Anglers trade frost bite for fish bite

Matt Sweeney of Illinois shows off a stringer filled with mingo, red snapper and triggerfish he caught while fishing on the Destiny with Capt. Reid Phillips. “I had the time of my life,” Sweeney said.

For the most part, anglers fishing in Destin right now are escaping the frost bite of the north for a little fish bite here on the Gulf coast.

And fish bite is what they are getting.

On Wednesday, Capt. Reid Phillips on the Destiny took 42 folks out fishing and brought in a huge haul. They had 25 triggerfish, 21 red snapper and about 190 mingo. Plus they were busy catching and releasing about 150 small amberjack, captain said.

“It was a gorgeous day,” Phillips said, noting they have ventured about 18 miles offshore.


And the people had a great time.

“I had the time of my life,” said first-time angler Matt Sweeney of Illinois.

“It was my first time to go deep sea fishing and I can’t wait to come back,” he said as he held up his stringer filled with mingo and red snapper.

Thursday was a good day on the water, but a bit bumpy.

“It was a little sporty, but it got better as the day went on,” said Phillips who ran the Destin Princess on Thursday.

“But for a winter day, I’m just thankful they are biting,” Phillips said.

The Princess, filled with 32 people, fished about 20 miles offshore.

“We fished the timberhole,” Phillips said.

His crew hauled in 32 red snapper, amberine, almaco jack, mingo and a few triggerfish.

Not long after the Princess backed in Thursday, Capt. Cliff Cox and crew on the Sweet Jody pulled in.

“It was a little choppy but it calmed down in the afternoon,” Cox said, noting they had about 22 anglers aboard.

 “We started in shallow but had to go a little deeper to find the fish,” Cox said.

Needless to say they found the fish.

Gary Lindman of Soldatna, Alaska hauled in a huge triggerfish, along with a few mingo and snapper.

Others filled their stringers with mingo, white snapper, red snapper and triggerfish as well.

The fish bite is not bad and a whole lot better than frost bite.

See you at the docks.