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FISH FLASH: Seeing red in Destin

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

If you’re out and about around Destin harbor at noon in June - and for that matter, July as well - red is the predominant color you’ll see on the fish racks.

Red snapper season is in full swing in Destin with some of the charter boats running two trips a day. The limit is two snapper per angler and must measure 16 inches to keep.

For the most part, reeling in red snapper right now is no problem.

“It’s still pretty easy,” said Capt. Allen Staples of the 100 Proof. “They’re maybe not as big as they were a week or so ago ... but a lot of big ones have already went back north in bags.”

Red snapper season opened June 1 in federal waters and on June 11 in state waters. So it’s “open season” on the red snapper.

And the 100 Proof got their limit on Monday as did many of the other charters before the rain pushed ashore.

Texas anglers on the High Cotton with Capt. T.J. George came in from a morning trip with a rack of red snapper and one black snapper in the mix.

Arkansas fishermen on the Sure Lure with Capt. Don Dineen backed in with a limit of red snapper, a black snapper and an Almaco Jack on the racks.

Capt. Michael King on the Hiliner took a group from Cincinnati out on a four-hour trip Monday morning. They came in with a good catch of mingo and white snapper. King said they released a bunch of triggerfish, which is currently not on the keeper list.

Alabama and California anglers aboard the Only Way with Capt. Pat Meyers pulled in a good catch of red snapper, mingo and grouper. One of their snapper suffered the bite of a shark.

Texas fishermen on the Un Reel with Capt. Justin Destin did it up big on Monday with a rack full of red snapper, two black snapper and a gag grouper.

Georgia anglers on the Al-Lin with Capt. Harold Staples came in from a six-hour trip Monday with their share of the red snapper, mingo and a lone cobia.

Capt. Phillip Blackburn of the Backdown 2, who hauled in a cobia last week, pulled in a limit of red snapper on Monday.

Capt. Jeff Jones of the O Sea D and his group from North Carolina filled the nails with red snapper and a Spanish mackerel.

Capt. Jeremy Ruskowski of Back Country Outfitters and his group from Arkanas came in with red snapper and mingo.

Capt. Trey Windes, who got to challenge his driving skills on Monday, backed the Outta Line in with a load of red snapper and a scamp. Windes’ boat slip is near the fuel docks at the front of Fisherman’s Fleet. When he arrived at his boat Monday morning, a commercial boat was up front getting fuel or waiting to unload. Either way it challenged Windes, but he passed the test with flying colors and was able to back that huge boat right into it’s slip.

Anglers aboard the Windwalker II with Capt. Bernie LeFebvre came in with a rack of red, with a few black snapper and mingo mixed in.

Anglers on the Screamn’ Drag with Capt. Bryan Kelley came in with a diverse catch. They had their snapper, plus a cobia and a pair of king mackerel. Kelley said they caught the big mackerel and then the cobia in just a matter of minutes.

Louisiana anglers on the Champion Ship with Capt. Matthew Champion got what they went for on Monday. Order of the day was to catch their snapper and a shark.

“We did all of the above,” Champion said.

Georgia anglers aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher got their limit of red snapper, two gag grouper and a scamp. The also had a few mingo and white snapper.

Missouri folks on the Blue Runner II with Capt. Tommy Carter came in from a morning trip with red snapper, black snapper, lane snapper and one lone flounder.

Capt. Bill Watson and his crew on the Sweet William III came in after lunch with a limit of red snapper, mingo and white snapper. And again, Mr. Shark paid one of their snapper a visit.

Fishing is good and just seems to be getting better. And if red is your favorite color, there’s plenty at the docks to see.

See you at the docks.