Fishing Destin, Florida

Destin Harbor, Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin's East Pass, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Destin Harbor, Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin’s East Pass, and the Gulf of Mexico. Image Source: LiveDestinFl.com

Destin is one of the hottest deep sea fishing locations in the southeast region of America. As a matter of fact, Destin was coined the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” in the 19th century, and the port continues to thrive with the same bountiful success that put Destin on the map as a top deep sea fishing destination. Today, Destin is home to the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida. Millions of visitors flock to the area each year to experience the adventurous tradition of abundance and blessings in deep sea fishing that founded the city of Destin so long ago.

What sets Destin apart from other fishing locations along the Gulf of Mexico?  

It’s all about location and migration. Destin has the quickest access to deep blue water that is unrivaled by any other port along the coast. Big game fish, like marlin, wahoo, sailfish, tuna, and dolphin feed on other game species that live in deep blue water. For fishing enthusiasts who target big saltwater game, this means less travel time and more prime deep sea fishing. Destin’s close proximity to the 100 fathom curve makes it the most desirable port to visit for a larger variety of big sports fish.

Map Gulf of Mexico Seafloor

Depth Map for Gulf of Mexico Seafloor. Image Source: Texas A&M University

Destin’s temperature changes also play a pivotal role in the making of the best fishing location along the gulf coast. As temperatures change throughout the seasons, fish migrate to different locations in the gulf, and Destin’s easy access to deep water makes year-round fishing possible for a variety of targeted game species. We’ve all seen birds fly south for the winter to encounter a warmer climate during colder months, and the same habits are found in saltwater fish that prefer tropical temperatures. The habitual migrations of saltwater species make for successful year-round fishing adventures in waters easily accessed by Destin’s fishermen.

Where to Catch Fish in Destin, Florida

There are numerous options for sinking your hook in Destin, Florida waters. Whether you desire fishing from the shore, inshore, nearshore, or offshore, Destin has a sweet spot to fit everyone’s call to the water.

Beaches, Piers, and Docks

From the shore, the city of Destin allows visitors to fish on piers, docks, the beach, and even the Jetties. From shore, you have the chance to catch baitfish, redfish, bluefish, whiting, sheepshead, pompano, Spanish and king mackerel, bonito, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, flounder, sharks, and possibly even and cobia in the right season. There are some rules to follow when fishing from the shore. You must have a Florida fishing license, supply your own bait, tackle, and equipment, understand Florida State Regulations for limits, and be willing to learn about where and when fish are running, and on what bait they target. Some of the most popular shore fishing locations in Destin includes the Okaloosa Island Pier and the Jetties.

Jetties Destin

Jetties Destin. Image Source: Fishing Destin Guide.com

For families with small children, the best option for fishing from the shore is the Okaloosa Island Pier. They do charge an entrance fee, but the fishing license is included. Rods and reels can be rented from the pier, and you have access to game fish that come close to the shore.


The East and West Jetties offer an adventurous alternative to the pier. The Jetties are long stretches of bolder rocks that are located at the mouth of the East Pass, which is where the charter boats exit the harbor and enter the Gulf of Mexico. You must acquire your own license and bring all of your equipment to fish the Jetties. Because the area is hard to maneuver between the rocks, and tides can change to thrust water above the rocks, the Jetties are not suitable for children or novice fishermen who are unfamiliar with the daily tides and dangers that are posed by gaps in the bolder rocks.

Bay Fishing

Bay fishing is a great experience for fishermen who would rather stay inshore along the Choctawhatchee Bay, the bayous, and inlets into the gulf. You can fish from the shore to catch bay fish, but most anglers opt for a boating excursion to reach the hotspots of the Choctawhatchee Bay. If you don’t have a boat, you can always charter one, which includes license, bait, and tackle. Bay fishermen usually target Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, and Sheepshead, but there are many more species found around the inlets. Light tackle is commonly used for bay fishing in Destin. Though the bay can reach depths of over 40 feet in some places, the average depth of Choctawhatchee bay is less than 20 feet.

Nearshore Fishing

Hero Shots Deep sea fishing Destin, FL

Deep Sea Fishing with Jason Mikel of Finest Kind Charters

Nearshore fishing is one of the most popular and exciting fishing opportunities offered in the Destin area. Chartering a boat is the best option for nearshore fishing. The knowledge and skills of a captain and his crew will give you the advantage of fishing the right locations with the best equipment, bait, and tackle to hook up with some great fish and make lasting memories. If you’ve never been deep sea fishing, or you are bringing along small children, a half day, nearshore fishing trip is a great introduction to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Common techniques for nearshore fishing include trolling for Spanish and king mackerel, bonito, and sight fishing for cobia, in their given season of migration, as well as the opportunity to encounter some bottom fishing wrecks and reefs for a variety of snapper, grouper, and amberjacks. You’ll also have the opportunity to hook up with a variety of  native sharks. Nearshore fishing is usually within about 8 miles of the shoreline, where you will be in Florida state waters. You can typically see the shore on a nearshore fishing trip, but the possibilities of what you’ll pull up are endless. The seasonal migrations and regulations vary for each species throughout the year, which makes the assistance of a charter captain and his crew indispensable during your charter.

Bait, license, and tackle are included in your charter, and the crew’s knowledge of saltwater regulations offers protection from unknowingly breaking the rules of harvestable fish. Visit Planning the Greatest Deep Sea Fishing Adventure of Your Life to learn more about how to plan a great fishing charter.

Offshore Fishing

Offshore Catch Destin FL Captain Jason Mikel

Offshore Catch with Captain Jason Mikel of the Finest Kind Destin, Florida

The ultimate experience of deep sea fishing in Destin, Florida is offshore fishing. These fishing trips are the ones that put Destin on the map for the most popular fishing destination in the Gulf of Mexico. The success of trolling and bottom fishing during offshore fishing trips has made the charter fishing fleet of Destin what it is today. For saltwater fishing enthusiasts, a Destin offshore charter is a must. Traveling further out into the Gulf of Mexico for full day and overnight charters gives customers the ultimate advantage for landing trophy fish and opening the door to hooking the big ones that dwell in the depths of blue waters. Whether you are a novice or an expert fisherman with a recreational vessel of your own, chartering a great captain and crew for an offshore fishing adventure out of Destin is an all-inclusive experience of a lifetime that offers the opportunity to gain ground on prime fishing spots for big game like marlin, sailfish, swordfish, wahoo, dolphin, tuna, monstrous snapper, grouper, cobia, and amberjacks, a variety of sharks, and dozens of deep dwelling saltwater species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Bait, license, and tackle are included on offshore fishing charters, and you will be in the company of experienced professionals who fish the waters daily with an expertise in the hottest locations for finding the best catch that the gulf has to offer. Like nearshore fishing, offshore fishing conditions change from season to season and day to day, and with the state and federal saltwater fishing regulations changing more frequently, the knowledge of the captain and crew provide an opportunity for a quality experience that follows necessary regulations and puts your group on top of fish. Visit Planning the Greatest Deep Sea Fishing Adventure of Your Life to learn more about deep sea fishing options.

Who Can Reserve a Deep Sea Fishing Charter?

You can! Essentially anyone who desires to go deep sea fishing can charter their own captain and crew for a professionally guided fishing experience out of the Destin, Florida harbor. There are no age limits, and the skills and knowledge of the captain and crew will provide customers with every detail of deep sea fishing throughout your adventure, no matter your level of experience. If you don’t know what bait to use, they not only provide the bait, but they offer the best bait for the targeted species of fish. If you don’t have a rod and reel, no problem! Your charter includes the highest quality equipment on the market today. You decide your level of involvement with your fishing experience. The mates are there to teach you and to assist in every way from baiting your hook, to filleting your fish, while providing entertainment throughout your charter. Your captain’s experience on the water is the most valuable aspect of your deep sea fishing encounters, as his knowledge of coordinates and migratory habits of each species will set you up for the most exciting and memorable adventure of your life. Chartering a deep sea fishing trip in Destin, Florida is one of the most thrilling experiences that you’ll ever witness. Once you hook a fish in the Gulf of Mexico, the fishing will in return hook you with memories and the desire to do it again. Many customers, from small families to corporate groups and celebrities, return to Destin every year to relive the excitement of deep sea fishing after their first taste of the charter experience.

The Best Choice for a Deep Sea Fishing Charter in Destin, Florida

Finest Kind Charter Boat Destin, Florida

The Finest Kind Charter Boat

So, you know that you can’t pass this experience up, and you are wondering how to book your deep sea fishing charter! Chartering the Finest Kind is a highly recommended opportunity by experienced customers who have ventured into the Gulf of Mexico. Offering half day, ¾ day, full day, and overnight options for private and group charters opens the door for flexibility to fit any fishing desire and budget. The Finest Kind is a 53’ G&S Sportfish customized charter boat equipped with twin turbo-charged Cummins diesel engines. Built for the highest quality comfort and entertainment found in deep sea fishing vessels, the Finest Kind offers a temperature controlled cabin, satellite television, a restroom, and state-of-the-art fishing equipment. The charter includes everything that you’ll need for your fishing experience. The only thing that you need to bring is your cooler with snacks and drinks for the trip. To learn more about the rates and fishing opportunities with the Finest Kind, Click Here, or call Captain Jason Mikel to learn more about the current fishing forecast at 850-837-6800!

Captain Jason Mikel of the Finest Kind

Captain Jason Mikel of the Finest Kind

Captain Jason Mikel of the Finest Kind

The captain and crew of the Finest Kind are committed to making your deep sea fishing adventure the absolute best experience of your Destin, Florida vacation. In fact, the name in itself is representative of the idea to deliver a day with the finest kind of fishing that the Gulf of Mexico has to offer. Captain Jason Mikel is one of the most incredible fishermen in all of Destin’s charter fleet, with a reputation for putting customers on top of the fish, and designing the best trip for the specific needs of each customer or group. With over twenty years of experience, this fourth generation captain has the skills and knowledge necessary to exceed the expectations of customers who reserve his services. Captain Mikel specializes in creating one of a kind fishing adventures that fit the daily conditions by considering weather patterns, the best locations for targeted fish, and the desires of the customer to make your charter the highlight of your Destin, Florida vacation. Captain Mikel has also hand-picked his crew members who share common goals in delivering the best customer service to enhance your experience through teaching and assisting you during your deep sea fishing charter. Call Captain Mikel personally to discuss your deep sea fishing charter reservation at 850-837-6800, or request more information about reserving your charter by filling out the Charter Reservation Request Form.