FISH FLASH: Cold weather fishing proves plentiful

Tina Harbuck

For the 25 souls that braved the cold temps and rough seas on Tuesday, the lines stayed tight most of the day with the party boat Destin Princess coming in with a fish box filled to the brim.

“It was choppy out, but it got pretty,” said Capt. Reid Phillips as he got off the Princess late Tuesday afternoon from an eight-hour trip.

Folks didn’t seem to mind the chop as the fish bite was good. Anglers from Holland to Michigan and folks from right here at home reeled in about 20 triggerfish, three amberjack, a couple of red grouper, amberine but mostly mingo.

“It seemed like every where we went they were waiting and hungry,” captain said of the fish, noting they stopped at about six places throughout the day.

It was good to see the gray triggerfish back on the stringers as well as the few amberjack as the deckhands unloaded the boat. Both fish were moved back to the catch list on Jan. 1. The bag limit for triggerfish is two per person and they must measure 14 inches to keep. As for the amberjack, it’s one per person and they must be 34 inches to keep.

However, the majority of the fish were of the red persuasion — mingo.

Dave Gault of Michigan filled his stringer with several mingo.

“I”ve been coming for about 10 years,” Gault said, as he held up his stringer filled with mingo.

A couple from Holland were eager to show off their catch. They had filled their stringer with mingo, triggers and white snapper.

“We had a great time,” Rebecca said.

For the most part, everybody forgot about the cold temps and were more than happy to pose for photographs with their catch.

Dave Risner of Michigan, who’s been coming for the past 25 years, was one such angler. Risner reeled in about a 15-pound red grouper, triggerfish and several mingo.

Fishing is good. Grab your jacket and give it a try.

See you at the docks.