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Report for Destin, Florida - Nearshore

Capt. Larry Pentel
March 6, 2000
Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report


The cobia are here!!! Not just the first fish but fish everyday since Thursday. Panama City Pier caught one on Thursday. Capt. Cathi Wagner caught the 1st fish out of Destin (for the 2nd year in a row) on Friday. She hooked a fish twice on Thursday that pulled off and said they saw a big one on Wednesday that had lockjaw. Okaloosa Island Pier caught a 60# fish Friday afternoon. All these fish were caught under ideal conditions, southerly breeze, clear water and bright sunshine. Saturday morning brought a blowing NorthWest wind, usually the worst condition for cobia fishing. There were still several fish seen and at least two caught. The run seems to be on the earliest any one can remember.

I have not been able to go look for flatheads yet as I bottom fished the past 5 days. We caught good fish everyday and had an overflowing box on Thursday but fishing was tough. There are good shows on lots of the wrecks and rocks but it is hard to get a bite. For some reason the fish just won't turn on. We hit lots of spots holding fish but only pulling one ot two off at each stop.I talked to several charter and commercial captains with similar reports. I'll be glad to start cobia fishing latter this week. Not just because it's my favorite thing to do in a boat but also to give the bottom fish time to get hungry again.

All this warm weather has all the fish moving early. We had a school of 8 or 9 5# Dolphin up to the boat on Thursday. We were only about 12 miles offshore. One of the commercial boats caught 3 wahoo trolling a lure between bottom spots this week. Another charter boat that had gone to Louisiana to commercial snapper fish caught a Blue Marlin on the ride over! No telling what will show up next, there are huge schools of small cigar minnows all over in 60 to 70 ft. of water.


The Bluefish made a good showing at the jetties twice this past week. I heard tales of lots of happy shore bound anglers. The Sheepshead are still here in numbers also. While coming under Destin bridge yesterday evening I watched a fellow net one about 6 lbs. off the channel fenders. His buddies appeared to be using fiddler crabs for bait. Some pompano have also been caught last week. The arrival of the Cobia run headlines fishing interest but also marks the start of the spring pompano run. The most I heard anyone getting was 4 in one day but they should bust loose any day now.

The freshwater fishing is still hot too! I didn't go this week but my son and some of his friends went and walked one of the local golf courses just before dark twice last week. In 45 minutes they hooked and released 28 bass one evening. The day before they didn't do as good, only 19. Caddy, hand me a 5 weight graphite please......

Just go, your bound to have a good time.

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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