The Lure of Fishing
on The Emerald Coast.
Vacationers don’t just come to the Emerald Coast for the sugar-white sand and the emerald-green waters. They come to catch red snapper, white trout and blue marlin. From the depths of the breathtaking Gulf of Mexico to the sleepy bayous, beautiful lakes and pristine waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay, there is an abundance of fish to be caught here year-round.
Fishing & Dishing
Owner of Ariel Seafoods
A popular bumper sticker reads, “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” To that Emerald Coast Captain David Krebs says, “Hallelujah!” Hallelujah is the name of one of the four fishing boats David operates in Destin Harbor. As both a commercial fisherman and the owner of Ariel Seafoods, David is proud to supply fresh seafood to Gulf-to-Table eateries here on the Emerald Coast.Read the full interview on our blog
Our Favorite Fishing Spots
Some of the greatest fishing on the planet is right here at the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Fish stories aren’t necessary here. Keep your camera handy and the truth will do just fine. Whether you’re interested in bottom fishing, inshore trolling or big game fishing, an adventure awaits on the Emerald Coast.
Deep Sea Fishing
At just ten miles from 100-foot depths, East Pass in Destin offers the speediest access to the Gulf of Mexico. That means less time wishing and more time fishing. Anglers here can choose from Inshore Gulf Fishing in state waters and Offshore Gulf Fishing in federal waters.
Near Shore Gulf Fishing in waters between 50 and 100 feet deep is very popular, because you can be a part of the beach scene while you fish. With light tackle, you can pull in red, white and black snapper, king mackerel, grouper, triggerfish, shark and bonito.
Choctawhatchee Bay is an estuary teeming with fresh and saltwater species. Here you’ll find an abundance of redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, flounder, ladyfish, bluefish, black snapper and pompano. The Choctawhatchee Bay system offers seemingly endless bayous, creeks and rivers to explore. By the way, around these parts, bay fishing is any fishing done in the Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin Harbor, East Pass and inlets and bayous.
Angling from the Destin Jetties
Angling from the Destin Jetties Amazing fishing can be had from the twin jetties that guard the East Pass channel from the Gulf of Mexico. To get to the end of the jetties, you need to step from one car-sized boulder to the next, with no smooth walkway to navigate. Most anglers will tell you it’s worth it. With the daily tidal changes, the jetties are the perfect spot for catching bluefish, flounder, grouper, king and Spanish mackerel, redfish, sheepshead, trout and many kinds of baitfish. Visit FishingDestinGuide.com for more information.
The Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier
You don’t need to go on a charter to catch the big ones. Tarpon as large as 100 pounds have been reeled in from the 1,262-foot-long Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier which juts almost a quarter mile out into the Gulf. Rental tackle, bait and snacks can be purchased here, and even if you don’t fish, you’ll find the pier is a great place to watch the action and get a better feel for the area’s vibrant Gulf-to-Table culture. Another great place to fish without a boat is from the catwalk of the 3,000-foot Destin Bridge over East Pass. You can pick up gear, bait and fishing licenses at Destin Harbor.
You catch it, We’ll cook it.
What could be more thrilling than having a big fish on the end of your line? Having that same fish on the end of your fork, prepared for you that same day by a top chef. Many restaurants along the Emerald Coast will take your cleaned fish, prepare it for you any way you like it and serve it up with your favorite sides. You can drop your catch off at the restaurant earlier in the day or have it taken to the kitchen while you make your way to your table.Restaurants That Will Cook Your Catch
Florida Fishing Licenses
Florida fishing licenses are required for all residents between 16 and 64 years of age. Please consult with a local licensing agent for more details on license fees and regulations for Florida residents and visitors.
Freshwater and saltwater fishing information:
1-888-FISH-FLORIDA or MyFWC.com/fishing
Whether you’re an avid angler or still have questions about how to bait a hook, our experienced guides are here to ensure a stress-free memorable experience.
Hooking up with a Fishing Charter
Marinas and Launch Info
Even if you don’t live here year-round, you’ll find it’s a great place to bring your own boat. There are several marinas and ramps in the area – most offer supply and bait shops where you can purchase your fishing license.
Find Marinas and Launch Info
Fish, Food & Fun:
Annual Events & Festivals
Every year, the Emerald Coast hosts several events for people who love seafood and/or fishing. Check out this list and find out more on our upcoming events page.
- Pin Fish Classic May
- Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic June
- AJ’s Annual King Mackeral Classic September
- Kids King Mackerel Fishing Day September
- Destin Fishing Rodeo All of October
- Dog Days Open Billfish Tournament TDB (need month)