From mingo to tournaments and snapper on the horizon

Tina Harbuck

Since triggerfish closed May 11, the charter boat captains have still managed to fill the racks with plenty of fish to fill a seafood platter.

The mainstay this past week has been mingo and white snapper. In addition to the snapper, anglers are also pulling in amberine and Almaco Jack, while a few of the guys have ventured out and found a scamp hole.

Capt. Justin Destin on the Un Reel found one of those scamp holes. He and his anglers from Georgia pulled in several scamp, amberine, Almaco Jack and a few mingo on Wednesday.

The day before, Capt. Destin loaded up on the scamp as well. In addition to the scamp grouper they had mingo, lane snapper and amberine. Plus they landed an African pompano. The African pompano looks similar to the Florida pompano, but bigger. The African pompano also has threadlike streamers hanging off its fins.

The Mighty Fine and Just-B-Cause came in with their share of mingo and white snapper on Wednesday.

Anglers aboard the Rewind with Capt. Reid Phillips brought in some big mingo, white snapper, amberine and a Key West porgy. Captain said they also caught and released a few shark. “That’s always a crowd pleaser.”

Capt. Judah Barbee on the Stelluna got in on some of the scamp action on Wednesday. He and his anglers from Michigan brought in pair of scamp, several amberine and Almaco Jack and a few mingo.

And of course the party boats are pulling in their share of the mingo, white snapper with a few amberine and scamp in the mix.


Going on this weekend at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar in Destin is the Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament. The tournament actually kicked off on Friday morning but it will go until Sunday at 11 a.m.

The lionfish tournament count station will open from 3-6 on Saturday afternoon, and 7–11 a.m. on Sunday. The awards ceremony will be on Sunday afternoon after all the lionfish are counted. Come early and watch thousands of lionfish come in. Participating teams who bring in the most lionfish will be awarded a staggering $10,000 for first place. Additionally, teams can win $5,000 for the largest lionfish, and $5,000 for the smallest lionfish.


Also going on this weekend over in Orange Beach, Alabama is the Orange Beach Billfish Classic.

Forty-eight boats and fishing teams are competing for $1.1 million in cash and prizes.

The final weigh-in for this event will be from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at The Wharf in Orange Beach if you want to make the trek over.

Some of our local captains such at Capt. Jeff Shoults, Capt. Jason Hallmark and Capt. Harold and Capt. Allen Staples have done well in this tournament over the years. So stay tuned.


Another event to keep on your radar is the 62nd annual Blessing of the Fleet which is scheduled for May 30 on Destin harbor.

Until then, catch what you can and see you at the docks.

Red snapper days are coming — June 1 in federal waters, June 11 in state waters — mark your calendars.

Click to the Listen: 

LISTEN: Fishing Report w/Tina Harbuck and The Ships Chandler