Charter Fishing Destin Blog

Fishing for a Mother's Day Gift?

fishing for a mothers day gift

A mother’s love is one of the greatest blessings that anyone could ask for. She’s a teacher, comforter, and an adviser that you can always count on. With your best interest at heart, Mom seems to always know how to make sense of the world. Choosing the perfect gift on the designated day to honor Mom is kind of a big deal.

happy mothers day of all the fish in the seaMemories are the Best Gifts

Fishing for a Mother’s Day gift that says the right thing can be difficult in a department store. Think back to the best gift that you ever received. Whether you wished for a certain toy as a child, or inherited a particular family treasure, the most special part of the gift was the memory of reception. Material gifts may become lost, broken, or tarnished, but the memories survive. Those memories are bread and butter behind making the occasion special. Mothers tend to have a knack for enhancing memorable events. She’s always working behind the curtains to ensure the happiness of her children. Mom is one of a kind, and deserves the best gift for each Mother’s Day.

Jewelry, candy, and flowers have all been done before. These typical Mother’s Day gifts do say, “Mom, I love you.” But, when you want something that says more, consider what made the best gift that you ever received. Remember the vivid memories of joy and happiness that were given in love. This year, give Mom the gift of making memories with a special Mother’s Day Deep Sea Fishing Charter.

Take Mom Deep Sea Fishing

As the saying goes, “The best things in life are free.” We can’t buy lifelong memories, joy, or happiness, but we can take her deep sea fishing. The experience of deep sea fishing provides an opportunity to create those special memories for Mom. Imagine the backdrop of paradise, emerald waters below, sunshine overhead, and adventure all around. As she embarks on this journey with her favorite loved ones, joy will come in the form of smiles and laughter. There is no substitute for time well spent with Mom. Take this day, this adventure, and this time to honor your mother with one of the most incredible experiences that the sea has to offer.

How to Plan Your Mother’s Day Deep Sea Fishing Charter

Whether Mom is an outdoors enthusiast who loves the open water, or an indoors book worm, there is something in a deep sea fishing charter that appeals to every type of mother. With experienced captain and crew members who know the importance of family experiences, the focus of the trip will be on making memories with Mom! There are several options to choose from. You’re sure to find the charter that will honor your mother’s wishes for time well spent on Mother’s Day.

mothers day finest kindWhich Charter is best for my mother?

  • Half-Day: A half day charter is between 4-6 hours of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and is perfect for families with only a short window to fit in some saltwater fishing while visiting Destin, Florida.
  • 3/4 Day: A ¾ day charter describes any excursion lasting between 8-10 hours. If you’re looking to get into some deep sea fishing, the ¾ day charter is recommended.
  • Full Day: A full day charter is considered to be 12-18 hours in the deep blue waters of the gulf. For mothers who are adventurous, spontaneous, or just a blast to hang out with, choose the full day charter.
  • Overnight Overnight charters are typically booked for 24-72 hours, and include twice the limits of fish. If Mom loves deep sea fishing, or loves to eat seafood, here’s your ticket to golden status! Gear up for night, or two, or three, and escape the daily distractions of the main land. Quality time is calling, and there’s no better person to spend it with, than your dear mother!

To learn more about the differences in each charter option, visit Planning the Greatest Deep Sea Fishing Adventure of You’re Life, where you’ll find details that distinguish each charter, as well as, tips and tricks on easy planning for your next charter. If you’re not able to make the trip to Destin on Mother’s Day, consider booking the charter for a more convenient date, and presenting your mother with a certificate at Mother’s Day brunch! Either way, with the thought that you’ve put into this year’s celebration of Mom, this Mother’s Day gift will be unforgettable for her!

Additional 2017 Destin Mother’s Day Events

So, what are you waiting for? BOOK NOW to give Mom the best Mother’s Day Gift in the sea! The gift of quality time and special memories!

 

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Blessing of the Fleet Destin, FL

blessing of the fleet destin, fl

Destin’s summer deep sea fishing season is just around the corner. It’s a time when the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding shores come to life with nonstop adventure and excitement. As captains and crew members gear up for the unknown encounters of daily deep sea fishing trips, anticipation of the annual fleet blessings draws locals and visitors to the Destin Harbor. Destin’s Annual Blessing of the Fleet displays the tradition, heritage, and culture of the coastal community by observing a time of prayer and celebration of those who make up the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida.

Destin’s 60th Annual Blessing of the Fleet

  • Date: May 25, 2017
  • Location: 210 HWY 98 East, Destin, Florida, 32541 (Behind Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer)
  • 4:00 pm: Blessing of the Fleet Ascension Day services
  • 5:00 pm: Fleet Blessing
  • 5:30 pm: Annual Blessing Fish Fry

What is the Blessing of the Fleet?

The Blessing of the Fleet is an annual tradition honoring the men and women who utilize the resources of the sea as a means of survival. As a centuries-old ritual, fleet blessings are commonplace among ports located all over the world.

With strong roots in the Catholic Church, fleet blessings have long been established as a time of prayer and faith. This ocean to ocean tradition marks a time when locals and churches come together to pray over each fleet vessel, the captains and crew members, and their families for safe passages, bountiful catches, and prosperity.

In addition to services and ceremonial prayers, fallen fishermen and local legends are remembered as tribute of their contributions to the coastal communities.

How did Destin’s Blessing of the Fleet begin?

blessing of the fleet history

Destin, Florida 13th Annual Blessing of the Fleet 1970 Image Source: State Archives of Florida/Veselka.

Destin’s Annual Blessing of the Fleet has a history dating back to May 30, 1957, when fishermen congregated at St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church for communion and services conducted by founder, Reverend William Irwin.

The blessing ceremony followed the service as church members and fishermen prayed over each vessel. Back then, there were just over twenty boats, and the town was considered a small fishing community.

Those fishermen and their families built what we know today as one of America’s favorite beach and deep sea fishing destinations. The fleet has continued to grow in number, and the Destin Harbor is now recognized as home to the largest fishing fleet in the state.

Destin’s Unique History

Though Destin’s Blessing of the Fleet as an annual tradition began in 1957, the significance of prayers over the fishermen and their families is unique to those who know the story of Destin’s beginnings.

Destin was first discovered as a fishing haven by Leonard Destin in the 1830s. On his fishing voyage from New London, Connecticut, Leonard’s father and brother were lost at sea in a tragic accident close to Cape Canaveral. As Leonard continued through the Gulf of Mexico, and into the waters just below the Destin coastline, he knew that he’d found something spectacular. After Leonard settled along the shore, word soon traveled of the magnificent blessings found in the waters nearby.

Today, the blessings of the past seem to shine brighter than ever. Destin’s fleet has proved prosperous and protected from the dangerous elements of hurricanes and oil spills that have affected other coastal communities. Locals stand by their beliefs that God continues to watch over and bless the fishermen of Destin’s Harbor, just as he watched over and blessed Leonard Destin during his voyage and discovery of Destin, Florida.

The Atmosphere

Though times have changed from the early years of Destin’s introduction as a quiet fishing village, the Blessing of the Fleet takes locals and visitors back to a time when life-lines were dependent upon tight fishing lines. We are reminded of the significant role that fishermen played in building our beloved Destin community.

Though many visitors travel to Destin to witness the beautiful white sand and emerald waters of the Gulf Coast, Destin as a vacation destination would not be the same as we know it without the work of fishermen and their families, of both past and present.

Today the atmosphere during the Blessing of the Fleet transcends changes to the modern landscaping of Destin. As high-rise condominiums and tourist attractions fade away during the Blessing of the Fleet event, boats decorated with flags and bunting line up along the Destin Harbor, awaiting their chance for mass prayers extended to the vessel, the captain and crew members, and their families. The prayers also extend to all who climb aboard each vessel for deep sea fishing and recreation.

These fishermen and their families capture the same hard-working spirit of those who came before them. Thousands travel to Destin each year to witness the miraculous experience of one of the oldest traditions along the Emerald Coast. All visitors are invited to join the events surrounding Destin’s Blessing of the Fleet, as an experience unlike any other found among coastal traditions.

Week of Blessings 2015 from Coastline Calvary Chapel on Vimeo.

From the Blessing of the Fleet to the Week of Blessings

As Destin continues to maintain a prosperous reputation, the seeds of early fleet blessings have sprouted across the entire community. What began as the Blessings of the Fleet has led to an entire week of blessings for local families, emergency personnel, pastors, marketplace, and the youth.

During the annual Week of Blessings, churches from various denominations join together in prayer. Unification of Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Baptist, Church of Christ, and Non-Denominational congregations are joined together to represent the Church of Destin. Through testimony and faith, prayer is strengthened, and lives are changed during the week surrounding Destin’s annual Blessing of the Fleet.

blessing of the fleet destin

Destin’s Blessing of the Fleet. Image Source: Immanuel Anglican Church

The 60th Annual Blessing of the Fleet

The year 2017 marks Destin’s 60th Annual Blessing of the Fleet. All services and ceremonies for the 60th Annual Blessing of the Fleet will be held in front of the Fisherman’s Co-op, which is directly under the back side of Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer. The address for Brotula’s is 210 HWY 98 East, Destin, Florida, 32541. Once you pull into the parking lot of Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer, take a right, then an immediate left. Follow the driveway down to the dock to find parking.

Locals and visitors are invited to attend the Blessing of the Fleet Ascension Day services at 4:00 pm, where local pastors, captains, and crew members will share testimonies and prayers for all attending the gathering.

Following the service, Destin’s fleet will line up along the Destin Harbor, and beginning at 5:00 pm, they will take turns stopping in front of the barge where Destin’s pastors pray over each vessel. Whether you hang out along the dock, enjoy a blessed dolphin cruise, or dine at one of the many harbor view restaurants, you’re sure to get a great seat to witness the blessing ceremony.

The traditional Blessing Fish Fry has been a part of the Blessing of the Fleet since its start in 1957. Following the blessing ceremony of the boats, the Blessing Fish Fry will be prepared behind Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer at 5:30 pm.

If you can’t make the 60th Annual Blessing of the Fleet Event, be sure watch the ceremony via AJ’s Harbor live Gulf Coast Beach Cams found here.

Sources:

City of Destin

Emerald Coast Magazine Historicity by Christy Kearney March 2008

Emerald Coast Magazine Founding Paradise by Scott Holstein December 2010

 

 

 

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Destin Florida Spring Break Tips

Destin_Florida_spring_break_top_tips_for_your_family_vacationDestin, Florida is known for its exquisite sugar white sandy beaches, emerald green water, and unrivaled deep sea fishing experiences. These factors, along with breathtaking scenery painted in every direction, keep Destin as the top spring break destination for families across the United States. This once sleepy fishing village has won its place in our hearts as the perfect location to breath in the salt water air and spend time with our loved ones in one of America’s most beautiful settings.

If you’re reading this post, chances are that you’re planning your Destin, Florida spring break vacation, and you’d like to know the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of your trip. First of all, I must say that you’ve chosen a magnificent venue and a wonderful time of year to visit Destin. The spring season holds the best weather for exploring the town with cooler breezes in the morning, and warm sunny afternoons. You will most likely go home with nice tan, but without suffering from the sometimes extreme heat that follows in the summer months.

Your Destin spring break vacation will definitely be the highlight of your year regardless of how you spend the week. However, these tips and tricks will help you to navigate Destin to make your stay in paradise even more amazing.

Along the Emerald Coast Series – Pt 1 Destin from BIVFL on Vimeo.

Planning Tips

  • spring_break_deep_sea_fishing_DestinBook a Fishing Charter – If you’re going to spend time in Destin, deep sea fishing is a must-do experience. Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for a reason. With the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida, deep sea fishing is kind of a big deal around these parts. With spring break holding one of the most popular times to visit, we recommend that you schedule your deep sea fishing trip well in advance. Never wait until you get into town to schedule your charter, because you may get stuck on a low quality boat, or you may miss out on the experience all-together. To learn more about spring break deep sea fishing in Destin, CLICK HERE.
  • Schedule Your Charter Early – Always plan your deep sea fishing charter towards the beginning of your vacation. There are times when fishing charters must be cancelled for inclement weather. Spring weather is mostly conducive to great fishing conditions, but there are always a few of those stormy days that roll in during the season. If the charter is cancelled for weather reasons, you have the option to reschedule for a trip later in the week, granted there is availability on the charter boat for another day. If not, your captain will usually recommend another charter boat, or at least point you in the right direction for securing a great charter experience.
  • Do Your Homework – Destin is filled with a variety of water activity experiences. We recommend checking online to compare reviews between different companies offering the same experiences. From dolphin cruises to pontoon boat and wave runner rentals, and parasailing, there’s plenty to keep the action going in Destin. These experiences can normally be scheduled when you get into town, but you’ll want to know the difference between each company’s reputations. As you walk along HarborWalk Village, you’ll see plenty of glass bottom boats and sea blasters, but which one is right for your family? Considering reviews from previous guests may help you to decide. To learn about water activities offered along HarborWalk Village, CLICK HERE.
  • One Day at a Time -There really is so much to do in Destin, Florida that it could take you a few weeks to experience everything. But that’s okay since you can come back again and again until you’ve seen it all. The best way to get the most out of your Destin spring break vacation is to designate a day for each experience. For example, day one might be designated for deep sea fishing and a nice cook your catch meal at one of the many world famous local seafood restaurants. Day two may be your beach day, while day three is your shopping day, and day four is your go-cart track and golf day. Planning with designated days for the activities that you intend to enjoy will ensure that everyone in your family gets to experience their favorite part of Destin’s many attractions.

Packing Tips

spring_break_packing_Destin

Image Source: Sunseeker

Make Sure to Pack Layers – Layers are your friend during your Destin spring break vacation. Make sure that you pack shorts and tanks or tees with your swimsuit for those warm sunny afternoons, but don’t forget those light jackets for mornings and evenings. You may witness temperature variances of 20-30 degrees each day, so make sure that you are packing enough to keep yourself comfortable during your vacation.

  •  Pack for Your Deep Sea Fishing Charter – In addition to the items packed for your stay in Destin, consider the items that needed for your deep sea fishing charter. Of course, layers are your friend on the charter, but you will also want to bring quick-dry clothes, non-slip shoes, sun protective gear, and motion-sickness prevention for the day of your deep sea fishing trip. For a list of everything that you’ll need to pack for your deep sea fishing trip, CLICK HERE.
  •  Never Fear, Wal-Mart is Near – Families travelling to Destin for spring break often forget sunscreen, snacks for the beach, coolers, beach towels, and floats from home. That’s why most families make a designated stop by Wal-Mart as soon as they get into town to grab the necessities before starting their Destin spring break vacations. There are some advantages to holding off until you get to Destin’s Wal-Mart to buy some of these vacation necessities.

First of all, it’s Wal-Mart, so the prices on items are pretty close to same as the products’ cost at your local store. Second, sales tax is only 6% in Destin. So, if taxes are higher where ever you live, you’re already saving money by shopping in Destin. Lastly, most food items are tax-free in Florida, as long as they are not precooked items. Of course you will pay tax at restaurants, but groceries from Destin’s Wal-Mart, or in your case, beach snacks, are non-taxable.

 Traveling Tips

  • Top of Before You Get into Florida – If you’re driving into Destin from another state, you’ll want to stop for gas just before you get into Florida, as the gas prices tend to be a little more expensive in the state of Florida than other states in the Southeast. The price averages between 10-20 cents higher per gallon than Florida’s surrounding states.  Though you are not saving a fortune, you will have a little extra pocket change for your next fill-up.

This photo of Mid-Bay Bridge is courtesy of TripAdvisor

  •  Getting into Town Traffic – Traffic coming in and out of town during the weekends is always heavy. If you are taking the Mid-Bay Bridge, which is a cash only toll bridge, or the HWY331 Bridge, and you plan to travel mid-day, plan on an hour or two of slow moving traffic. Coming in from Fort Walton Beach over the Okaloosa Island on HWY 98, though usually steady moving, traffic can also become a challenge during mid-day on the weekends. If setting in traffic drives you crazy, consider getting into town early on your check-in day, and leaving town early or late on your check-out day.

If check-in is 4:00 PM, then you can count on traffic getting heavy on the bridges by about 10:00 AM. Try to get into Destin by 7:00 AM, stop by Another Broken Egg Café or the Doughnut Hole for breakfast, swing into Wal-Mart for those items that you still need for your vacation, and then hang around somewhere close by your resort until check-in. The same consideration should be given to the day of check-out, and leaving by 7:00 AM or staying around town until after 7:00 PM are the best times to keep you moving and away from the bridge traffic.

  •  Navigating HWY 98- Weekdays during Destin’s most popular tourist seasons can place you in the middle of HWY 98 traffic at a standstill, making you late for reservations and costing valuable time during your vacation. To avoid high traffic times, plan on leaving your resort early, and sticking around the locations where any reservations may be for that day. This goes back to great planning for your trip. For example, if you have a dolphin cruise scheduled for 6:00 PM, but you plan on getting some shopping in on the same day, designate that day as a HarborWalk Village exploration day. Get there in the morning, and spend the day shopping, dining, and experiencing the coastal life offered at HarborWalk, and then walk onto your cruise that evening. If you must travel during the day for reservations, consider the time, and for mornings, add an hour of travel time, and an hour and a half or two hours for late afternoon or evening travel times.
Destin_mid_bay_bridge_331_bridge

Edited Image Source: Google Maps

As far as finding your attraction’s location, everything in Destin is accessible by way of HWY 98. East HWY 98 will bring you towards San Destin and, eventually, Panama City, while West HWY 98 will bring you back towards Fort Walton Beach, and eventually Pensacola. The beach is on the South side of Destin, so once you leave your resort, just remember your cardinal directions when navigating your way around HWY 98.

Shopping Tips

  • Check Wal-Mart before Beach Shops – Now we’re loving on Wal-Mart a little too much, but only in the efforts to save you money on your Destin vacation. You’ll find that HWY 98 in Destin and Scenic HWY 98 are both lined with beach stores where we all love to stop in for a souvenir to remember our trip by. Most of these shops have great deals on t-shirts and trinkets, but for ordinary items like flip flops, sunglasses, beach towels, etc., you want to hold off until you get to Wal-Mart. You’ll find a significant price difference on the same quality items, so don’t just run into a beach shop for a quick pick-up on essential items. Save the beach stores for souvenirs, and keep Wal-Mart as your go-to for your everyday, “Oops I forgot to grab my beach towel from home,” safety net.
  • harborwalk_village_shoppingTop Three Shop Till You Drop Locations – What goes better with coastal scenery and fishing experiences than shopping? If you love to shop for unique treasures and high-end goods, you have found paradise in Destin. With hundreds of shops and major retail outlets, you’ll find what you’re searching for in a number of locations. Here’s a list of must-visit locations around the Destin area where your family can experience the something for everyone phenomenon that tends to sparkle around this coastal town.

1. HarborWalk Village Bringing visitors into the heart of Destin where it all started, HarborWalk Village is the go to shopping venue for nautical nic-nacs, coastal art, and sports fishing goods. A mixture of high-end boutiques are nestled along the harbor where your little ones can witness charters bringing in daily catches, zip line over the village, and witness truedestin_commons magic shows. Famous restaurants like AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, Margaretville, Harry T’s, Crab Island Cantina, and Jackacuda’s Seafood and Sushi are all awaiting for your lunch or dinner break from shopping.

2. The Destin Commons – This shopping mall has a ton of major brands that we Americans love, with a Bass Pro shops situated on end with Belk on the other, and over 70 other stores in between. Dining and entertainment are also found in the Destin Commons with fun places like Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill, Johnny Rockets, Fusion Bistro, and more. Sweet treats and a relaxing venue are to be found at the Destin Commons. This is the perfect shopping location for families with youngsters and teens.

silver_sands_premium_outlets3.Silver Sands Premium Outlets Just west of Destin on HWY 98, you’ll find an area known as San Destin, where upscale coastal living is just the norm. There on the left coming from Destin, you’ll see a massive outdoor shopping mall with all of your favorite high-end brands. To make it even better, all of the stores have the brands at a discounted price. You’ll know it when you see it. With stores like Nautica, Merrell, the Gap, Osh Kosh, Gymboree, New Balance, Dooney & Burke, Columbia, Converse, Saks Fifth Avenue, Zales, and even the Disney Outlet Store, this is just heaven for serious shoppers who love to save on the best brands. You have to stop by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for chocolate covered strawberries. They are the best!

  •  Get the BookUpon your arrival in Destin, you’ll want to stop by your resort lobby or the Destin Visitor’s Center to pick up a couple of attraction booklets like the See Emerald Coast Visitor Magazine that is filled with attraction information and coupons for fun activities all over the town of Destin. You’ll save a few dollars off of many attractions, dining, and shopping experiences that will add up pretty quickly. Also, look at the brochures found in your resort lobby and the Visitor’s center, as you will also find coupon information near the bottom, on the back of the card. Make sure to let the company know that you have coupons when you make the reservation.

 Beach Tips

  • Avoiding College Students at the Beach – Destin has always been, and will remain, a family spring break vacation destination. Some college students do choose to spend their spring break vacations in Destin, as well. Most of these college students are respectable young adults who plan to enjoy their spring break along the Emerald Coast without causing any kind of problems for families with young children at the beach. However, there are always those few in the group who forget their raising, and the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Department is quick to remind them. To learn how Okaloosa County plans to keep Destin a family first spring break destination, CLICK HERE.

In any case, you’re more likely to run into college students during spring break behind the Crab Trap on scenic HWY 98, and behind the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. If the thought of sharing the beach with a crowd of college students sounds unappealing, opt to visit the public beaches along Santa Rosa Boulevard on Okaloosa Island, the bay side of Okaloosa Island, Henderson Beach State Park, or stay at a resort with a private beach like the Emerald Grand. For a full list of great beaches in Destin, CLICK HERE.

  • Don’t Get Burned – As you probably know, Florida is nicknamed the “Sunshine State.” With Florida’s close proximity to the equator, the ultraviolet rays from the sun are very strong. You can get nasty sunburn on a cloudy day in Destin. To prevent sunburns, or any other injuries from the sun during your Destin spring break vacation, always use sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, hats, and UV ray blocking clothing, especially for young children. You may not realize that your child has sunburn until you are back at your resort room, and it may seem odd that you were only at the beach for an hour on a cloudy day. Always come to the Sunshine State prepared with protective gear to prevent harmful UV rays from wrecking your week.
  •  Stay Hydrated – Another important factor to consider with the Florida sun is that you will need to keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids, even though the heat may not seem so bad. This again is especially important for children and also elderly family members. The beautiful scenery and exciting attractions can make many of us less in-tune with our body’s discomfort. Keeping a cooler in your vehicle with water and Gatorade or PowerAde during your Destin vacation can help to keep hydration a priority. When you arrive at the beach, make sure to have your cooler in tow. Avoid consuming too many sodas, since they can cause swelling when paired with Florida’s sun.

Finest Kind LogoWith these tips and tricks, you are sure to make the most of your 2017 Destin spring break vacation. Remember to plan ahead and do your homework, to pack layers, and plan on a trip or two to Wal-Mart. Once you’ve visited Destin, Florida, you’ll want to go again. You’ve a great decision to embark on an adventure in Destin, where you’ll witness the most beautiful scenery and encounter the friendliest locals. Get ready for the spring break vacation of a lifetime.

Don’t forget to book your deep sea fishing charter early. For more information on spring break deep sea fishing in Destin, check out Charter Fishing Destin.

Ready to book your Spring Break 2017 Deep Sea Fishing Charter? BOOK NOW

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50 SHADES OF GREEN: The Luckiest Saint Patrick’s Day Destination

50 Shades of Green The Luckiest Saint Patrick's Day Destination

Celebrate this Saint Patrick’s Day in Destin, Florida, where you’ll catch some luck of your own along the Emerald Coast! The nickname says it all! As the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin seems to have an Irish heritage that runs deep! You’re sure to find well over 50 shades of green throughout this paradise. From the emerald waters to the beautiful green golf courses, there is no lack of the shade of green you desire to surround yourself with this Saint Patrick’s Day. Cast a line, and reel in a lucky charm for your cooler, hunt for sand dollars and sea shells at the beach, become an official Irishman, and celebrate with festivities and Irish traditions along Destin’s Boardwalk this Saint Patrick’s Day!

World's Luckiest Fishing Village

Lucky Catches on the Finest Kind of Destin, Florida

What’s Your Shade of Green?

When you choose to celebrate your Saint Patrick’s Day 2017 in Destin, your timing couldn’t be more perfect! Embrace the emerald green waters surrounding the shoreline, and embark on an adventure into the Gulf of Mexico. Once you sink a line on one of Destin’s finest deep sea fishing charters, there’s only a matter of time until you fill your chest with a golden catch! As our most prized resources along the Emerald Coast, you shall consider yourself a lucky lad as you fish the waters of the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village!”

With so many options to choose from, a deep sea fishing charter can be customized to fit your clan’s desires for an adventurous Saint Patrick’s Holiday celebration. Shorter, half day trips are designed for the wee ones, and longer charters, including 3/4 and full day, and even overnight and Middle Ground trips, can be arranged for those who seek the full experience of Saint Patrick’s Day traditions in paradise! Destin fishermen are anticipating one of the best seasons that we’ve seen in years, and we do expect our private and group charter vacancies to fill up fast for the Destin Spring Fishing Season. As the most desirable area to fish for saltwater game, we recommend that you start your planning your charter now!

St. Patrick's Day Destin

St. Patrick’s Celebrations at HarborWalk Village Photo Credit: Jody Felder Source: Flickr

More Saint Patrick’s Day Fun Around Destin

Experience FUN, THRILLS, and GILLS at HarborWalk Village with tons of activities centered on the Luck of the Irish!  The Boardwalk will provide hours of excitement for the wee ones and seasoned lads with live entertainment, dining, shopping, and adventurous attractions. Stroll along the dock to see the catch of the day among Florida’s largest fishing fleet, and observe the emerald glow of cheer radiating from the day’s charter groups.

Gather your clan to “Sham-Rock” along the dock with the 9th Annual Grogg March at HarborWalk Village. Support a local cause with an armband to enjoy drink specials throughout the night as live entertainment and green drinks provoke Irish toasts for luck and happiness! Don’t forget to brush up on your Irish Toasts before you hit the scene in your shade of green! Purchase tickets HERE!

Looking to fit in some tee time during your hunt for Destin’s green? Try your luck at some of Florida’s most popular courses. Destin is one of America’s favorite golf destinations with courses like Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club, Kelly Plantation Golf Club, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Burnt Pine Golf Club at Sandestin, Baytowne Golf Club, and Emerald Bay Golf Club.

Become an Official Irishman at McGuire’s Irish Pub

McGuire's Irish Pub Destin

McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin. Florida

Irish traditions are always big at McGuire’s Irish Pub, but on March 17th, celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at McGuire’s is a must do in Destin, Florida! With many shades of green hanging from the ceiling, on the roof top, and at every angle in sight, you’ll never experience a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration quite the same as the party found in the dining venue, pub, and brewery of Destin’s McGuire’s. With an estimated 1.75 million others who have hung a signed dollar bill for good luck, joining the Molly Martin tradition at the Destin pub makes you an official Irishman with the papers and luck to prove it! 

As you reach your potential as a true Irishman, you’ll experience the sounds of bagpipers playing in the waiting area, traditional Irish music throughout the pub, and a hefty serving of the Saint Patty’s Day favorite, corn beef & cabbage. If you’re celebrating your birthday in Destin this Saint Patrick’s Day 2017, don’t forget to boost your luck with McGuire’s Kiss the Moose tradition for a birthday ceremony that you’ll never forget! 


Planning Your Destin Saint Patrick’s Day Experience!

Destin is truly the luckiest destination to spend your Saint Patrick’s Day 2017! Where else can you become an actual Irishman, garner luck in so many ways, fish in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” in emerald green water, and embark on a true Irish adventure unsurpassed by any other American destination! This is paradise! Start planning your Destin, Florida Saint Patrick’s Day Vacation now, and don’t forget to schedule your deep sea fishing charter to get the “reel” Destin experience! Book a room at the Emerald Grande, and you’ll be at the center of all Saint Patrick’s Day festivities in Destin, with an incredible view of the Emerald Coast!

Sharks Gathering Outside Destin Pass Florida by Birds-iView Aerial Photography

BOOK YOUR SAINT PATRICK’S DAY CHARTER NOW!

FIND A ROOM AT THE EMERALD GRANDE

OTHER PLACESTO STAY IN DESTIN

LEARN MORE ABOUT HARBORWALK VILLAGE

 

 

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Destin Mardi Gras Pardi in Paradise Parade and Celebration

HarborWalk Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade in HarborWalk Village Destin, Florida Image Source: Emerald Coast Properties, INC.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Mardi Gras Pub Crawl HarborWalk Village Destin

Mardi Gras Pub Crawl HarborWalk Village Destin Image Source: Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

We always know how to let the good times roll on the Emerald Coast, but Mardi Gras in Destin, Florida takes the king cake on elaborate fun for all during the annual Pub Crawl, Parade, and Fat Tuesday celebrations. Revelers of all ages are encouraged to hit the scene of HarborWalk Village for an over-the-top Carnival filled with excitement! Whether you’re in town for a family vacation, visiting with friends, or planning to embark on the best deep sea fishing that you’ll ever encounter, celebrating Mardi Gras Destin style is a must on everyone’s bucket list!

Mardi Gras Pub Crawl

HarborWalk Village hosts the annual Mardi Gras Pub Crawl where revelers are invited to dress in green, purple, and gold to masquerade, march, and crawl, from pub to pub along the Destin Boardwalk. Tickets are available through Eventbrite, where you’ll get passes that include drink specials at each pub stop on the list. Remember to get your tickets stamped, and join the after party at the final stop for grand prize raffles!

Mardi Gras Destin Parade 2017Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Mark your calendar for the annual Pardi in Paradise with Destin’s largest Mardi Gras Parade, and fill your cups with plenty of swag and throws from festive floats as street performers, music, and colorful masquerade costumes set the scene for this one of a kind experience in HarborWalk Village! This family friendly event is a carnival celebration to remember. Bring your family and friends to join the krewes, and witness the majestic atmosphere along the boardwalk. Entry into the Mardi Gras Parade is free! If you and your krewe would like to join the march, send an email to RMagee@HarborWalkVillage.com! If you will be in the Destin, Florida area for the weekend, don’t miss the Mardi Gras Parade on the Harbor! 

Mardi PAWS Costume Contest

Is there anything cuter than puppies dressed in costumes? How about dressing them in Mardi Gras costumes! Parade your pups along the Destin Harbor with their festive Mardi Gras wear for the Mardi Paws Costume Contest. Local judges will award first, second, and third place prizes to the best costumes. There is sure to be plenty of laughter and fun at this event, and your pup will surely be thankful that you included him or her in this Mardi Gras festivity.

Mardi Gras Parade at HarborWalk Village Destin, Florida

Mardi Gras Parade at HarborWalk Village Image Source: Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

Fat Tuesday Celebration

When it comes to Fat Tuesday Celebrations, Destin’s HarborWalk Village delivers the perfect location to spend your Mardi Gras holiday! The Destin Boardwalk is hopping with excitement for the whole family with restaurants, pubs, and entertainment everywhere you look! Take a stroll down the dock to see the catch of the day among Destin’s finest charter fleet, board a dolphin cruise around the harbor, Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico, or indulge in some of the greatest deep sea fishing experiences the world has to offer. One thing is for sure! There is something for everyone at HarborWalk Village in Destin, Florida, and our Mardi Gras celebrations deliver great times, memories, and fun filled adventures for visitors of all ages.


Summer Fat Tuesday Parades

For Destin, Mardi Gras doesn’t end in February! HarborWalk Village continues to laissez les bons temps rouler, (let the good times roll), every Tuesday night during the summer season! That’s right! Every summer Tuesday is a Fat Tuesday at HarborWalk Village in Destin Florida! The party starts promptly at 7:00pm, and the parade marches in at 8:30pm! Watch the Destin Boardwalk transform into the Big Easy, and celebrate with the best krewes of the Gulf Coast!  After the parade, stick around for drinks and live entertainment on the Main Stage! We’ll see you there!


HarborWalk Village Pardi in Paradise Mardi Gras Celebration and Parade Schedule 2017

Mardi Gras 2017 DestinFriday February 24th: Mardi Gras Pub Crawl 6PM – 12AM

Dress the part in Mardi Gras colors for this event and crawl from pub to pub with your closest friends. Enjoy drink specials at each stop and Let the Good Times Roll! $10.00 donation to Food For Thought Outreach Inc. Tell us if you’ll attend HERE!

6:00 PM-8:00 PM: Fishheads I Margaritaville, Destin I Grande Vista Bar & Grille
8:00 PM-10:00 PM: Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi I Harry T’s Lighthouse
10:00 PM-12:00 AM: Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris – HarborWalk I Crab Island Cantina
12:00 AM: Coyote Ugly Saloon- Destin

Saturday, February 25th: 9th Annual Mardi Gras Parade 2PM – 5PM

The largest Mardi Gras Parade in Destin! Get there early to grab your spot! The HarborWalk Village Mardi Gras Parade is a family friendly event! Free to revelers! If your krewe is interested in participating in the 9th  Annual Mardi Gras Parade on the Harbor, email RMagee@HarborWalkVillage.com to for an official application. Anglers and Paradise Dwellers are encouraged to attend! 

Mardi Paws Costume Contest 2017Tuesday, February 28th: Mardi PAWS Costume Contest 6PM-8PM

Who let the dog’s out? HarborWalk Village will host the first annual Mardi PAWS Costume Contest, so make sure to bring out your four legged best friends for this canine friendly event. To enter contact Ryan at rmagee@harborwalkvillage.com.

There is a $10.00 entry fee donation that will be given to Alaqua Animal Rescue and Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, or enter free with a donation of dried dog food. Dress your pup in his or her Mardi Gras best for a fun time that benefits a cause for local animals.

Tuesday, February 28th: Fat Tuesday Celebration 5PM -9PM

FREE red beans and rice compliments of Jackacudas Seafood & Sushi while it lasts!

 

PLAN YOUR DESTIN MARDI GRAS VACATION IN PARADISE TODAY!

Learn more about what HarborWalk Village has to offer!

Book a Deep Sea Fishing Charter with the Finest Kind!

Find Accomadations in Destin, Florida!

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Top 10 Valentine’s Day Experiences in Destin 2017

Valentine's Day Destin, Florida

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it is time to start brainstorming for the most epic way to say, “I love you!” Cards, flowers, chocolates, and overcrowded restaurants have all been done before, so it’s time to go big or go home with something new! Bring your special someone to Destin, Florida to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day, and create an unforgettable adventure on the Emerald Coast!

Destin sets the scene for creating lifelong memories with a backdrop of sugar white sand, emerald water, and beautiful pink sunsets! With so many romantic things to do, each activity holds a unique, over-the-top experience that you can only find here in the heart of the Emerald Coast! For new couples, growing families, and sweetheart veterans, there is something in the water for everyone! Here’s a list of the top 10 Valentine’s Day experiences in Destin, Florida for 2017’s season of love!

Deep Sea Fishing Destin Valentine's Day1. Deep Sea Fishing: A VALENTINE’S EXPERIENCE FOR ALL AGES

Deep sea fishing for Valentine’s Day in Destin tops the list for many reasons! Whether you’re celebrating the season of love with family, your better half, or just getting to know that special someone, deep sea fishing in Destin during your Valentine’s getaway is a must! For a creative way to tell your sweetheart “I love you,” take this opportunity to embark on an adventure into the Gulf of Mexico for a memory that will last forever, and reveal that hook, line, and sinker kind of love hold that they have on your heart! Besides, you can’t travel to the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and not fish with your own personal catch of the sea!

BOOK YOUR VALENTINE’S DEEP SEA FISHING CHARTER


Destin Beach Sand Sculptures Proposal 2. Beach Marriage Proposal: A VALENTINE’S DAY LOVE STORY

So you’ve hooked the ultimate catch, and you want to reel this romance in for the long run! Destin, Florida is the perfect venue for the paramount occasion of marriage proposal this Valentine’s Day! One of the most thoughtful and romantic ways to propose in paradise is to say it with sand! Leave your sticks on land, and let the pros at Beach Sand Sculptures set up this beautiful scene! Surprise your sweetheart with a day that she’ll never forget. What an amazing way to say, “I love you more than all the sand in the sea, give me this honor, and marry me!”

SCHEDULE YOUR BEACH SCENE


Lulus Buffet Tropical Re-Union Vow Renewal Destin3. Lulu’s Buffet: TROPICAL RE-UNION VOW RENEWAL

For those who have already made it official, but want to recapture the magic of your wedding day, cruise on over to LuLu’s Buffet for the second annual Tropical Re-Union Vow Renewal! Join other couples devoted to their sweethearts to start this tradition with complimentary wedding cake, flowers for the bride, a champagne toast, and certificates of re-union! Dance and sing to the love songs that once brought you together, and take in the scenery of Choctawhatchee Bay with plenty of tasty treats to enjoy! Your personal love story will be the center of this adventure! The Tropical Re-Union Wedding Vow Renewal will be held at at Lulu’s Buffet in Destin on Sunday, February 12th at 2PM! Registration begins at 11AM.

REGISTER FOR YOUR TROPICAL RE-UNION VOW RENEWAL


Emerald Grande Spa Destin4. The Emerald Grande Spa: ROMANTIC COUPLES MASSAGE

Pamper your sweetheart, and yourself, with a couple’s massage at the Emerald Grande’s Spa! With views to set the mood, and total body relaxation, all stresses will fade away for an experience that focuses on nothing more than the love that you have for one another. Choose from a variety of massage packages, and enjoy a romantic atmosphere designed to bring couples closer together with private treatment rooms in the most luxurious resort and spa on the Emerald Coast. 

BOOK YOUR COUPLE’S MASSAGE


SunQuest Solaris Destin5. SunQuest Cruises’ Solaris: VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER CRUISE

Venture into the emerald waters of Destin with your sweetheart by your side, as you celebrate a romantic night aboard SunQuest Cruises’ Solaris. This 125 foot yacht is sure to provide the perfect venue for such a special occasion! Dinner is served with a chef-prepared, three-course meal, and live entertainment, and scenery under the stars makes this Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise one for the books! This Valentine’s Dinner and Dancing Cruise sets sail on Tuesday, February 14th at 7PM, and lasts until 10PM. 

RESERVE TICKETS FOR YOUR ROMANTIC DINNER AND DANCING CRUISE


Southern Star Dolphin Cruise6. Southern Star Dolphin Cruises: VALENTINE’S SUNSET CRUISE

Cruise along the Destin Harbor, Choctawhatchee Bay, and Gulf of Mexico with your sweetheart on the Southern Star Dolphin and Sunset Cruise! During your tour, you’ll encounter marine life, feed the birds, and enjoy music as you learn the history of Destin. This voyage is perfect for couples and families of all ages who believe in miracles and love dolphins. Complimentary wine and cheese will be provided for adults to further enhance this romantic experience! The Southern Star offers several departure times throughout the day, but the special Valentine’s Sunset Cruise will depart on Tuesday, February 14th, from 4:00PM to 6:00PM.

RESERVE TICKETS FOR YOUR DOLPHIN/SUNSET CRUISE


Just Sailing Destin7. Just Sailing: SAIL AWAY THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

For a more intimate experience on the waters of Destin, Florida, consider surprising your special someone with a private charter on a stunning schooner that is sure to make his or her day, or evening! Take a break from everything on land, and enjoy Destin’s breeze from the heart of the Emerald Coast waters! Sail away to another realm, where you and your sweetheart are the focus of this adventurous excursion! Just Sailing also offers a variety of departure times, so you’ll have a chance to fit this romantic experience into your Destin Valentine’s Getaway!

BOOK YOUR PRIVATE SAILING CRUISE


HarborWalk Village Destin, Florida8. HarborWalk Village: A VALENTINE’S DAY SWEETSPOT

With so much to do in HarborWalk Village of Destin, Florida, your 2017 Valentine’s Day is sure to be a hit. Experience shopping at some of the Destin area’s most unique boutiques, dining with a view on the water at one of Florida’s many favorite harbor restaurants, or embark on one of the thrilling activities found around Destin’s Boardwalk! Stroll along the dock to experience the culture of paradise with plenty of scenery and live entertainment to set the mood! Experiencing HarborWalk Village is a must for visitors of all ages!

LEARN MORE ABOUT HARBORWALK VILLAGE


The Track Family Recreation Center Destin9. The Track: FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the young, and the young at heart, at The Track Family Recreation Center. With mini-golf, go-karts, bumper rides, tot rides, and big thrills like bungee jumping and sky flying, you’ll have plenty of flutters and laughs as you draw closer together! Great for couples of all ages and children, visiting The Track in Destin, Florida is one of the best adventures for memory making this Valentine’s Day! Skip the lines by ordering your tickets in advance, and share the excitement with your sweetheart!

ORDER YOUR TICKETS FOR THE TRACK ACTIVITIES


Destin Beach at Sunset10. Public Beaches: MOONLIT WALK ON THE BEACH

After embarking on the best Valentine’s Day experiences in Destin, you’ll still have time to keep the romance afloat with a moonlit stroll along one of the many public beaches on the Emerald Coast. With white sand under foot, take your sweetheart’s hand, and walk beside the crashing waves in paradise. No distractions will interrupt your one on one moment, as you take the time to appreciate one another upon the most beautiful scenery in Destin, Florida!

FIND THE PERFECT BEACH LOCATION IN DESTIN, FLORIDA


START PLANNING YOUR 2017 VALENTINE’S GETAWAY IN DESTIN, FL

Destin, Florida offers our visitors plenty of choices to experience breathtaking scenery, exciting adventures, and memory making moments! Add a chapter to your love story this Valentine’s Day in Destin, and you’ll see why locals and visitors refer to the Emerald Coast as paradise! There is no better place to be for Valentine’s Day 2017 than Destin, Florida!

FIND A HOTEL IN DESTIN, FLORIDA

LEARN MORE ABOUT HARBORWALK VILLAGE

BOOK A DEEP SEA FISHING CHARTER IN DESTIN, FLORIDA

PLAN THE GREATEST DEEP SEA FISHING TRIP OF YOUR LIFE

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destins-coastal-living-menu-ideas-for-thanksgiving-dinner

Image Source: Family Holiday.net

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to grab those fish fillets from this year’s catch out of the freezer, and channel your inner Martha Stewart for a feast that your guests will never forget. Bring the taste of coastal living into your home this Thanksgiving with our favorite recipes for Destin’s local harvest.

The First Thanksgiving

the-first-thanksgiving

Image source: History.com

Thanksgiving is a time when we all come together to recognize the blessings that we’ve been given throughout the year. Dating back to November of 1621, when Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims shared a feast at Plymouth, a celebration of harvest evolved into the Thanksgiving tradition that we continue still today.

Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie are some of the ingredients that make the Thanksgiving holiday special for many families across America. But before you make that mad dash to the supermarket to pick up all of the must-haves to make your Thanksgiving feast fit the American tradition, let’s look back at the first harvest celebration.

The menu for that very first meal at Plymouth was a symbolic moment of being thankful for the fruits of the land, and sharing the gift of fellowship with neighbors who were willing to recognize the abundance of valuable resources nearby. In short, they were thankful for what was already available.

Turkey, geese, ducks, swans, deer, and fish are believed to be present at that very first Thanksgiving meal, as these meat sources were plentiful in the local area. Sides consisted of corn, cabbage, squash, onions, beans, carrots, spinach, and possibly peas, as the autumn season was a time of harvest for domestic crops. Instead of pumpkin pie, it is believed that the pumpkins were hollowed and filled with spices, milk, and honey, then roasted for a custard dish.

You can learn more about the first Thanksgiving meal here.

Destin Thanksgiving

Much like the Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims who were thankful for the gifts of the land during that first Thanksgiving meal, Destin locals show an immense appreciation for the resources that built the city from a desolate land to the thriving city that it is today.

Destin is historically recognized as a blessed coastal community with an abundance of harvestable fish. This dates back to the 17th century when Leonard Destin settled in what we all know now as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Throughout the years, fishermen have come from all over the world to fish the waters just off the coast of Destin.

Though the once sleepy fishing village has now grown into one of America’s favorite tourist destinations with the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida, locals continue to acknowledge what started it all. The blessings of bountiful catches are recognized as the most valuable resource to the area. Annual traditions like the Blessings of the Fleet and the Destin Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo are celebrated throughout the year to recognize the gifts of harvest given to the fishermen, the community, and visitors who partake in the tradition of deep sea fishing out of Destin’s famous harbor.

Around the tables of Destin’s fishing fleet captains and crew members, you’ll find more than turkey and dressing. Most of these families are giving thanks for a great year of fishing with goods harvested from the waters just off the Destin coast. If you pop in on a Destin fisherman’s Thanksgiving dinner, you’re likely to find snapper, amberjack, mackerel, tuna, shrimp, and oysters with all the trimmings that go perfectly with a coastal living Thanksgiving meal. After all, what all fishermen are most thankful for after their families is the abundant harvest of this year’s catch.

Our Favorite Saltwater Fish Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner

In the spirit of being thankful for what you have readily available this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to grab those fish fillets from this year’s catch out of the freezer, and celebrate the harvest feast with some local recipe favorites.

Main Course

Baked Fish Fillet Recipe
Grilled Red Snapper
Blackened Amberjack
Grilled Triggerfish with Escarole and Roasted Peppers
Florida King Mackerel Steaks with Herb Citrus Butter and Garlic Snap Beans
Guava Glazed Mahi Mahi with Coconut Bamboo Rice, Tempura Baby Bok Choy & Coconut Curry Sauce
Black Pepper Crusted Yellowfin Tuna Seared Rare

Appetizers and Sides

Southern Seafood Stuffing
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Harbor Docks Smoked Tuna Dip
Spicy Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon Oysters
Hush Puppies with Cream-Style Corn
Fried Corn

Dessert

Lemon Meringue Pie
Key Lime Cake

Main Course

Baked Fish Fillet Recipe

Recipe contributed by Jan Slagell

  • 2 lbs. fish fillets
  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter- melted
  • 10 gloves garlic chopped (5tsp minced)
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tbs. black pepper
  • 3 tbs. chili sauce or 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp. parsley
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 tsp. garlic season
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbs. onion powder or 1 onion sliced
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce

Preparation

1. Let fish marinate in a bowl for 30 minutes before placing entire contents on pan in a single layer.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until fish is flaky.

Grilled Red Snapper

Recipe contributed by Sizzler

  • 2 red snapper fillets, halved
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup butter

Preparation

1. Mix together paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper. Sprinkle over each side of the red snapper.
2. Oil grill grate and preheat grill.
3. Bring lemon juice to a boil.
4. Remove from heat and add butter.
5. Mix well.
6. Grill red snapper until done. (About 4 minutes per side.)
7. Remove fish from grill. Add parsley to lemon butter.
8. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter mixture over each piece of fish.
(Garnish with parsley)

 

Blackened Amberjack

Recipe contributed by Oxmoor House

  • 1 (1-pound) amberjack fillet
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Cut fillet into 4 equal pieces. Combine paprika and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Dredge fish in spice mixture; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Coat a large cast-iron skillet with cooking spray; place over high heat until very hot.
3. Add fish, and cook 3 minutes. Turn fish, and cook 3 to 4 additional minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Fish should look charred.

(You may prefer to do this procedure outside due to the small amount of smoke that is created.)

 

Grilled Triggerfish with Escarole and Roasted Peppers

Recipe contributed by Chef Tim Creehan

Preparation

1. Prepare the roasted peppers.
2. Preheat a grill surface. Brush the triggerfish with olive oil and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
3. Grill the triggerfish filets until thoroughly cooked.
4. Prepare the escarole and place on the base of four dinner plates. Place the grilled triggerfish filets on top of the sautéed escarole.
5. Top the triggerfish filets with the roasted peppers and drizzle balsamic vinegar over each triggerfish filet.
6. Garnish the triggerfish with chopped basil.

 

Florida King Mackerel Steaks with Herb Citrus Butter and Garlic Snap Beans

Recipe contributed by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • 4 (6-ounce) Florida King Mackerel steaks
  • 1 cup flour, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Citrus Butter

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. orange zest, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. lime zest, chopped fine
  • 1 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped fine

Garlic Snap Beans

  • 1/2 pound Florida snap beans, stems trimmed
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienne
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
2. Lightly dredge each fillet in the seasoned flour.
3. Add the olive oil to the preheated sauté pan.
4. Carefully add the coated fillets to the sauté pan.
5. Cook fillets for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until completely cooked throughout.
6. Remove cooked fillets from pan and serve with green beans and citrus butter.

Citrus Butter

1. Mix all ingredients into a small bowl and stir to combine.

Garlic Snap Beans

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Carefully add the bell pepper and onion; cook for about 1 minute.
3. Add the beans and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute or until crisp and tender.
5. Add lemon juice and toss before serving.

Guava Glazed Mahi Mahi with Coconut Bamboo Rice, Tempura Baby Bok Choy & Coconut Curry Sauce

Recipe contributed by Emeril’s Florida and VisitFlorida.com

guava-glazed-mahi-mahi-with-coconut-bamboo-rice-tempura-baby-bok-choy-coconut-curry-sauce

Image Source: VisitFlorida.com

Coconut Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed and chopped
  • 1 Thai chili, chopped
  • 1 tbs. red Thai curry paste
  • 6 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 cup vermouth
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Guava Glaze

  • cups guava paste
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds removed then chopped

Coconut Bamboo Rice

  • 2 cups of bamboo rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water

Mahi Mahi and Tempura Bok Choi

  • 4 (7 ounce) pieces fresh mahi mahi
  • 1 quart plus 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 pieces baby bok choi
  • 2 cups tempura batter mix, homemade or store-bought
  • Ice water

Preparation

1. In a medium saucepot gently sauté the green onion, shallot, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass with the peanut oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
2. Add in the curry paste and chili and continue to cook for a few minutes more, stirring to incorporate.
3. Put in the herbs, spices and brown sugar and cook for two more minutes. Deglaze with vermouth and continue to cook. When it has cooked completely dry, add in the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.
4. Pour in the coconut milk and increase heat to high and bring it to a boil then remove sauce from the heat and let it cool at room temperature.
5. Puree the sauce in a blender and strain it through a fine sieve.
6. Reheat the sauce when needed and finish it with fresh cilantro, lemon juice, and salt.

Black Pepper Crusted Yellowfin Tuna Seared Rare

Recipe contributed by Tim Creehan and Destin Ice House, Inc.

  • 4 (6oz) Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks
  • Black Pepper
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • 4 Cups Spinach, cleaned
  • 4 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 4 tsp. Rice Vinegar
  • Pinch Ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Water
  • 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chive, chopped
  • ½ Sweet Red Pepper, diced
  • 20 Chives, whole

Preparation

1. Blend the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, water, crushed red pepper and chopped chives. Let the sauce stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The sauce is available at Destin Ice Seafood Market already prepared.)
2. Press the black pepper into both sides of the tuna steak.
3. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan until very hot.
4. Sear the tuna steaks for 10 seconds on each side and remove from pan.
5. Place the spinach in the sauté pan and toss until wilted.
6. Transfer the spinach to 4 large dinner plates.
7. Thinly slice the tuna across the grain.
8. Arrange the tuna slices over the spinach in a star shape. Garnish the tuna with diced red pepper, whole chives and finish with prepared sauce.

Appetizers and Sides

Southern Seafood Stuffing
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Harbor Docks Smoked Tuna Dip
Spicy Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon Oysters
Hush Puppies with Cream-Style Corn
Fried Corn

Southern Seafood Stuffing

Recipe contributed by Jan Slagell

  • ½ cup margarine
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 pound crab meat, drained and flaked
  • ½ pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 (6 ounce) package corn bread stuffing mix
  • 2 tbs. white sugar divided
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth

Preparation

1. Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, celery crabmeat and shrimp; cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the stuffing, bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
3. Mix in the vegetables and seafood from the skillet.
4. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup and as much of the chicken broth as you like.
5. Spoon into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted on top.

 Baked Coconut Shrimp

Recipe contributed by Jan Slagell

    • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp peeled and deveined
    • 1 tbs. lime juice
    • ¼ tsp. crush red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup pineapple preserves
    • 2 egg whites
    • 2 tbs. cornstarch
    • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Preparation

1. Combine lime juice, pepper flakes and pineapple preserves in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a small bowl beat egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
4. Place cornstarch and coconut on two separate plates. Hold shrimp by the tail and dip and coat the shrimp with cornstarch.
5. Next, dip the shrimp in the egg whites and finally in the coconut coating well.
6. Place shrimp on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until coconut is a golden brown. Make sure to turn it once halfway through (around 8 minutes into cooking time) to make sure both sides are brown.
7. Serve with pineapple dipping sauce.

Harbor Docks Smoked Tuna Dip

harbor-docks-smoked-tuna-dip

Image Source: Active Rain

Recipe contributed by Joel Jadofsky

    • 2 1/2 lbs. fresh yellowfin tuna
    • 1 quart water
    • 1/4 cup salt
    • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (can use more or less depending on your preferred consistency)
    • 1 tbs. black pepper
    • 1 tbs. garlic powder
    • Hot sauce to taste

Preparation

1. Combine salt and water. Soak tuna steaks in a salt water brine for one hour before smoking.
2. Transfer to a smoker and smoke until cooked through (do not overcook).
3. Chop smoked tuna steaks to your desired consistency (rough chopped or finely chopped – Harbor Docks chops fine).
4. In a stainless steel mixing bowl, combine smoked tuna, mayonnaise, pepper and garlic powder and mix well.

Spicy Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon Oysters

Recipe contributed by Sea Oats Motel

    • 36 Florida oysters, shucked, on the half shell
    • Rock salt
    • 12 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
    • ½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
    • 4 Florida jalapeno peppers, chopped

Preparation

1. Arrange oysters on rock salt in a baking dish.
2. Top each oyster with ½ teaspoon of the cheese crumbled bacon and chopped jalapeno to taste.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until edges of oysters begin to curl.

Hush Puppies with Cream-Style Corn

Recipe contributed by Diana Rattray

    • 1 cup yellow or white cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1 can cream style corn (approximately 15 ounces)
    • milk, if needed

Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 200 F.
2. Set a cooling rack in a large, rimmed baking sheet.
3. In a deep, heavy saucepan, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 370 F. Or heat the oil in an electric deep fryer to 370 F.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir the chopped onion into the dry mixture, and then stir in the cream-style corn. (If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of milk.)
5. Use a tablespoon or small cookie scoop to drop the batter into the hot vegetable oil.
6. Fry the hush puppies in small batches of 4 or 5 until golden brown, or about 2 minutes, turning to make sure all sides are evenly browned.
7. Remove the hush puppies to paper towels to drain for a minute or two and then move them to the rack in the prepared pan. Place the pan in the oven to keep fried hush puppies warm while you fry subsequent batches.

Tips and Variations

    • Use neutral-flavored oil for deep-frying, such as vegetable oil, canola, or peanut oil.
    • Add finely chopped green onion to the hush puppies in place of the onions.
    • Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of onion powder for extra onion flavor.
    • Add a few tablespoons of crumbled cooked bacon to the batter.
    • Add about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the batter

Fried Corn

Recipe contributed by Jessica Baggett

    • 2 cans of white creamed corn
    • 6-10 Slices of your preferred bacon
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Fry bacon on medium high heat in a cast iron skillet, and then set bacon aside to cool.
2. Pour both cans of creamed corn into hot bacon grease.
3. Crumble bacon and add to the corn mixture.
4. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
5. Serve warm.

Dessert

Lemon Meringue Pie
Key Lime Cake

Lemon Meringue Pie

lemon_meringue_pie-

Image Source: Food Network.com

Recipe contributed by Paula Dean and Food Network.com

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 (8-inch) prebaked pie shell or crumb crust

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preparation
1. In medium bowl, combine milk, lemon juice, and zest; blend in egg yolks. Pour into cooled crust.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
3. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks from. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff.
4. Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

Key Lime Cake

key lime cake

Image Source: Food Network.com

Recipe contributed by Trisha Yearwood and Food Network.com

For the Cake:

  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • Flour, for dusting pan
  • 1 (3-ounce) package lime flavored gelatin
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, slightly beaten

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (from about 25 small key limes or 4 large regular limes)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the Icing:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick butter), room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (1 pound) box confectioners’ sugar

Preparation

For the Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour one 9-by-12-by-2-inch cake pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, granulated sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
3. Pour the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the tops or inserting a toothpick.
4. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the glaze:

1. While the cake is still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners’ sugar together well.
2. Pierce the cake with a fork to allow the glaze to soak in better and pour it over the cake on the cooling rack.
3. Allow cake to cool completely as you prepare the icing.

For the icing:

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese.
2. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until mixture is smooth and easy to spread.
3. Spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake.

Cook’s Note: you can also use three 9-inch round cake pans and make this into a layer cake.

 

 

 

 

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Party Boats vs Group Charters vs Private Charters

The Differences Between Party Boats Group Charters and Private Charters

If you ever get the chance to take a stroll along the Destin Harbor, you’re guaranteed to witness two things: the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida and plenty of booking booths promising the best deals on deep sea fishing. Many Destin, Florida vacationers choose to wait until they get into town before securing their spot on a deep sea fishing trip, only to find an overwhelming number of options and the chance of missing out on the experience all together. Planning ahead and scheduling your trip in advance can help to avoid signing up for a deep sea fishing trip that you regret.

Understanding the difference between party boats, group charters, and private charters is crucial in the process of deciding whether to go with the booth that offers an 8 hour trip for $90.00 per person, the one for $250.00 per person, or the one that covers six people for $1,680.00. They all include bait, license, and tackle, but what about the experience?

As you can imagine with such variation in the pricing, each option offers a completely different deep sea fishing experience. Differences in the prices usually reflect the type of boat, the number of passengers onboard, the type of fishing that you can expect, and the overall experience that directly influences the kind of deep sea fishing trip that’s right for you.

We’ll start by sharing the details about party boats where you can expect to get a taste of Destin’s deep sea fishing waters. Next, you’ll get the scoop on how group charters work, and find out what to expect if you’re planning on joining a group charter. We’ve saved the best for last with the ultimate deep sea fishing experience where you’ll learn about all of the benefits that come with scheduling your own private charter.

To jump to the charter that you’re most interested in, click on the link below, or continue scrolling to compare the differences between each type of deep sea fishing experience.

Party Boats
Group Charters
Private Charters

Party Boats

About the Boat
Amount of People
Types of Fishing
Cost
Overall Experience

Destin Party Boats

Image Source: Swoop Party Boat

The first time that you hear the words party boat, you may envision a venue for music and dancing similar to the party room on a cruise ship. Those of you who have experienced a party boat already know that the word “party” refers to a large group of people combined together on one boat to go deep sea fishing. Another name commonly used for party boats in the deep sea fishing community is “head boats.”

There are certain characteristics of party boats that appeal to first time, and even seasoned anglers, including larger boats, a lower cost compared to other fishing charter options, and the type of fishing that party boats are known for. However, some aspects tend to turn off deep sea fishing enthusiasts, like the larger amount of people and the limitations of the types of fishing available.

Party boat reservations are operated by booking agents, often located in a booth near the boat. They usually have a set schedule for a day of the week when a particular trip length can be booked. For example, there may be an eight hour trip on Monday, a four hour on Tuesday, and a six hour on Wednesday. Depending on the length that you want and your personal availability, you will sign up for the trip that best meets your intentions.

When scheduling a party boat trip, you may be asked to hold your reservation with a credit card, which is a common requirement for most reservations anywhere today. Though cancellation policies vary, there could be anywhere from a 24 hour to 72 hour, or longer, notice requirement, at which canceling during the days and hours leading up to your trip could result in a 50% or full charge to your credit card. Always ask about the cancellation policy when booking your party boat reservation, just to be safe. Also, since party boats require a minimum head count to operate, your charter could be canceled or rescheduled due to a lack of interest in the particular trip.

 About the Boat

Of the many party boats found along the Destin Harbor, they range from lengths of 56 feet to 65 feet, and up to 90 feet long. Though the shape and build of these vessels vary to some degree, all party boats in Destin feature walk around decks surrounding interior cabins. Most party boats have two toilet rooms, or heads, and a few of them offer a snack bar where anglers can purchase chips, crackers, and drinks. Some party boats are equipped with an upper level deck, but all fishing must be done on the lower level walk around areas. Party boats are typically larger than group and private charter boats, as they are designed to carry larger groups of people for a specific type of deep sea fishing.

Amount of People

Party boats carry the most people for a deep sea fishing trip in comparison to group and private charters. The size of the party boat coincides with the amount of people that the vessel is coast guard approved to carry. Smaller party boats may have a maximum capacity of 40 people, while larger vessels can carry well over 100 people. Though it’s always a good idea to ask about the minimum head count needed for the trip to go, you can expect closer to maximum capacity during warm weather months, and closer to the minimum during the colder months.

Types of Fishing

Party boats are known for targeting bottom fishing reefs and wrecks, and usually stick around the same hand full of locations on each trip. You can expect to target snapper, grouper, and other bottom fishing species when in season. However, with a hook and line in the water, you never know what you may reel in. You can expect about half traveling time and half fishing time on most party boats. For example, if you sign up for a six hour party boat trip, you may ride out for an hour and a half to the fishing location, fish for three hours, and have an hour and a half ride back to the dock. Though there is variance in trips where you may fish one spot for 30 minutes, another spot for an hour, and so on, the routine is similar, which seems to give everyone onboard the opportunity to catch fish.

Cost

Party boats offer the lowest cost per person of all deep sea fishing experiences, because they have a large amount of passengers, and they target a specific type of fishing. The cost for a party boat fishing trip is about $10 to $15 per hour for an adult ticket. Some party boats only charge half of the adult rate for children and riders. During the off season, the rates tend to increase slightly, and trips are limited to one or two days per week. Even with the increase in ticket price for the off season, there are usually less people on the boat.

Overall Experience

The overall experience of party boat fishing is great for first timers, young children, and those who just want to take a ride into the Gulf of Mexico. There are deck hands to help with teaching techniques and untangling lines, and there is a high level of structure involved with party boat fishing. Though the excitement of a sports fishing style adventure may not be present on a party boat trip, the right person will find that party boat fishing is a great experience. Like anything else, it depends on the person.

Group Charters

About the Boat
Amount of People
Types of Fishing
Cost
Overall Experience

group-charters-destin

Image Source: Finest Kind Charter Destin, FL

Group charters are designed for individuals, or small groups of people, who desire a more private deep sea fishing experience, and are willing to split the cost of a private charter with other individuals, or small groups, who have similar trip length interests. Group charters run on the same boats as the private charters, but the process of scheduling a group charter is different than the process of scheduling a private charter.

When scheduling a group charter, your reservation is made with a booking agent who works to get enough people for the same trip length to cover the operational costs for the boat to go out. Though group charters are a great way to experience a variety of deep sea fishing opportunities with a smaller group at a lower cost than private charters, there are some things to keep in mind about the processes and policies of group charter fishing trips in Destin.

When scheduling most any fishing trip, including a group charter, you must use a credit card number to secure your commitment. Once enough people are found to cover the minimum costs of operation, you are locked into the cancellation policy (usually 24 to 72 hours in advance notice, but always ask).

It is important to note that while you may request a specific boat for your group charter, there are no guarantees that your request will be fulfilled, and you will be held responsible according to the group charter cancellation policy as set by your booking agent. For example, if the same boat is requested by a private charter, then the private charter takes precedence over a group charter, and the group charter will be moved to another vessel. Also, if the booking agents are unable to group the amount of people needed for a specific charter to go out, but they are able to get enough people for a smaller charter boat, then the trip will move to the boat capable of running with less people.

This information is not intended to discourage you from booking a group charter. Rather, the information about the processes and policies has been explained for your consideration in choosing the best deep sea fishing trip for your personal interests. If the chance of being moved from your preferred choice in boat, captain, and crew could result in a problem within your personal group, then reserving a private charter may be more appropriate for you. On the other hand, if the chance of being moved to a different boat is not a big deal, then go with the group charter.

About the Boat

Group charter boats tend to be smaller than party boats in length, ranging from about 38 feet to over 60 feet, in exception to bay fishing charter boats, which average around 20 feet long. Most group charter vessels offer a convenient back deck fishing area with an indoor cabin complete with seating, a small table or bar to prepare food, and a head, or toilet room. Some group charter vessels also have a sleeping quarters. Group charter vessels range in appearance and features. Some have air conditioned cabins and satellite televisions, while other are not climate controlled and rely only on deep sea fishing for guest entertainment.

Amount of People

The amount of people combined together on a group charter depends on the size of the boat, and the capacity that the captain is approved to carry according to coastguard regulations. The smallest group charters going into the gulf may carry 6 people, while others can go up to 15 people. There are minimums for the head count on each individual charter, and the number of people that end up on the trip is determined by the level of interest in the same amount of hours, and charter availability for that day.

Most booking agencies do go out of their way to make sure that group charters are not too crowded, and that everyone can fish comfortably. Always look for the agencies that book privately owned charter boats. When in doubt, call the captain that you prefer to go with, and ask him who to book with for a group charter.

Types of Fishing

Since group charter boats are more flexible with smaller groups than party boats, there may be an opportunity to do a combination of trolling and bottom fishing. Since a group charter combines people who may have a preference for diverse methods of deep sea fishing, the captain always makes the ultimate decision for the trip. The captain’s choice of a bottom fishing, trolling, or combination trip depends on the length of the charter, the amount of people, which fish are in season and abundant at the time, and trying to make his guests as happy as possible during the trip.

Obviously, if a customer books a group charter with the intentions of coming home with a freezer full of red snapper out of season, then there really is no pleasing them. But, within reason, all captains strive to give group charter customers the best deep sea fishing charter experience. Shorter trips (like a six hour), may be more limited to trolling for mackerel or bottom fishing for snapper, while longer trips (like a ten hour) may do a combination with chances at a larger variety of species.

Though group charters usually go up to 12 hours, there may be an opportunity for overnight group charters in the off-season to target tuna, dolphin, wahoo, and more. Because this is a rare opportunity, the overnight group charter may not be available at all times. You’re more likely to find an overnight group charter during the months of November and December from charter booths in HarborWalk Village.

Cost

Group charters are in between the cost of party boats and private charters. Since you are grouping with other individuals to cover the cost of an otherwise private charter, the cost is set at a per person rate for the trip. The average price for a group charter in Destin is between $30 and $35 per hour for each passenger. Usually, there are no discounts for children or riders, as there are limited spaces available on the charter. Prices are always subject to change depending on fuel and maintenance prices, so check with your booking agent before locking in your trip.

During the off-season (a time when Destin has fewer visitors than peak vacationing months) private captains and booking agents may team up to offer specials. At other times, if a group charter is likely to cancel because the head count is one or two people short of the minimum needed to cover operational costs, all parties will be offered the chance to split the remaining balance before the trip is canceled. As long as everyone is in agreement and the costs of operation are covered, the group charter can go with less people.

Overall Experience

The overall experience of a group charter is adventurous and exciting for anglers of all ages. Group charters appeal to individuals and small groups who don’t mind sharing their deep sea fishing experience with a few new faces. This can add to the excitement of the charter, since you never know what to expect from the other passengers on the boat.

Many group charter guests tend to walk away from the experience with life-long friendships. You’re more likely to have the opportunity for targeting a variety of fish, and there is more time for one on one help from the crew, whether baiting hooks, pulling fish onboard, teaching new techniques, or educating passengers on the ins and outs of various species. If you like meeting new people with similar interests, and an adventure into the Gulf of Mexico with deep sea fishing experts sounds exciting, the group charter may work for you.

Private Charters

About the Boat
Amount of People
Types of Fishing
Cost
Overall Experience

Private charters are just that; PRIVATE. This deep sea fishing choice offers the most control over which boat that you go out with, and who you choose to bring on the charter with you. Can someone say invitation only! Private charters are usually scheduled through the captain, and you have the opportunity to remain in direct contact to ask questions about what to expect, get recommendations on deep sea fishing conditions for the time of year that you plan to go, and learn about the length of trip needed to accomplish your intended goals while in the Gulf of Mexico.

Some particular groups are always encouraged to schedule a private charter over a group charter or party boat. These groups include large families of five, six, or more, work colleagues, wedding, bachelor, and bachelorette parties, and deep sea fishing enthusiasts who have specific intentions that may not be fulfilled on a group charter. However, you are more than welcome to reserve a private charter for one person, or couples, who want to enjoy a more intimate deep sea fishing experience.

When scheduling a private charter, a credit card is used to hold the reservation until a 50% deposit is made, typically expected at the time of booking your trip. Unlike group charters who pay individual rates for each angler through the booking agents, one person is held responsible for the private charter deposit and final payment. This means that if you are privately chartering the boat, and you have multiple guests splitting the cost with you, then you are responsible for collecting the money, and paying the captain. Planning ahead and collecting the money from your guests early is always recommended.

As already discussed in the group charter section, private charters take precedence over group charters when requesting a particular boat. The only reasons for cancellation are bad weather and mechanical problems with the boat’s engine, at which time you could reschedule or request a refund. Always listen to the advice given by your captain concerning weather conditions. If you choose to go out, despite your captain’s concerns for weather, and you decide to come back early once you see that the conditions are too rough, you could be responsible for the entire cost of the trip without the opportunity to reschedule.

If you’ve never been deep sea fishing with a particular captain and crew, take the time to do some research before scheduling the charter. Experienced captains and crew members offer the best advantages for first time deep sea fishing experiences. Search the internet for reviews, and always ask the captain about his experience in the gulf.

About the Boat

Private and group charters are offered on the same boats in the Destin Harbor. As discussed in the group charter sections, private charter boats vary in size and features. They usually fall into the range of lengths between 38 to 60 feet, in exception to bay fishing boats that average around 20 feet. Most have a back deck fishing area, where guest anglers can fish from the sides and back of the deck.

Private charter boats are designed for sports fishing with unmatched speed to get out to the hot spots faster than larger vessels, and more flexibility in maneuvering around the gulf. Most private charter boats have a cabin with seating, a toilet room, and sleeping quarters. Some are equipped with air condition, televisions, and radios, while others are do not. If you are concerned about the features of your charter boat, always inquire before scheduling your trip. You may be able to find out on the internet, or by calling the captain directly.

Wondering what features to expect on a well-maintained private charter boat? CLICK HERE

Amount of People

The number of people that join your private charter is up to you with the exception of captain and crew, and the maximum capacity of the charter boat. In correlation with the variety of charter boats in the Destin Harbor, you’ll find some boats that are coast guard approved for only six passengers plus crew, and some that are approved for over twenty passengers. Though the initial price of a group charter may begin by covering the first six, there is an additional charge for each passenger after the first six. Look under the COST section to get a break down of how private charter prices are normally determined. Overall, you can choose to have only yourself and the crew, or up to the maximum capacity of passengers with enough crew members to help maintain a great deep sea fishing trip for your group.

Types of Fishing

With a private charter, there is an endless list of the types of fishing that can be done. Though trolling, bottom fishing, and sight fishing are the most basic forms, the type of fishing that you can expect depends on your personal preference, which fish are in season, the day’s conditions, and the length of your private charter. The shorter the trip, the smaller the variety of fishing, but longer trips over 12 hours can produce big sports fishing variations.

Overnight charters are best for targeting tuna, dolphin, wahoo, marlin, or sailfish, because the overnight charter provides the time needed to get out into the deep blue water where these big game fish commonly found during certain months of the year. Always tell your captain the type of fishing that you are interested in, and he is more likely to take your preferences into account for a private charter in comparison to party boats and group charters. However, do keep in mind that listening to your captain’s recommendations for the charter offers an even better chance of catching fish than the length of the trip.

Cost

The cost of a private charter is often mistakenly labeled as the most expensive choice over other types of deep sea fishing options, because the price of the private charter is given as one figure that covers up to six people instead of a per person rate. True, a private charter could become the most expensive option for a small group of people, but worth the money for those who want the benefits of a private charter.

However, determining whether a group charter or a private charter is more or less expensive depends on the number of people in your group. Let’s do some math comparing the going rate for an 8 hour group charter at $255 per person with a private charter that charges $210 per hour for up to 6 people, and we’ll break down the point in time where a private 8 hour charter actually becomes cheaper than an 8 hour group charter.

So, we know that the 8 hour group charter rate will be $255 per person. With 6 people, the total becomes $1530. (255 x 6 = 1530). The 8 hour private charter at $210 per hour for up to 6 people is $1680. ($210 x 8 = $1680). Clearly, in this position, the group charter is $150 cheaper for a group of 6, but there is a chance that several other people can be grouped with this group of 6, which is many private charter guests would pay the difference anyway. Now let’s say that you have 8 people in your own group, and you want to know whether an 8 hour group or an 8 hour private charter would be less expensive.

A common break down for private charters that can carry more than 6 people is to add 10% of the cost of the trip per additional person after the sixth. (1680 x 10% = 168). Since the cost of the 8 hour private charter is $1680 for up to 6 people, the additional fee for the 7th person is $168, and the 8th person is $168, making the total cost for an 8 hour private charter with 8 people $2016. (1680 + 168 + 168 = 2016). The total cost per person on an 8 hour private charter with 8 people comes to $252 per person. (2016 / 8 = 252). Therefore, from the 8th person up, the price of a private charter becomes less expensive per person than a group charter.

To get an idea of prices for other private charter trip lengths, multiply the amount of hours that you intend to go by the per hour rate of $210 for the first 6 people, and then add 10% per person after the sixth person to the total.

Trip Cost Formulas

Hourly rate X Length = Total up to 6 ppl

Total for up to 6 ppl X 10% = Additional Charge for 7th Person and Up

Total for up to 6 ppl + (Additional Charge X Number of Additional ppl) = Total Cost of the Private Charter

Overall Experience

The overall experience of a Destin private charter is the cream of the crop in deep sea fishing experiences, and by far one of the most thrilling adventures that you’ll ever encounter. With your closest friends and family in tow, you have the opportunity to witness miracles that are found only in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” In the company of a legendary captain who knows the Gulf of Mexico like the back of his hand, and crew members who spend their lives teaching others the art of deep sea fishing, a private deep sea fishing charter is a must for everyone’s bucket list. Getting out into the open water, spending quality time with those you care about, and battling with some of the most incredible creatures on the planet, it doesn’t get any better than this. Whether it’s your first time on a deep sea fishing charter, or you’ve been out in the Gulf of Mexico more times that you can count, you won’t leave a great private charter boat with disappointment. With every fishing trip, there’s a new experience, and with every new experience in the gulf, there’s another memory of the Finest Kind.

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101 Fishing Tips from the Net

101 Fishing Tips From the Net

THE BEST TIME AND PLACES FOR DEEP SEA FISHING


 

1Florida Gulf Coast

Florida has some of the best deep sea fishing gulf locations in the world, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).

2. Destin Deep Sea Fishing

Destin is probably the most popular location among Florida spots, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).

3. Learn the Navigation Charts of the Area You’re Fishing

If you’re new to the area, then take the time to research the area, and review its navigation charts. This will help you locate the most promising fishing spots and help ensure you don’t get lost, (IntracoastalAngler.com, 2015).

4. Marine Charts

You’ll find fish in places where food is readily available, such as the mouth of a creek, channel, inlet, or estuaries. Falling tide is a prime example. Structure of almost any type is another. Marine charts and maps are indispensable for locating such potential hotspots, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

5. Understanding Tidal Currents

Understanding tidal currents and how they affect the areas you fish is critical, because the movement of water does not always precisely follow high and low tides. In many spots, especially inlets and channel entrances, the tidal current may lag the actual tide by an hour or more. In areas like this, fish often respond more to the direction and speed of water movement than to the actual height of the tide. However, in open water the height of the tide can be most important, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

6. Follow the Tides

Try to schedule your fishing day on a day when the tide is ebbing. This typically presents the most opportune fishing for saltwater anglers. If an ebb tide isn’t in your scheduling window, then a half-rising or half-falling tide will also work well, (IntracoastalAngler.com, 2015).  

7. Clear Water

Wind and tides will always leave one side more turbid than the other, and targeting the flat with optimal clarity is usually the better option, (Brown, 2014).

8. Be One With Nature

A deep sea fisherman needs to establish some intuition, and learn how to read into signs that a novice may not catch, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).

9. Fish Where the Fish Are

A lot of fishermen have the idea that they should be catching their live baits over the reefs before going to deep waters. If the live baits are not in the area where you’re planning to catch the larger game fish, then why would you come up with the idea that the large fish are there? Wouldn’t they be in the area where the bait fish are, (Dodson, 2013)?

10. Head for the Reef

The best place to fish is near a reef, because they are hot beds of activity for smaller fish, which means larger fish wanting to feed will swim to a reef, or along its outskirts, (BraidProducts.com, 2014).

11. Rocks, Reefs, and Wrecks

Rocks, reefs, and wrecks are great places to start looking for fish when offshore fishing. These types of structures provide a haven for every species in the food chain, and offer a place for fish to hide from the strong ocean currents, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

12. Look For Structure

Most fish would rather spend time around a submerged structure to take advantage of its pertinent, basic safety. In particular, Snook would rather be around ledges, posts, and rubble. Finding these kinds of spots will help you locate more fish, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).

13. Hills and Sea Mounts

Submerged mountain ranges and hills divert the current and create ideal spots for offshore fishing. Sea mounts can provide fish with more favorable water conditions. Water temperature, light level, or salinity may be out of the range for a particular species at the bottom of the sea mount, but just right at the top, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

14. Keep Your Eyes Open for the Birds

Should you see Seagulls which have been feasting on tiny bait-type fishes, you can find likely larger game-type fish beneath the surface area of the water, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).

15. Pay Attention to Floating Wood or Debris

When you chance upon a large piece of floating wood, you can find large game fish in the area, and maybe even enjoy some dolphin encounters, (BraidProducts.com, 2014).

16. If You’re Looking for Tuna, Find the Dolphins

Yellowfin tuna are usually found schooling with dolphins. If you see a group of dolphins, chances are, there are some tuna in the area, (Dodson, 2013).

17. Look Out for Dolphins

The two species often school together, so the dolphins often mark the tuna. Careful though, dolphins are protected so make sure you do not try to catch one, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).

Best Time and Places to Fish

DEEP SEA FISHING BAIT, TACKLE, & GEAR TIPS


 

18. Familiarize Yourself with the Equipment and Bait

If you’re new to saltwater fishing, you’ll notice the equipment and bait are somewhat different from what you might be used to. Knots are different too. Therefore, get familiar with these things before you get out on the ocean. This will help to ensure that you spend more time fishing, and less time trying to tie certain knots properly, (IntracoastalAngler.com, 2015).  

19. Use What You Know

Use only brands of fishing line that you are familiar and comfortable with. Unknown bargain lines will often let you down at the worst moment, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

20.Don’t Use a Wire Leader

Don’t use a wire leader if you can get by with monofilament. You will get more strikes this way. Wire also kinks easily, which may cause it to break. Even toothy fish, like Spanish mackerel and bluefish, can be caught on mono leaders, if the material is heavy enough (at least 50- or 60-pound-test), and if you cut back the mono whenever it begins to look gnawed, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

21. Use the Right Line

If an individual chooses to go “down below” some time, a cod-line is a must for everyone to enjoy saltwater fishing. A perch-line may also be beneficial, and if it’s time for mackerel fishing, a mackerel jig is going to be an excellent aid, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).

22. Cut and Burn

 If you have trouble cutting through a spiderwire braid, try using a lighter or a match, (Dodson, 2013).

23. Tough Knot

The Bimini Twist (also known as the Twenty-Times-Around Knot), is the only knot that maintains 100 percent strength under all conditions. Use it to double the line for a strong leader connection, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

24. Cut Back That Front Part

Change monofilament often. Once it begins to look dull or feel rough, it is no longer strong. At the very least, cut back that front part of the line to remove the weaker section, and then retie the leader, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

25. Big Fish with Rough Lips

Big fish with rough lips require extra-heavy monofilament. It takes 80- to 100-pound test to land a 100-pound tarpon, or 50- to 80- pound tests to land a really big Snook. Casting a long length of that stuff is difficult, so divide the leader into two stages. Keep the heavy stuff short (e.g., 12- to 20- inches), and use lighter (e.g., 30- to 40-pound-test), for the secondary section when fishing around heavy cover or structure, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

26. Quick Sinking

Gel braid lines are more sensitive than monofilament. They also have a smaller diameter that offers less resistance in current, which makes them an excellent choice for fishing lures that sink quickly, especially jigs. They have become very popular with heavy jigs in extremely deep water. Some anglers fish them in depths in excess of 300 feet, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

27. Lubricate a New Reel

Lubricate a new reel to make sure no critical areas were overlooked at the factory. Lube it again at the end of the fishing season, or every six months if you fish throughout the year. Bait casting reels may need a touch on the level wind gears more often. Always use light oil in those areas where grease is not required, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

28. Skip the Swivel

If you must use a wire leader, skip the swivel if possible. Make a loop in the wire with a Haywire Twist, and tie the doubled mono to the wire loop with an Albright knot, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

29. Larger Diameter Line

The Connector Knot is the best way to attach a larger diameter line to a smaller one, because it slips through guides easily, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

30. Circle Hooks

Hook sizes and shapes are critical with all types of bait. Circle hooks, for instance, are popular, because they very rarely hook fish in the throat, and their hookup rate is as good, or better than, the conventional J-hook. Treble hooks are a poor choice for bait fishing since they are easily swallowed and do far more damage than when attached to a lure. Any fish that escapes with a treble hook in the throat is a dead fish, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

31. The Circle Hook

Use a circle hook if you would like a higher hook up ratio. These hooks guarantee more catches because of the minute gap and the reverse point. They are generally better for the fish, since they do not hook in the gut, just the lip, (Pilkington, 2015).

32. Drop a Dropper

When jigging, tie on a salt-water fly, or soft plastic bait above the jig, using a dropper loop. Some theorize that fish are competitive, and since the jig looks like a fish chasing a smaller bait fish, they dart in to steal the food, (Bishop, 2015).

33. Pink Balloons for Live Baiting are Best

Many experts agree that using pink balloons to hold up live bait seems to attract more yellowtail kingfish to the bait. When using a balloon as a float for live bait, remember to tie the balloon off to the rod end of the swivel. If you tie it off to the bait end, you can almost guarantee leader line twists and tangles, (Bishop, 2015).

34. Lures Work Better

Most lures work better if attached to the line or leader with a loop knot. This allows a more natural action for bait, as well, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

35. Lures That Look New and Bright

Fish bite best on lures that look new and bright. Buy only lures you know you will need, and buy just enough to last a few trips. Rinse the used lures, and dry them before returning them to the tackle box, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

36. Noisy Lures

When fishing turbid water, try noisy top water lures. Lures with a rattle or pop, worked slowly, are easy for the fish to locate. Smaller is sometimes the best on calm days, but bigger is better in choppy water, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

37. Know the Bait

Learn what the larger fish are feeding on during each season of the year, and especially when you are fishing for them. True, this is something you need to pay attention to in regards to any type of fishing. However, when it comes to deep sea fishing, you will most likely need to buy a specific type of bait for the best success. Talk to some experienced anglers who specialize in catching the type of fish that you’re going after, (BraidProducts.com, 2014).

38. Change Your Bait Regularly

It’s a good idea to always keep fresh bait on your line when you’re deep sea fishing. If you’re not getting a bite, mix it up and try something new. Listen to the captain and crew for advice, and have some patience, but also try to nix bait that’s not working, (HumanBeing, 2011).

39. Unwanted Transfer  

Be sure to rinse your hands after applying sunscreen while out on the boat. The smell and taste can transfer to the bait you’re handling, causing the fish to stop biting, (BraidProducts.com, 2014).

40. Live Bait Stays in Top Condition

Live bait stays in top condition longer if kept in a well with good circulation. Incoming water is always best, but if that’s not possible, use an aerator. Warm water cannot hold as much oxygen as cool, so temperature is critical. In an aerated, non-circulating system, the water must be changed every few hours to remove waste material that replaces oxygen in the water, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

41. Bottom Bait

If bottom fishing, try using fishing lures, such as, large jigs or heavy-duty rigs to get the baits down deep, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

42. Drifting a Bait

Live and cut baits can both be drifted with a weight, on your line, to keep it near the bottom, or suspended beneath a bobber or popping cork. The difference between this fishing method and bottom fishing is motion. Drift fishing requires some weight to get the bait down, but the motion of the boat moves the bait through the water slowly. You can also drift bait under a bobber or popping cork, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

43. Shrimp, Crabs, and Crustaceans

Shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans can be kept alive and healthy for many hours in an ice chest if they are packed in wet newspaper or damp vegetation so they do not make direct contact with the ice or ice water, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

44. Crabs for a Full Moon

During full moons, use soft crab imitations as bait. That’s the time when crabs shed their shells, and stripers come looking for them, (Dodson, 2013).

45Shark Bait

For bait, you need something that bleeds. Sharks go crazy for blood, so the more the better. The usual suspects for shark bait are tuna, eels, and stingrays, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013). 

46. Chumming

Chumming, or chunking, is an effective addition to the bait fishing techniques you use. By releasing tiny bits of ground up bait, called chum, into the water, you create a scent trail that the fish can follow to your boat and your baits. Chum can be ground fish, creamed corn, cat food, or just about anything that creates a fish-like scent. Simply throw pieces of bait into the water, around where you are fishing, to bring feeding fish close to your boat, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

47. Three Ingredients for Chumming

Chumming requires three ingredients: fresh or fresh-frozen material, a current to carry it, and judicious use. The idea is to create a line of food that draws fish from far away. Toss in too much food over a short period of time, and the fish may hang too far back and simply enjoy a free lunch. Too little chum may not move them at all. Start slowly, and gradually increase the chum until you get results, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

48. Take Care of Your Gear

Keep fishing knives sharp, and cover the blade when not in use, (Benton, 2014). 

49. Soak It In a Bucket

Before storing a reel for any length of time, soak it in a bucket of fresh water for several hours to get all of the saltwater out of the line and the interior corners of the reel, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

Sunscreen Unwanted Transfer

TIPS FOR SALTWATER FISHING TECHNIQUES


 

50. Bottom Fishing

In some instances, fish can be found on the bottom, so the best way to catch them is to put your bait down there, as well. You’ll need a weight or sinker on your line, rigged below your hook, to get your bait down to the bottom and hold it there (try using a 3-way rig). If there is a lot of current, you’ll need a heavier weight. If you rig your weight above your bait in a strong current, the bait will drift back the distance between the two. Once you have dropped your lure or bait, let the bait rest, and float along until you get a bite. Check your bait periodically to ensure it’s still on your hook, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

51. Anchor for Reef Species

For reef dwelling species, such as blackfish, grouper, or snapper, consider anchoring the boat in place with the engines, and then drop baits down to the structure, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

52. Use the Boat to Your Advantage

With many big fish, it is best to keep the boat moving forward to keep the fish from heading down. Keep big fish close to the surface, (Hadley, 2013).

53. Casting

Experienced fishermen cast their line by throwing it as far from the boat, and other lines, as possible.  For beginners, many recommend just dropping the line down, (Kowalick, 1999).

54. Don’t Get Tangled

Keep your lines as straight as possible whenever the boat turns. Try your hardest not to cross lines with anyone. If they do get crossed, and someone gets a fish on the hook, you both will start reeling your lines and cause a tangle, which will be very difficult to get loose without losing the fish, (HumanBeing, 2011).

55. Set the Hook

Many anglers set the hook before the fish has the bait, or lure, well inside its mouth. Better to wait an extra second or two if you cannot see the fish, or wait until you actually see the bait or lure disappear inside the fish’s mouth. A good way to time this is to wait until you feel a lot of pressure on the line from the fish, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

56. Trolling

The best deep-sea fishing techniques involve trolling with natural or artificial baits, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

57. Fast and Slow Trolls

For high-speed predatory fish such as tuna, wahoo and billfish, try fast-trolling fishing lures and slow-troll live baits, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).

58. Don’t Give Up on a Spot Too Soon

Successful saltwater fishing demands patience. It can be tempting to leave one spot for another if the fish haven’t been biting, but be wary about leaving a spot too early. Instead, try at least two different lures, or bait, and make sure you cast to every point in the area that looks promising, (IntracoastalAngler.com, 2015).  

59. Avoid the Sharks

Sharks in the region will disturb individuals from finding and catching fish. By pouring some fish blood on a paper towel, rolling it into a ball, and tossing it overboard, sharks will follow the current and vacate the location, surely increasing the likelihood of catching fish, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).

60. Detecting a Sticky Drag

Put the reel on a rod, thread the line through the guides, and have a friend, partner, child, or Husky, pull off line, while walking briskly away. Hold the rod at about 45 degrees. If the rod tip ‘nods’ up and down, as line is pulled off against the drag, you’ve got a problem. Fortunately, a sticky drag is easily fixed by a quick trip to the tackle shop, (Bishop, 2015).

61. Fish the Edges First

You need to always try the borders of the perimeter, first, instead of plopping your bait or lure at the center, because it will scare the other fish away. By going through the edges first, one will gain a much better chance of capturing unsuspecting fish in the middle, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).

62. Leave the Work to the Rod

Let the rod do the work once you know you have solidly hooked the fish. Let the guides, water resistance of the line, line elasticity, and drag work together to tire the fish, (Hadley, 2013).

63. Pull & Reel

Work the fish closer to you by pulling the rod tip up, then reeling rapidly as you drop the tip down, (Hadley, 2013).

64. No Slack!

Avoid creating slack in the line at any time. This can enable the fish to spit out the hook, or break your line, (Hadley, 2013).

65. Wear Out Big Fish Before Landing Them on the Boat

Big game fish can be dangerous. It’s better to tire the fish out, and avoid bringing it to the boat “green”, (Hadley, 2013). 

66. Let the Crew Help You Bring in Your Catch

Large game fish can be difficult to reel in, so it’s important to listen to specific instructions, and do as you’re told. Assistants may help to set the lure, and let you do the hard muscle work, or they may have other ways of working. Just listen closely, and stay out of the way, if you can’t help, (Jakesoup, 2014).

67. Keep Your Back Straight

 The fish will be heading out and towards the bottom of the ocean floor, pulling you into the boat’s railing. Keep your back straight, with contraction of your core muscles. This will support your back best. With some fish, you will have to slump over the rail. Habitually, you will want to stand up using your back, (Clough, 2014).

68. Stagger Your Feet 

Staggering your feet allows a more upright position, and will better prepare you for that huge tug as you hook up a fish, (Clough, 2014).

69. Anchor Your Rod

 Use your body to support your fishing rod, and it will alleviate some of the strain on your back. Try placing the end of your rod in your side, about 3 inches to the left of your belly button. Using your body helps to stabilize the rod, which allows one to use his or her legs, and keep their core muscles tight, as the fish is reeled in, (Clough, 2014).

70. Bend Backwards

After a successful fishing trip, and reeling in that huge prize winning fish, bend backwards a few times to counteract the forward force that your body just fought against, (Clough, 2014).

71. Use the Waves  

 Even if the fish you have hooked up isn’t too big, the ocean can fight against you. Here are a few tips to fight back. Wait for the boat to go up the wave. Once at the top, wind, wind, wind, wind as you ride down the wave! This allows the wave to bring up your rod, saving your arms and body the trouble of pulling up on a fighting fish against the swells of the ocean, (Clough, 2014).

72. Follow Your Fish

The fish will move sideways, and even swim all the way around the boat. Follow it! Torquing your body at different angles is stressful on your back. Staying in front of your fish, and moving your feet with it, will help keep the fish on the line, as well, (Clough, 2014)!

Saltwater Fishing Techniques

DEEP SEA FISHING: CATCH & RELEASE TIPS


 

73. Feel It Move

A fish that appears tired and lethargic may need some help. If you simply toss it back in the water, it will likely sink and die. Moving it back and forth in still water or facing it upstream in current will get its respiratory system back in operation a lot faster. Wait until you can feel the fish beginning to move on its own before letting it go, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).

74. Gut Hooked

If a fish is gut hooked, just cut the leader or line as close to the hook as possible, and then release the fish. Acids in the body of the fish will dissolve the hook, literally, within days (King, 2006).

75. Gaffing

NEVER gaff a fish you plan to release. Open wounds from a gaff invite infection and draw predators, (King, 2006)!

76. Do Not Be a Surgeon

If you hook a fish deep in its mouth, then do not attempt to surgically remove the hook. Instead, cut the line as close to the hook as possible so the fish’s internal organs and gills do not get compromised in the process. Do NOT go up through the gills to access a deep hook, (Simonds, 2015).

77. Check for decompression problems

A fish’s swim bladder (used for buoyancy) can uncontrollably expand when getting pulled up from the depths too quickly and render it unable to get back down (they’ll just float upside down on the surface and die from exposure, or from a predator coming in for an easy meal).Traditionally, anglers use a venting tool to de-inflate the fish’s swim bladder, (Simonds, 2015).

Catch and Release Tips

TIPS TO PREVENT SEASICKNESS WHILE DEEP SEA FISHING


 

78. Take Measures to Prevent Seasickness

You might want to adopt some precautionary actions, and ask a physician for seasickness medicine before your departure, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).

79. Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is an important factor to consider if you are a novice who has never gone out deep sea fishing. The purpose of the trip is supposed to be exhilarating fun. It will turn out quite differently than expected if you are prone to motion sickness. There are medications you can take to alleviate some of the symptoms, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).

80. Avoid Seasickness by Looking Up and Out

At the most basic level, seasickness is a matter of sensory mismatch. When you’re sitting on a boat that’s rolling on the water, the body, inner ear, and eyes all send different signals to the brain. Your brain gets confused, and you get queasy. Stop tinkering with your computer and equipment, and look out on the horizon, which usually appears very stable. Your peripheral vision will see the ocean swells that you feel. The whole picture will make more sense to your brain. Likewise, brace yourself at the center of the boat where the rocking and rolling is less amplified, (Yeager, 2015).

81. Don’t Have Sea Legs

Watch the horizon and stay on deck. This would generally help you if you’re having trouble with sea sickness. Stay away from the boat fumes, because breathing fumes only exacerbates the problem, (Dodson, 2013).

82. Be Clean and Sober

Even a mild hangover can easily degenerate into seasickness, besides increasing various diving risks. Likewise, fatigue predisposes you to seasickness, (Yeager, 2015).

83. Relax

Anxiety contributes to seasickness. Those who are frightened by the ocean and the movement of the boat, or anxious about the diving later in the day, are more likely to become seasick, (Yeager, 2015).

84. Apply Some Pressure to Minimize Seasickness

For centuries, traditional Chinese medicine has included acupuncture or acupressure on the inside of the wrist, at a spot called P6, as a way to suppress the nausea associated with motion sickness, (Yeager, 2015).

85. Breathe the Ocean Air

Prevent motion sickness by keeping your face to the wind and breathing fresh air as much as possible. Do not swallow the air (that will make it worse) – breathe deeply through your nose.  The goal is to relax.  The smell of fresh salt air is actually soothing, and can help to eliminate nausea, (Ellis, 2013).

86. Do Not Drink Excessive Amounts of Coffee

Drinking coffee, in general, is a bad idea before you go to sea: 1.) It is bad for your digestive system. 2.) It increases the need to defecate. 3.) It fills your stomach with a thick liquid, and a bad aftertaste, (Ellis, 2013).

87. Do Not Go Below Deck, in the Cabin, or near an AC Unit

Going inside the cabin of a boat, rolling around at sea, is a surefire way to get seasick.  You need fresh air.  Even if it’s raining or cold, stay outside, (Ellis, 2013).

88. Avoiding Seasickness

Don’t want to get sea sick?  Don’t stare at people who get sea sick, (Ellis, 2013).

89. Don’t Lay Down

If you lay on your back, stomach, or side while in rolling seas, you will get sea sick. Stay on your feet, sit only when you have to, and stay active.  When you move around, you will bend your knees and compensate for the movement of the waves, (Ellis, 2013).

90. Avoid Exhaustion

Exhaustion interferes with the vestibular system’s habituation process.  If you’re well rested, your body and mind will be ready to handle whatever comes their way, to the best of their abilities. Depriving your body of the REM cycle it needs to recuperate, and “balance” your metabolism, is a ticket to a long miserable day at sea, (Ellis, 2013).

Tips for Avoiding Seasickness

BASIC SAFETY TIPS FOR DEEP SEA FISHING


 

91. Wear a Life Vest

If using a boat to fish, wear your life jacket and make sure that your passengers wear theirs, too, (Benton, 2014). 

92. Inspect Waterfronts Daily

The natural environment is subject to change without notice, (Benton, 2014). 

93. Don’t Fish in Areas Where it is Not Permitted

These areas have been declared “off limits” from fishing to protect wildlife and vegetation, or for your safety.  When choosing a site for fishing, always consider safety factors, (Benton, 2014). 

94. Consider Safety Factors

When choosing a site for fishing, always consider safety factors. Because fishing is practiced in a variety of environments, evaluate factors specific to safety in each environment, (Benton, 2014). 

95. Pay Attention to the Weather

Weather is always a factor. Set up a weather committee, or rotate weather forecasting responsibilities, (Benton, 2014). 

96. Have Basic Safety Gear

Bring along extra safety items, such as water, flashlights, maps, and a cellphone or radio, (Benton, 2014). 

97. Wear the Right Shoes

Always wear footwear appropriate for the conditions, (Benton, 2014). 

98. Protect Yourself from the Elements

Stay dry, warm, and protected from the elements. Wear a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.Wear thin layers of clothing, and progress outward to include water and wind protection as the final layer, (Benton, 2014). 

99. Use Bug Spray

Use appropriate insect protection measures, including dressing properly and using repellents, (Benton, 2014). 

100. Don’t Just Grab the Fish

Handle fish carefully, (Benton, 2014). 

101. Go With Experts

It is always a good idea to have at least one person on board who knows a lot about deep sea fishing. A novice group should never travel alone, as this is a sport that holds a lot more danger than the average fishing trip. There are plenty of excellent deep sea fishing guides who can make your trip both fun and safe. It is also a recommended to find as much deep sea fishing info and learning materials as possible before heading out, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).

Safety Fishing Tips

References

Benton, J. (2014, February 16).  Safety photo of the day: Catch anything? EHS Safety News America. Retrieved from

http://ehssafetynewsamerica.com/2014/02/16/safety-photo-of-the-day-catch-anything/.

Braid Products, Inc. (2014, January 20). Tips for deep sea fishing. Retrieved from https://www.braidproducts.com/tips-deep-sea-fishing/.

Brown, D. A. (2014, November 17). Saltwater fishing tips: Tactics for flats drifting. Retrieved from

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/gone-fishin%E2%80%99/saltwater-fishing-tips-tactics-flats-drifting.

Clough, S. (2014, July 10). Deep sea fishing: 7 Tips for prevention of low back pain. Retrieved from

https://www.athletico.com/2014/07/10/deep-sea-fishing-7-tips-prevention-low-back-pain/.

Dodson, S. J. (2013). Learning how to fish. Clinton Gilkie. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?

id=HhhpKl6InREC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=be%20one%20with%20nature&f=false.

Ellis, C. (2013, June 04). Seasickness prevention: How to avoid sea sickness on a fishing charter. Retrieved from

http://fishingcharters.com/blog/seasickness/.

Field and Stream, (2015). 25 Tips for saltwater fishing. Retrieved from

http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/fishing/saltwater/2006/12/25-tips-saltwater-fishing.

Hadley, C. (2013, November 01). How to reel in a large fish. WikiHow. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Reel-in-a-Large-Fish.

How to Catch Fish Network. (2014, June 27). Tips for saltwater fishing. Retrieved from

http://www.howtocatchfishnetwork.com/saltwater-fishing-tips/tips-for-saltwater-fishing/.

HumanBeing. (2011, May 03). How to deep sea fish. WikiHow. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Deep-Sea-Fish.

Intracoastal Angler, (2015, June 16). 8 Saltwater fishing tips for landing the big one.  Retrieved from

http://www.intracoastalangler.com/whats-biting/8-saltwater-fishing-tips-for-landing-the-big-one.

Jakesoup. (2014, September 19).How to Deep Sea Fish. WikiHow. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Deep-Sea-Fish.

King, K. (2006, July 12). Catch and release. KakiPancing.net. Retrieved from http://bb.kakipancing.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=134.

Kowalick, V. (1999, August 14).Be prepared for first deep-sea fishing trip. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/aug/14/sports/sp-209.

Pilkington, N., (2015). Discover Boating: Deep Sea Fishing Tips. Retrieved from

http://www.discoverboating.com/resources/article.aspx?id=368.

Simonds, L. (2015, July 03). Must know catch and release fishing tips for saltwater anglers. SaltStrong.com. Retrieved

from http://www.saltstrong.com/articles/catch-and-release-fishing-tips/.

TakeMeFishing.org. (2015). Deep-sea fishing. Retrieved from

http://takemefishing.org/fishing/saltwater-fishing/where-to-fish/deep-sea-fishing/.

TakeMeFishing.org. (2015). Fishing techniques. Retrieved from

 http://takemefishing.org/fishing/fishopedia/how-to-fish/fishing-techniques/.

World Fishing Network. (2013, July 07). Deep Sea fishing. Retrived from http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/tips/post/deep-sea-fishing.

Yeager, S. (2015). The healthy diver: 15 Tips for avoiding seasickness. Sportdiver. Retrieved from

http://www.sportdiver.com/learn-to-dive/article/healthy-diver-15-tips-avoiding-seasickness.

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2016 Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo

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DESTIN FISHING RODEO 1954 Image by Destin Fishing & History Museum via New Orleans Magazine.

Destin’s Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

Destin’s Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has roots dating back to 1948 when a sense of community embraced the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village to promote compassion and well-being for fellow fisherman and families. What started as a three day special event to extend the fishing season a little further has now blossomed into a month long fishing tournament filled with festivities that cater to the whole family. Visitors from all over the world now travel to Destin every year during the month of October for one of the biggest annual deep sea fishing tournaments. From championship fishing teams to toddlers and teens, there is something for everyone during Destin’s Annual Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

Blessings from the past continue to overwhelm the coast as an abundant harvest of the most desirable fish in the Gulf of Mexico are brought to shore by anglers aboard Destin’s finest charter boats. To describe this annual event as anything short of glorious is an understatement.  The amazing encounters of unbelievable and record-breaking saltwater fish caught, during the month of October, entices locals, visitors, and retired fisherman to grace the dock for a glimpse of the daily catch and weigh-in boards.

Harvesting Harbor Blessings

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Roy H. Martin displays the reason he holds 19 world fishing records at the Destin Rodeo in 1956. Image by Karl E. Holland via State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

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A boy and his large catch of fish at the Destin Rodeo 1955. Image by Francis P. Johnson via State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory..

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Captain Wheeler and crew with 455 Pound Marlin. 1972. Image by Karin Linick via State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

Destin was founded as a fishing village in 1835 when Leonard Destin, a fisherman from New London, Connecticut, discovered one of the best kept secret saltwater hot spots that the world would ever come to know.

As quality marine saltwater species rely on deep waters to live, reproduce, and grow to colossal size,Destin’s prominent access to deep waters distinguishes its position as the most desirable sports, recreational, and commercial fishing location in the Gulf of Mexico.

With a mere 10 miles from the shore line, anglers aboard Destin charter boats are already hitting some great spots, which means paying for less travel time and larger quantities of quality saltwater fish than anywhere else on the Gulf CoastWith over 175 years of family secrets passed through the bloodlines of the founding fishermen of Destin, experienced captains know exactly where to reel-in the finest fish in the Gulf of Mexico. The ability to deliver surpasses the expectations of customers, and brings them back for more each year after their first taste of glory.


Jake Brashears, official Rodeo Photographer

The 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo

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Weigh Master Bruce Cheves with a day’s weigh-in during the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo

Destin is already recognized as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and the “Billfish Capital of the Gulf.” The annual rodeo is a celebration of the blessings given to these legendary fishermen with participation from over 30,000 saltwater anglers from all over, who come to compete for bragging rights, prizes, and cash. With Destin’s annual rodeo growing in reputation as the “Ultimate Saltwater Tournament,” the prizes and awards grow even more elaborate each year. Booking a charter with a registered captain automatically qualifies all anglers to enter the tournament with no additional charge, and you are still in the running for award winning placement at the weigh-ins.

There are 26 divisions for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, consisting of over 30 species of fish, in seniors, ladies, juniors, and teen subdivisions, with rewards for the top daily, weekly, overall, andjackpot catches. The sense of community from 1948 is still maintained today, as registered charter boat captains volunteer their time and sponsor several of the rewards for top winners, totaling over $100,000.00 in cash and prizes. When you charter a vessel registered with Destin’s Fishing Rodeo, your chances are great for a prize catch.

Red Snapper Weekends

Red snapper is a favorite for many anglers who visit Destin, Florida. This year holds some exciting news for fishermen heading to Destin, Florida this fall. Red snapper weekends will be open for harvest in state waters on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as well as Labor Day, from September through October 31st.

If you are one of the many anglers who enjoy fishing for Red Snapper, you’ll want to get your charter together soon. The first days to fill up during the Destin Fishing Rodeo are always Saturdays and Sundays just as a result of the convenience of not missing a work day.

For information on availability during weekend snapper fishing for September and October, call Captain Jason at 850-837-6800, or BOOK NOW.

Shark Saturdays

Shark Saturdays Destin Fishing RodeoShark Saturdays are one of the most exciting events in the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. Anglers are allowed one entry for the day, and since the entry with the largest shark wins, the shark hunters are aiming for the big ones. Over the years, we’ve seen some massive sharks come in from the gulf.

This October, the Saturdays will give those hanging out for the weigh-ins a thrill to remember. The slogan for the 2016 Shark Saturdays tournament is Hang ‘Em High. The higher the shark hangs, the bigger the shark.

If observing the sharks coming in is not enough excitement to get your blood pumping,BOOK YOUR SHARK HUNT TODAY. Shark trips in October are very popular, and must be booked well in advance. Remember, cash prizes are given to the angler who brings in the largest shark.

For the best chances of catching a winning bull shark or mako, we recommend an overnight charter leaving Friday nights in October to set up with plenty of time to catch some other entry fish while we’re out, and to get back to the weigh-ins at AJ’s on Saturday.

Fish the Days and Rock the Nights

What’s better than a Saturday of deep sea fishing in Destin, Florida? Well, nothing really. But to make an even better experience, HarborWalk Village will be hosting a party every Saturday night in October, beginning October 1st from 7:00 PM through 9:30 PM. Fireworks will light up the Destin Harbor at 9:00 PM. The Fish the Days and Rock the Nights event is free to the public, so bring the family down, watch the rodeo weigh-ins behind AJ’s from 10AM-7PM, and then head to the village for live entertainment, music, and the freshest local seafood that you can find! The Fish the Days and Rock the Nights event is shared with a variety of fall activities along the Destin Harbor, so visitors of all ages are welcome to join in on the fun!

A Fishing Tournament for the Whole Family

Destin Fishing Rodeo for kids

Children with their winning catches at the Destin Fishing Rodeo. Image courtesy of Destin Fishing Rodeo

Deep sea fishing tournaments are huge for avid fishermen of all backgrounds. What makes the Destin Fishing Rodeo stand apart from other tournaments is the emphasis placed on children during the event. The biggest  investment that the fishing communities across America have is in our children. The Destin Fishing Rodeo is a time to involve children and families in the traditions of coastal living.

Every child that enters a fish weighing at least 1 pound into the tournament will win a rod and reel, and they’ll receive an official rodeo certificate. This is not one of those everyone gets a trophy for trying organizations. Instead, the deep sea fishing community of Destin, Florida aims to plant a seed of inspiration into the hearts of young children who have the opportunity to experience a true love for fishing.

A wise man once said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That’s exactly what we intend to do with these children participating in the fishing rodeo. Teaching a child to love the sport of fishing ensures that the respect and passion for our saltwater resources will continue to thrive long after today’s generation of fishermen retire. After all, we’ll need some of these youngsters to go out and catch us some snappers some day.

So, bring your children down to fish in the Destin Fishing Rodeo. Make it an annual tradition, and consider an investment into both your child and the future of our fishing community. There are several events geared towards children of all ages, and lots of stories to hear from the famous Bruce Cheves who delights in sharing his stories of victorious catches with little ones.

The Reel Bottom Line

  • The 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo lasts from October 1st through October
    31st
  • Weigh-ins are held behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar where anglers will meet Bruce Cheves, the official Rodeo Weigh-master, and the 2016 Miss Destin, Sydney Curry.
  • Several events and festivities run throughout the month of October to sustain the excitement and celebration of the harvest, including Destin’s Seafood Festival, the Kid’s Fall Festival and Wagon Parade, the Ringing of the Bell Ceremony, the Rootin Tootin Rodeo Round-Up, and the Halloween on the Harbor Party.
  • Shark Saturdays will run every Saturday in October, including the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. Anglers with the biggest catch will win the cash prize.
  • Daily, weekly, and overall winners are awarded over $100,000.00 in cash and prizes.
  • Senior, Ladies, Teen, and Junior divisions ensure fun for the whole family.
  • Once you fish during a Fishing Rodeo in the Destin waters, you’ll be hooked on the tradition for years to come.

Destin Fishing Rodeo: Florida’s Emerald Coast

The sooner that you book your charter for Destin’s Annual Fishing Rodeo, the better. This is a prime-time harvest season and some of the best fishing that you will encounter during your lifetime. Making a reservation will guarantee your place as you embark on the legendary adventures of deep sea fishing in Destin.Tournament entry fees are covered with your charter. For the best chances to gain a top spot on the weigh-in boards, it is recommended to charter a boat with a seasoned captain and a reputation for hooking the Big Ones.

So, what are you waiting for? The 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo is just around the corner. BOOK NOW 

 

The 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo Event Schedule

 

2016 Destin Seafood Festival

The 38th Annual Destin Seafood Festival Poster courtesy of the Destin Seafood Festival.

September 30th – October 2nd

FRI.   4:00 pm – 10:00 pm / SAT. 10:00 am – 10:00 pm / SUN. 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

The 38th Annual Destin Seafood Festival along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is free to the public, and is a great event to attend during Destin’s Fishing Rodeo. Live entertainment is provided by local bands on four stages along the harbor including the Destin City Stage, the Heron Stage, AJ’s Game Stage, and HarborWalk’s Village Main Stage. The East Pass Marina and HarborWalk Village are designated Kid Fun Zones with several activities to keep children entertained for hours. Kid Fun Zones consist of a petting zoo, pony rides, games, Hamster balls, a rock climbing wall, and a zip line over the festival crowds. The Annual Mingo Toss is held at the Royal Melvin Heritage Park on Sunday from 11:30 am through 1:00 pm. With a name like Destin’s Seafood Festival, this event is essentially the biggest seafood tasting venue to ever hit the Gulf Coast. With access to over 15 food vendors and 13 restaurants along the harbor, the Destin Seafood Festival will fill your hunger for coastal cuisine. Destin’s unique style is captured by local skilled artists who display their inspirational creations along the harbor during the festival. There is truly something for everyone at the 38th Annual Destin Seafood Festival, and as the 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo launches on October 01, visitors are offered a front row seat for daily catches approaching the shore.



Saturday, October 1st – 31st 2016

10:00 am – 7:00 pm

The 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo will officially begin on October 01, 2016 and continue through October 31, 2016.

Weigh-ins are held on the dock behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar each day where you will find Bruce Cheves, the Rodeo Weigh-master, and meet the 2016 Miss Destin, Sydney Cuury.

The weigh-in event is free to the public, and so are the stories told by the legendary Weigh-master. Anglers will bring their catch of the day to be weighed for placement on the board and have their photos taken with Miss Destin.



5 (1)Shark Saturdays/ 
Fish the Days and Rock the Nights

October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th

Each Saturday in the month of October will be deemed Shark Saturday. The 2016 slogan for Shark Saturday is Hang ‘Em High. The bigger the shark, the higher they’ll hang. Cash prizes are given to the angler who reels-in the largest shark. BOOK YOUR SHARK CHARTER NOW.

Following the weigh-ins behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, HarborWalk Village will host a dock party every Saturday night in October. Live music, seafood, and fun for the whole family will last from 7:00-9:30 PM.  Fireworks will light up the harbor at 9:00 PM for this weekly celebration during Destin’s Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.


Destin Rodeo Run

Destiin Rodeo Run. Image Source: Active.com

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Destin 5K Rodeo Run: Participants will gather at the Clement E. Taylor Park on Calhoun Drive to participate in the annual 3.1 mile flat course. There is a $25 entry fee, and the proceeds will support the Ronald McDonald’s House and the Miss Destin Scholarship Fund. Click here to register. Early packet pick-up will be on Thursday, September 29th – 4:00 pm6:00 pm and Friday, September 30th – 11:00 am1:00 pm at the Destin Community Center located at 103 Stahlman Avenue in Destin.  An award ceremony will follow the 5K run at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar with free beer and refreshments for participants. Children, wheelchairs, and strollers are welcome in this event.


Friday, October 07, 2016

e34a0b16556a8ee0.KidsWagonKids Fall Festival and Wagon Boat Parade

Kid’s Fall Festival: From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar will host the Kid’s Fall Festival with live music, arts and crafts, face painting, games, and a Home Depot workshop at no cost to participants.

Elementary aged children are encouraged to participate in the Kid’s Wagon Boat Parade following the festival from 5:00 pm6:00 pm. Each year, children design and parents help construct their own wagons to resemble nautical vessels for the parade on the harbor. With Fall Break coming up, the kids will have plenty of time to work on their wagons and present their fun ideas for the parade.


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bruce Cheves Day, as proclaimed by the City of Destin. Join the gathering of men, women, and children to hear the epic tales of the official Rodeo Weigh-master, Bruce, during his heyday at sea. Bring him a fish, and he’ll make you famous!

Ringing of the Bell Ceremony: At 5:00 pm Bruce will honor the legendary lives of Destin’s loved ones as he leads the annual Ringing of the Bell ceremony at the weigh station behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.


 

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Rootin Tootin Rodeo Round Okaloosa Island Image by: The Destin Log: Rodeo Rap

Saturday, October 15, 2016

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Rootin Tootin Rodeo Round-Up: The first 150 anglers (AGES 12 and UNDER), are invited to the Okaloosa Island Pier for a morning of fishing, prizes, and lunch. Registration for the event is $10.00 for each present child the morning of the event from 8:00 to 8:45 am, unless the maximum number of anglers (150) is reached before the end of registration. Fishing will begin at 9:00 am and last until 11:00 am. These lucky young anglers will receive a tee-shirt, bait, a rod and reel to keep, and lunch. Parents and pier fees are included in the $10 registration fee.


 

18Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween on the Harbor: Locals declare Halloween on the Harbor as the largest Halloween Party in Destin, Florida. Everyone is invited to join the 68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo’s Fleet, judges, and Miss Destin in wrapping up another abundant harvest of great fishing. Wear your costume, and witness the closing of the rodeo with a huge party complete with a fireworks finale sponsored by AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.


 

destin-fishing-rodeoFriday, November 04, 2016

68th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo Awards: AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar will host the gathering to present the award winning Captains, Anglers, and Mates who will hold the overall records for the upcoming year! These fishermen are truly the luckiest of “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village!”


 

 

Written By: Jessica Baggett

September 29, 2015

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