Notices

New to Fort Walton Beach/Destin area

Old 06-14-2020, 06:24 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default New to Fort Walton Beach/Destin area

Recently got stationed at Fort Rucker. Corona lockdown has lifted and itís time to get on the water and try to put some fish on the deck.

Looking for some general info on the area. Decent boat ramps? Is there normally bait in the area to catch(either sabiki or cast net)? Is there a ďbait guyĒ that you can just pull up to and buy bait if Iím feeling lazy?

I have heard that Harbor walk marina sells barrels of ice... anyone know how much that barrel weighs and the cost? Couple hundred pounds would be needed to fill fish boxes and top off coolers.

I am looking forward to learning the area and hopefully finding some fish.
Old 06-14-2020, 06:46 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 867
Received 938 Likes on 437 Posts
Default

Elgin AFB and Hurlburt Field both have marinas and boat ramps.
Old 06-15-2020, 06:12 AM
  #3  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by cdrhoek View Post
Elgin AFB and Hurlburt Field both have marinas and boat ramps.
oh thatís good to know. I will have to look into that and their on post lodging. Would be nice to have a spot to stay the night for a decent price.
Old 06-15-2020, 06:58 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 320
Received 215 Likes on 108 Posts
Default

There is usually bait around the mouth of the destin pass. There is also a bait boat out there that has bait for sale, fresh fish live bait channel 80. Get on channel 80 as you come under the bridge and you will usually hear someone ask where he is and he will give his location. If you don't hear anyone call him on the radio. During snapper season he is pretty easy to locate by the line of boats. You will want to leave early, he sells out almost every morning.
Old 06-22-2020, 09:54 AM
  #5  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

We were out there on Saturday. Harbor walk marina is the way to go for ice, thatís for sure.

Found a weed line after catching bait and threw out our spread. Hooked up with a wahoo right off the bat. Plenty of short dolphin with only 4 of about 30 making the cut to keep. We threw out the kite while we ate lunch and had a decent size mahi come up, but I think our threadfin was just too big for him to eat.

Tried for snapper. We just suck. We found a couple bottom spots, and people would pull up while we were there and bring them up. Donít know if it was our bait choice(squid and large Live thread fin that were probably TOO big) or what, but it was aggravating. A head boat pulled up on us once and pulled 3 up in about 5 minutes and we were still at zero after 20 minutes of trying. In time we will figure it out.
Old 06-22-2020, 10:31 AM
  #6  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Destin, FL.
Posts: 779
Received 125 Likes on 72 Posts
Default

for snapper: use fluorocarbon if possible and live bait when possible. I found it helps. flouro it not necessary all the time but when the fish are finicky it helps. don't put your bait on the bottom. most people drop their bait all the way to the bottom and then wind up a little. I've found that the bigger and more aggressive red snapper can be higher up in the water column. try varying the depth you fish. put out a fly line with only a hook (with live bait): stick that rod in a rod holder while you bottom fish. . top water snapper are fun to fight...
Old 06-22-2020, 10:33 AM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by HuntersDad View Post
for snapper: use fluorocarbon if possible and live bait when possible. I found it helps. flouro it not necessary all the time but when the fish are finicky it helps. don't put your bait on the bottom. most people drop their bait all the way to the bottom and then wind up a little. I've found that the bigger and more aggressive red snapper can be higher up in the water column. try varying the depth you fish. put out a fly line with only a hook (with live bait): stick that rod in a rod holder while you bottom fish. . top water snapper are fun to fight...

good info. We were doing just as you described, dropping down and either bumping I off the bottom or feeling up a few turns. Will try varying it more next time.

I think some live bait of the smaller type would be a gam changer as well. The threadfin we got on the sabikis were about the size of my hand. I think they were just too big.
Old 06-22-2020, 10:56 AM
  #8  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Destin, FL.
Posts: 779
Received 125 Likes on 72 Posts
Default

the threadfin were running a little larger this last week. try cutting in 1/2. I prefer cigar minnows over squid for snapper but you have to fish with what you have. try frozen boston mackeral sometime if you can find it. half hitch usually has some. livebait for me is always better. we limited out on RS pretty quick and had all threadfin. they will work. also try to adjust your hook size. no need for shark hooks - pin fish traps can be a game changer too..
Old 06-22-2020, 01:52 PM
  #9  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by HuntersDad View Post
the threadfin were running a little larger this last week. try cutting in 1/2. I prefer cigar minnows over squid for snapper but you have to fish with what you have. try frozen boston mackeral sometime if you can find it. half hitch usually has some. livebait for me is always better. we limited out on RS pretty quick and had all threadfin. they will work. also try to adjust your hook size. no need for shark hooks - pin fish traps can be a game changer too..

Thanks again for the info. We will put it to work and see if we can have a change of luck next go round.
Old 06-26-2020, 08:15 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

We are getting back after it tomorrow. Might be a little bumpy, but hopefully itís manageable. We have a little better game plan this go round, so hopefully we can connect with these snapper and other bottom fish. We are going to try a little trolling as well to see if we canít pick up some mahi again.
Likes:
Old 06-27-2020, 06:34 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 326
Received 193 Likes on 87 Posts
Default

If you are coming down for the 4th... and are into being on the water after dark. There will be a fireworks show near wherever you decide to launch. I launch from Postl Point (Eglin AFB Outdoor Rec), and the Boggy Bayou fireworks are a 5 minute idle speed ride away.

I'm not sure where you launch from but in case you haven't realized it quite yet, Eglin AFB has two boat ramps, the one at the Yacht Club (Bens Lake Marina) is quite a bit closer to the East Pass.

Old 06-27-2020, 10:22 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 407
Received 117 Likes on 78 Posts
Default

Enjoy it while it lasts! 7th group base is already locked down and Eglin and Hurlburt are ramping up the restrictions, and they closed the marina and launches during the last go round. Go to pensacola fishing forum and use the search function for popular reefs to see some excellent advice. Check out https://www.fishingdestinguide.com for a ton of numbers for natural bottom and public artificial reefs. Bring a few different baits and I'm a big believer in long flourocarbon leaders with smaller hooks when the bite slows down, and frequently moving around to hit a lot of spots to find the fish. Good luck!
Old 06-27-2020, 07:32 PM
  #13  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Smitty_81 View Post
If you are coming down for the 4th... and are into being on the water after dark. There will be a fireworks show near wherever you decide to launch. I launch from Postl Point (Eglin AFB Outdoor Rec), and the Boggy Bayou fireworks are a 5 minute idle speed ride away.

I'm not sure where you launch from but in case you haven't realized it quite yet, Eglin AFB has two boat ramps, the one at the Yacht Club (Bens Lake Marina) is quite a bit closer to the East Pass.
We have been launching at Joes Bayou. We have been talking about checking out the ramp on Eglin. Mainly thinking about driving down the night before, throwing up hammocks and sleeping so we donít leave Rucker at 2am to be on the water at a decent time.

I might bring my boat down on Friday to check out the inshore situation, but probably wonít stick around the the 4th festivities. Iíve seen how busy it is on a regular Saturday. Crazy out there, especially around Crab Island. Jesus.

Originally Posted by bluescholar View Post
Enjoy it while it lasts! 7th group base is already locked down and Eglin and Hurlburt are ramping up the restrictions, and they closed the marina and launches during the last go round. Go to pensacola fishing forum and use the search function for popular reefs to see some excellent advice. Check out .... for a ton of numbers for natural bottom and public artificial reefs. Bring a few different baits and I'm a big believer in long flourocarbon leaders with smaller hooks when the bite slows down, and frequently moving around to hit a lot of spots to find the fish. Good luck!
yeahhh... there are talks that Rucker might throttle us back to a 50 mile radius again. Joy.

I will check out those websites and do some reading.
Old 06-27-2020, 07:36 PM
  #14  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

We got our butts kicked today. On the water around 4:30, grabbed ice and live bait from the bait boat and headed out before 6am.

Couldnít find any weed lines, so we hit some of the spots we had found last weekend. One was loaded with rather large Bonita, so that at least gave us a little fun. Couldnít get a bite to save our lives on any of the reefs we hit. On our way in we hit some public numbers to see what happened, again coming up short. So short of playing around with a couple Bonita, we didnít catch a single thing. Off the water around 3 and headed home. At least the weather was awesome.

There is always next time.
Old 06-28-2020, 04:15 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 326
Received 193 Likes on 87 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by chase4556 View Post
We have been launching at Joes Bayou. We have been talking about checking out the ramp on Eglin. Mainly thinking about driving down the night before, throwing up hammocks and sleeping so we donít leave Rucker at 2am to be on the water at a decent time.

I might bring my boat down on Friday to check out the inshore situation, but probably wonít stick around the the 4th festivities. Iíve seen how busy it is on a regular Saturday. Crazy out there, especially around Crab Island. Jesus.



yeahhh... there are talks that Rucker might throttle us back to a 50 mile radius again. Joy.

I will check out those websites and do some reading.
yes the area around crab island and the harbor is a CF every weekend. Stay in one of the Bayouís or the ICW and it is much better. We rarely ever go to the crowded areas, and there are plenty of spots to hang and restaurants to visit without ever going down to the harbor. Fishing in the bay requires a fair bit of local knowledge so fishing outside the pass tends to be better. The base doesnít allow overnight parking but I donít think that rule gets enforced considering outdoor rec has overnight slip rentals for $10... so... lol.
Old 07-03-2020, 08:16 PM
  #16  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

I headed down there today by myself and with my boat. My buddy needed to ďstudyĒ so he was staying at the house. The original plan was to stay inshore and scout that situation out. I have a 20ft Bluewave and have not taken it offshore.

I decided to sabiki up some live bait just so I had some on hand, and when I got to the inlet it was just too calm not to send it. With some large threadfin, some cigar minnows in the livewell and some frozen squid... I went for it.

Ended up about 16 miles out. Hit a public number I had and as soon as my squid and threadfin hit the bottom I was on. I was only out there for four hours or so, including the run out and back in, but every time I dropped bait I was pulling up fish.

Ended the day with a grouper and my two snapper.

Spot lock on the trolling motor makes all the difference when you are trying to stay on top of a spot.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.