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Rainbow Warrior 11-23-2010 11:42 PM

Destin is HOT!
I have been down in destin on my school's fall break. So far we have fished two days and plan to fish a few more.
Day 1:
November 21st was the final day of a bonus snapper season they created due to the closed fisheries caused by the oil spill. We launched at Joe's Bayou and made our way out to the gulf. We slowed down near the Destin Pass and made our way through the waves. This is one of Florida's most dangerous passes due to the smaller width and the bottom rising suddenly from 60'+ to 15'. Once we were out we went to a close in bottom spot. When we arrived there were 4 other boats that had beat us. We decided it wasnt worth fishing there and went out a little further. We arrived at our second location and there were no boats. We dropped our baits and were immediately rewarded with some snapper.
We kept fishing and caught our limit. The one pictured above was on the smaller side. We got 2 this size and 2 about 22". I didn't take any pictures due to me making the mistake of forgetting to charge since last trip to the Nantahala. We got our limit along with a few other species of snapper. We headed in feeling accomplished.

Day 2: (11/23/10)
Snapper season is over. We decided to go back out bottom fishing and do catch/release red snapper just for fun. We know there is always a lot of by-catch as well. We started off catching snapper and biting our lips as we would release them. :rolleyes: I also managed to land a few white snapper, a big triggerfish, and a very nice scamp grouper. On our way in there were big schools of bonita busting the surface on tiny minnows about 3/4"-1". I rigged up the TFO 8wt and a gummy minnow. My dad positioned the boat upwind of a big pod of aggresively feeding fish. First cast I hooked a fish. :eek: It came off pretty fast. A few casts later i hooked up another one. Immediately the reel started screaming. He took me out way into my backing. I slowly worked him in. Once he saw the boat he decided to dive down deep. He stayed there for a while. I slowly pumped him up. I then netted and landed my first big Bonita.
What a fish! I released him and then got behind the wheel. I put my dad on a big pod of feeding fish. He quickly hooked up, but after about 10 minutes through the battle he broke off. I rigged him up with another gummy minnow. The fish liked it! He immediately got another strike and hooked it. We learned that you really have to set the hook hard to get it in. My Dad did a good job with it, and after another 15 minute battle he got his first bonita.
He released it and i was up to bat again. I had some how broke off the gummy minnow in my back cast. There goes $5... I tied on a size 4 white clouser and hit a big fish right away. He went way into my backing and then started a long fight back in. What a blast! After another 15 minutes of fighting I landed the best of the day.
He went about 12 lbs. My best fly caught fish :cool: He really tore the clouser up.
After this some very dense fog rolled in. It was not safe to be in the pass with such low visibility. We decided to go in. Once we got to the destin bridge, the fog was gone. It was like a wall.
If you look closely you can see the wall. I took this picture a little ways away. On the far left there would be a bunch more condos sticking up. we are planing on going out again tomorrow for flounder/sheepshead. I will be posting again in a few days.

gmreeves 11-24-2010 09:33 AM

Cool report. You are definately getting a variety of fish these days. Those bonita sure are fun.

Rainbow Warrior 11-26-2010 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by gmreeves (Post 87945)
Cool report. You are definately getting a variety of fish these days. Those bonita sure are fun.

Thanks, you are right about the variety of fish these days. Florida has been strictly regulating their bottom fish species. There are smaller daily creel limits with bigger minimum sizes. They are both good and bad. The bad part is that all of the charter boat captains are having a bigger struggle to find people to go because it is not necessarily worth the high prices to not come back with many fish. The good part is that there are more red snapper, grouper, and other prized bottom species than there were before. It makes fishing down there a little more fun than it already is. As for the Bonita, they were a blast! Great runs, dives, and we even got a few jumps out of one of them. It was also cool that is was all sight fishing.

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