo, white snapper, triggerfish and red snapper.

Terry Pate of Kansas and Tom Bell of Missouri had amberine, triggerfish, red snapper and mingo on their stringer. And Tuesday wasn’t their first trip either. The guys said they’ve been coming for the last six years.

However, there was one guy on the boat that had them all beat. Wally Miller, 91, has been fishing aboard the Sweet Jody for more than 20 years and he was back at it on Tuesday. He teamed up with Jerry Ervin to reel in some mingo and red snapper.

“He’s just amazing,” Cox said about Miller. “He gives us all hope.”

Although there were a lot of catching going on earlier this week, that’s not all there is to fishing.

Sometimes it’s just about being on the water with friends and family, or getting a bite that you might lose or can’t keep due to regulations.

But either way, fishing is a great adventure and wonderful way of life

See you at the docks.