If you ever do get a chance to fish Destin, Florida in the winter you will be able to see the true beauty of our waterways. Most days we see very few other boaters on the water unlike the spring and summer chaos with pontoon rentals, jet skits, and dolphin cruise boats. This make it a great time to fish with less boat traffic and less fishing pressure. While bay fishing there is a variety of species we target including Redfish, Sheepshead, White trout, Speckled trout, Black Drum, and Flounder. With water temperature being lower the fish move around a lot slower so we do have to be more patient and wait a little longer for bites. Our main focus is usually redfish and sheepshead in deeper water around structure. Sheepshead are hard fighting fish on light tackle and are very tasty. When conditions are right, redfish can be targeted on the shallow flats of the choctawhatchee bay. When targeting redfish on the flats in the winter we switch over to the sight fishing technique. We prowl the shallow flats searching for redfish in the shallows, sometimes they are singled out and other times you can see schools of 30-40 fish.
When venturing out in the gulf in the winter months, there is always plenty to catch but a several species are closed season for harvesting. Right now red snappers, triggerfish, and amberjacks are all closed. Even though snappers are out of season, with cooler water temps near shore makes ideal conditions for snappers to move back in from the deep. Its the perfect time to target quality sized snappers on light tackle for some great catch and release action with some awesome photos. Our main target in the gulf in the winter months is flounder. In the late fall flounders migrate from the deep and also out our bay to near shore wrecks in the gulf. Flounders on near shore wrecks are targeted species from late October to early March. Flounders are hands down one of the best eating saltwater species, making some awesome dinners after a day of fishing.
Here at Destin Inshore Guides we are always ready to fish year around. We fish throughout the entire off season on our off time as well to keep up with fish patterns. If you plan on visiting Destin, Florida this winter give us a call and we would love to get your group out on the water.