FISH FLASH: Catch 'em while you can

Tina Harbuck

With amberjack season winding down, some of the charters are getting in on the ‘jack action and catching them while they can.

Don’t forget amberjack season closes as of midnight Sunday and will remain closed until January 2016.

But until Sunday night, beware Mr. Jack.

Capt. Jason Mikel and his group of anglers from Birmingham and part of a company trip for Sherwin Williams got their big Jack Thursday aboard the Finest Kind. Chris Smith hauled in a 75-pounder in a matter of about 10 minutes.

Captain said they caught the amberjack in about 135 feet of water on live bait.

“We knew it was a nice one, about 50 pounds,” Mikel said when it took the bait. But they didn’t know it was that big until it surfaced.

In addition to the 75-pounder they caught their limit of amberjack and a blackfin tuna.

Although the big jack could have been a contender in the Destin Fishing Rodeo which kicks off Thursday, not true this year, with the fishery closing down Sunday.

“No reason to try and save them until next month,” Mikel said.

So for now, all bets are off and the anglers are catching them while they can.

More of the Sherwin Williams company guys on the Anastasia with Capt. Tony Davis pulled in seven big amberjack, some big mingo and a 45-plus pound wahoo.

Others on the company trip but fishing on the Bow’d Up with Capt. Brady Bowman pulled in five amberjack, scamp, mingo, king mackerel and rock salmon.

And the Phoenix with Capt. Scott Robson had some Sherwin Williams company folks as well. They had their six amberjack, one per angler, king mackerel, and some big Spanish mackerel.

Kansas City anglers on the Un Reel with Capt. Paul Dale Wagner pulled in five amberjack and several mingo on Thursday.

Tennessee and Georgia anglers on the Fifth Amendment with Capt. Ben O’Conner reeled in six amberjack, mingo and bonito on Thursday.

Capt. Jimmy Miles and his group on the Miss Nautica reeled in about 40 head of mingo and a couple of king mackerel.

St. Louis anglers on the Sure Lure with Capt. Don Dineen came in with a wahoo and several mingo and white snapper.

Folks on the Vengeance backed in with a couple of barracuda, scamp, king mackerel, black snapper and mingo on Thursday.

Capt. Brandon Wright on Destin Bay Charters and his group of anglers got their limit of redfish. Captain said they were fishing under the bridge and around the jetties. He said they threw back about 30 which were over and under sized.

St. Louis anglers on the Cutting Edge Thursday with Capt. Steve Regan got their share of amberjack, despite the pesky shark. “The shark was pretty thick today,” Regan said.

Louisiana and Kentucky anglers on the Just-B-Cause with Capt. Ken Bolden filled the nails with amberjack, mingo and Spanish mackerel. Captain said they trolled for the Spanish first and then went and got their bottom fish.

Wednesday appeared to be just as good on the water.

Anglers on the Bow’d Up pulled in a pair of amberjack and several mingo, while the Phoenix came in with king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and mahi mahi.

Capt. O’Conner on Fifth Amendment and his group of anglers here on a company trip with Circle K filled the nails with mingo, white snapper and bonito.

Part of the Circle K crew on the Finest Kind hauled in eight amberjack, mingo, Spanish mackerel and rock salmon.

Texas anglers on the Mary Lou with Capt. Rusty Gilbert backed in with a couple of amberjack, six king mackerel and a barracuda. “It was awesome … we had a great time,” one of the anglers said as they posed for photographs.

Capt. Tommy Carter and his group on the Blue Runner II came in with a limit of king mackerel from a morning trolling trip.

Atlanta anglers on the Destination with Capt. Stan Phillips pulled in three big amberjack in the 50-pound range, a couple of king mackerel and a pair of barracuda.

Pittsburgh anglers on the Backlash with Capt. Chris Kirby filled the nails with four big amberjack, black snapper, mingo and white snapper.

Illinois anglers on the Backdown 2 with Capt. Gary Jarvis reeled in amberjack, barracuda and bonito, while the Just-B-Cause filled the racks with king mackerel, mingo and Spanish mackerel.

Capt. Eric Thrasher on the First Light and his group from Atlanta pulled in with five amberjack, scamp, mingo and white snapper.

As you can tell fishing is good and just in time for the Destin Fishing Rodeo that begins Thursday. The scales will be open daily throughout the entire month of October from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

See you on the docks.