Ahh, Summertime. The kids are out of school. The weather is warm. Everyone flocks to the beach for vacation like seagulls to a French fry. But why do vacationers come to Destin? After all, the time they don’t spend on the beach will likely be spent in traffic on Highway 98. Over the past 10-15 years, Destin has grown increasingly popular as a vacation hot spot for families. This beach town, famous for its sparkling turquoise waters and pristine white beaches, has something for everyone. There are many beach and water activities for kids to enjoy and burn off their energy pent-up from the school year. The ladies can relax at the luxurious spas or spend a day shopping. For the gentlemen, there are numerous golf courses, and there is always the obvious choice, fishing. It goes without saying, fishing is frequently enjoyed by men, women, and children alike, and what better place to do some family fishing than The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village?
Destin has earned its title as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” because of its close proximity to deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the various species of fish that can be caught, and because we are home to the largest fleet of fishing charter boats in the country. On any given day during the summer, take a stroll through HarborWalk Village or down the docks at the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina, and you’ll see the boats come back to the docks and fill their racks with fish.
With the kids out of school, and various species of fish open for keeping, June and July are peak vacation months on the Emerald Coast. Destin fishing trips depart daily, and sometimes twice a day. If a charter boat in Destin is even in its slip during these dog days of summer, the mate is hard at work fileting the day’s catch. Depending upon the length of the trip, and ages and skill levels of the party, catches may include King and Spanish Mackerel, Grouper, White Snapper, Vermilion (Mingo) Snapper, and the most popular, Red Snapper.
Red Snapper can primarily be found in waters of 50 feet deep or greater. Every Captain has his own sweet spots for catching snapper, but they are known for hanging around reefs and offshore rigs. Snapper are known for being fun to catch and their fairly predictable locations make them the perfect target of an offshore fishing trip for the family or a deep sea fishing charter with the guys. The season typically opens in early June and closes in late July. Anglers are limited to keeping 2 per person of 16 inches or bigger. “Keeper” limits, combined with the short season, makes this fish highly desired. It also doesn’t hurt that the mild taste and flaky texture make them delicious to eat.
Speaking of eating, the best way to eat Red Snapper is with your mouth! We prefer to hook and cook with some of our favorite local restaurants. Many dockside restaurants offer the option for guests to bring in their fresh caught fish and have it cooked and served up with a side. Stay tuned for a list of our favorite restaurants that specialize in hook and cook. Make sure to try a Red Snapper dish during your beach vacation, regardless of who hooks it. You won’t regret it.
But, if you’d like to hook your own Red Snapper while you’re on family vacation in Destin or 30A this summer, make sure you plan your deep sea fishing trip well in advance. Many charter boats in Destin book their offshore fishing trips a couple of weeks out. If you find yourself in Destin wanting to go fishing on short notice, HarborWalk Charters may be able to find you a spot. They will also group smaller parties with others to fill a boat to its capacity. So if a private fishing charter is not an option due to the size of your party, call them to be grouped. You can specify that you’d like to fish with us. We still have openings for Red Snapper fishing in June and July, but we won’t stay open long! Come enjoy some family fun and reel ’em in on the Reel Grace!
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