FISH FLASH: Rainy weather doesn't dampen fishermen spirits

Tina Harbuck

They may have gotten a little wet, but as long as they were catching fish they didn’t seem to mind the rain.

At least that seemed to be the sentiment of the 17 brave anglers that boarded the Destiny Monday with Capt. Reid Phillips.

“It was more choppy than expected,” said Capt. Phillips as they docked at Fishing Fleet Marina Monday afternoon.

“They were calling for 2 and 3 but we had about 4- to 6-footers … and the rain got on us,” Phillips said.

“But we didn’t mind the rain as long as were catching fish,” one of the anglers piped up.

And they caught plenty of fish on the six-hour trip.

For some it was their first trip to fish out of Destin.

“We had a good trip,” said first-time angler Ernie Hensley of Tennessee as he held up his catch of mingo, white snapper and red snapper.

The Destiny, along with the Destin Princess and Sweet Jody have been part of a two-year pilot program that allows them to catch red snapper as long as they have tags left. All three boats have a few tags left for the program that ends on Dec. 31.

There were a few 15 to 20 pound red snapper pulled in on the Destiny as well as a few in the five-pound range.

Larry Koziesek of Wisconsin filled his stringer with mingo, amberine and snapper.

“It was a fun day, but we got wetter than hell,” Koziesek said with a chuckle. “It was a good boat and a good crew.”

John Harris of Longview, Texas also had a big time on the Destiny. It was his first time to deep sea fish in about 20 years. He filled his stringer with mingo, white snapper and amberine.

The charter boat Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill also braved the rough seas and rain on Monday. His group from Missouri filled the nails on the rack with mingo and white snapper.

Capt. Hill said they threw back about 40 or 50 triggerfish.

Starting Jan. 1, anglers will be able to again keep triggerfish and amberjack. However, the triggerfish must be 14 inches to keep with a bag limit of two per person. As for the amberjack, they must be 34 inches and only one per angler.

Fishing is good when you can get out there. Word is a lot of the boats have trips ready to go the week after Christmas so give it a try.

See you at the docks.