Mid-October already, where does the time go? What summer lacked in sunshine and good weather, October has made up for in spades. We’ve been enjoying gorgeous fall weather, with temperatures in the 80’s, plenty of sunshine, and cool breezes. Even in the face of a tropical storm (Karen, last week), the weather stayed pleasant, as the storm dissipated before making landfall.
Beyond fantastic weather, October brings the Destin Fishing Rodeo, a month-long tournament and Destin tradition that helped Destin earn the name “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. Anglers come from near and far over the course of the month to participate in the Rodeo. With prizes for just about every species of fish out there, from flounder and trout to red snapper, triggerfish, amberjack, king mackerel, mahi, tuna, or shark, you’ll be in the running for prizes. You can see an up-to-date listing of all the prize-winning fish to date in the Fishing Rodeo here.
With over 30,000 anglers fishing throughout the month of October, you can bet we’re seeing all kinds of fish at the docks! For the first year in a long time, state and federal fishing regulations have coincided with the Destin Fishing Rodeo to allow us to fish for red snapper, grouper, amberjack, and triggerfish, so we have been seeing plenty of those! Red snapper actually closes at the end of the day today in federal waters, so those will no longer be weighed in at the Rodeo on registered charter boats. If you have a private (or rental) boat, you can still fish for them in state waters until the 21st, and they can be weighed in at the Rodeo! Triggerfish also closes today in federal waters, so it’ll be the last day to weigh those in as well. There are still plenty of fish in the sea, so to speak, so despite the closures of these two species of fish, you can still come on out and have a great time fishing…and maybe take home a prize or two of your own!
Fishing in the Rodeo is not limited to offshore fishing! Speckled trout, flounder, and black snapper catches inshore can win you prizes as well! And even though you won’t find a category for redfish, which must be slot-size with a max length of 27″ to keep, October is a GREAT month for redfish! This time of year, you’ll especially see a lot of oversized (bull) reds in the bay. Can’t keep them, but, boy, are they fun to catch, and they sure make for a great Kodak moment! Here’s a picture from some of our long-time customers, the Kamisato family, fishing from one of our pontoon boats.
The migration of flounder typically begins in October as they begin stacking up outside Destin’s East Pass, then making their way into the back bay areas, as we are beginning to see now, so we expect to see the number of flounder being brought into the docks to increase over the coming weeks.
As always, if you’d like to get in on the action, be sure to book a charter with one of our captains or, for the more experienced fishermen, try a fishing boat rental for the day. We also offer fishing pole and tackle rentals, and have bait and tackle for sale in our ship’s store. Contact us for more information!