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Report for Destin, Florida - Nearshore

Capt. Larry Pentel
February 29, 2000
Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report


The past week has brought wonderful spring temperatures and only one day of rain.It stayed breezy all last week though with winds out of the east at around 15knt.s keeping it quite bumpy offshore.


And the fish of the week was ......BASS !

All this warm weather and clear skies has the bass population thouroughly engrossed in either bedding or feeding. The lack of rain the past year has most lakes and ponds low and clear. The low water concentrates the fish making them easy to find with a good pair of polarized glasses.

While I'm usually a saltwater fishermen everyone needs variety, besides I love to sight fish.I would ask that anyone bedfishing practice immediate catch and release. A trophy picture hung on the wall looks just as good as a mount and is a lot easier to dust.

I am always amazed at all the folks that think you have to go to a "name" lake to find a big fish.I have always had better luck in smaller , less popular bodies of water. If you don't want to mess with a boat there are hundreds of ponds in this area you can walk around and get shots at a lunker fish. The biggest fish I saw all week (including a day spent poling the flats) was in a fill dirt pond of about 2 1/2 acres.I wasn't even guiding, a buddy was showing me a new archery stand he had built near the pond. I asked if we could walk the pond for a minute, told him we could probably find a few fish. In the SE corner, right where they are supposed to be, were three big fanned out sand circles.All the beds had males on them about 2 to 4 lb.s. One had a huge female hanging off about 4 ft. away. Big and fat and a head as wide as your fist she looked like a green grouper in the crystal clear water. We watched for about 15 minutes as she and her mate took turns running off any errant bream. We went and found the man who owns the land and told him where she was. He took his wife down there and they went 'round with the big fish. I'm happy to report they left her right back on her bed to help keep the population up.I think my buddies got hunting rights for a good while longer....

Back into the saltwater where I belong. I got to spend one day on the flats when a big front pushed through. We waited till after the rain had stopped and the sun came out and got started a little after noon. We started seeing redfish right away but had trouble getting most to eat. My bow man had several short strikes and pulled hooks. We did catch one but they wre not as ferocious as in past weeks.I think the rapidly changing weather that day had the fish turned off. They are still here though and haven't moved to deeper water yet.


The fish in the Gulf are still in deeper water. Amberjack and grouper fishing continues to be good in water over 100 ft. but slow inside of that. It won't be long before everything breaks wide open. There have been big schools of small cigar minnows spotted around the pass and just off the beach. I even saw one school North of the Destin bridge on an incoming tide. The predatory fish will be following rapidly. I've got new line and drag washers on all my big spinning reels so I'm ready to go. All this warm weather and East wind should have the cobia run starting real soon. Last year the first cobia out of Destin was caught March 18th. All the dockside fortune tellers say it will be earlier this year with the warmer water conditions. I can't wait, nothing as exciting as watching a 70# fish chase your jig and trying to convince him to eat it. We had 10 fish weighed into Destin last year over 100lbs. and several stories of " it had to be 150# but the hook pulled after an hour".

See you on the second sand bar.

Capt. Larry Pentel

More Fishing Reports:


Gulf Fishing off Grayton Beach in beautiful South Walton. Red Snapper to Cobia to King Mackeral to Grouper. No need to get up early or drive for an hour to a marina. We will pick you up on the beach and be on a reef or wreck in usually less than 15 minutes. Some of the Gulfs best fishing lies just offshore of the snow white sands of South Walton. We also offer Tarpon trips at Indian Pass during the summer run. July and August have large schools of giant Silver Kings feeding just off the beach.

Contact Info:

Dead Fish Charters
174 Watercolor Way, Suite 103
PMB 280
Seagrove Beach, FL 32459
Phone: 850-685-1092
Alt. Phone: 850-231-6991
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