Spring is in the air here on Florida’s Gulf Coast! Although the temperatures are still not quite scorching hot here on the Emerald Coast, college students from the SEC and most of the Big10 are flocking to Destin and 30A like seagulls flock to a spilled bag of Doritos our white sandy beaches. Highway 98 is packed with twenty-somethings in their Chevy trucks, with coolers full of Natty Light in the backs. Their objective here is to relax on the soft sand and escape the oh so harsh realities of university life. 30A is ringing with the dinging sound of bicycle bells as families pedal their way around town and weave their colorful beach cruisers down the sidewalks. Families vacation to make new shared memories. They vacation in Destin, Miramar Beach, and 30A to make those memories on the water while trying new experiences and enjoying their down time on our pristine beaches.
One of the most memorable experiences a family or even a group of college friends can share together in The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village is, well, fishing. We love to share the fun of fishing and to create these memories for families and groups of friends. Deep sea fishing out on the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico is an exciting experience for anglers of any age or skill level. The beaming smile on your young son or daughter’s face when they reel in a fish and hold up their catch is a sense of pride that you will remember and cherish for decades to come. The feeling of teamwork and accomplishment as you pull back into the dock and admire your catch is a feeling that unites a group of friends and will make your Destin fishing trip a memory worth repeating.
We strive to create these moments from the time we leave Destin Harbor until we return through Destin’s East Pass. One of our favorite seasons for bottom fishing here is Springtime—Triggerfish season. They are are fun fish to catch and tasty to eat. The Grey Triggerfish that we fish for are primarily reef dwelling fish, similar to Snapper species and Gag Groupers. Often times, they swim up toward the surface to feed, and these hungry fish will bite your bait before your hook even makes it to the bottom. For a smaller species of fish, these fish put up a strong fight, making them a fun time to catch, even if we do release them to go after a bigger fish.
In order to keep them, the fish must be a minimum of 15 inches to the fork of the tail. Although they are limited to 1 per person, we do a bit of catch and release until we catch the big “keepers”. These Gray Triggerfish had been previously tagged by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to track how far the fish travel and how fast they grow. We photographed and reported them to the FWC before releasing them back to the Gulf in pursuit of some bigger fish. Triggerfish season in Destin, Florida is open March 1 through May 31 and August 1 through December 31. The seasonal closure allows for the species of Gray Triggerfish to repopulate during their peak spawning season during June and July.
Triggerfish is in season for a couple more weeks, and we are having so much fun catching them! If you’d like to hook your own Triggerfish while you’re on family vacation in Destin or 30A this spring, make sure you give us a call soon. Many charter boats in Destin book their deep sea fishing charters a couple of weeks out. However, if you are looking to do some deep sea fishing in Destin, we still have openings for trips to target Triggerfish over the next couple of weeks before the season closes for a couple months. Come enjoy some family fun and reel ’em in on the Reel Grace!