View Full Version : Destin, FL. Opportunities?

03-30-2004, 03:53 PM
Hey Guys,

I will be in the Destin area for April and May. Are there any decent areas along the florida panhandle for wading and kayak flyfishing?

Thanks in Advance!!!!


03-30-2004, 04:02 PM
Hi Apache.

I do a lot of work at both Eglin AFB & Hurlburt field. I always bring my fly rod. If I'm staying at the Officers quarters at Eglin I'll fish right to the left of the Officers Club Parking lot at sunrise. Its pretty good for Trout and ladyfish and little Jacks. I've also seen big schools of huge fish streak by (not sure what they were ) but they would spray bait as they zipped along. Also the Beaches off of Okaloosa Island where prett good I us to fish the beach in front of the Ramada or Raddison (I forget which hotel is by the fishing pier) and I would use my flyrod from the Surf. I had fun with lots of lady fish and Bluefish. Further on down the road towards Destin I would fish the area by the Coast guard station and caught a few Redfish, Trout and Lady fish along with things they called catfish...it was all good for me.

Oh yea. I think Basspro shops opened a big store in Destin a year or 2 ago...that should be pretty neat.

Good luck!

04-02-2004, 07:26 PM
Good advice from PeteV. The area by the bridge/Coast Guard station has GRASS, which is hard to find in Choctawhatchee Bay, but a good spot if sometimes crowded. Any beach is good, and if you're up to the hike try the west jetty at the pass; fish deep inside the inlet (although sometimes you can watch the Reds & Jacks smash bait on the top!) but on top or sight fish outside the inlet. April and May are early for lots of variety but sometimes you can see migrating Cobia; usually you'll need to be in a boat to get a shot at them. The east jetty is a much shorter walk, the water's deeper, and seems to hold more bait. It's good for blues, reds (if you can get a fly down to them), ladies, spanish mackeral, blue runners, jacks, flounder and sheepshead, if you can get them to bite.

My father's retired military in the area so I try to visit yearly. While there visit BlueBay Outfitters on Highway 98 in Destin; Capt. Alan Steele will either take you out or give good advice. I've never kayaked the area, but find channels or grass and you're in business. It's also worth the trip east to Panama City or west to Pensacola; those bays have grassflats accessible to either waders or kayakers.

04-03-2004, 07:35 AM
i read an article in a flyfishing magazine where that area seems to be a hot spot for albies (what they call 'bonita' down there). it seems to be a boat deal, but judging from the pictures, they were in tight to the beach/near a light house. i forget what time of year they were referencing.

04-05-2004, 11:42 AM
The jetty at St. Andrews State Park (Panama City) can be good for Bonita and Spanish Mackeral; I scored in May & June a couple of years back. I've seen Bonita from the Destin East Pass jetties but never been able to get a fly to them but they catch them from the pier all the time. The party boat guys consider them a nuisance.


04-11-2004, 08:51 PM

I am not a local but fished Destin area last June. I had a great time with Ladyfish in the surf off Okaloosa Island. You can spot them in groups just as a wave is about to crest. All were caught on a 3" chartruse and white Clouser.

Also had a great action with Blue Runners under the bridge from Ft Walton to Destin (1-2" chartruse and white clouser). There is a parking area right before you go over the bridge. They were not real big but blitzed bait every morning and fought hard. You can wade to your left all the way down to the Coast Guard Station. If you fish in that area, you should fish the incoming to high tide. Once the tide turns to outgoing the water color changes from crystal clear to a murky rusty brown. The change is amazing to see. A wall of dark stained water moves in within minutes.

Have fun.