The Emerald Coast is LOADED with artificial reefs and manmade structure. There are dozens of sunken army tanks, fads, boxcars, "chicken coops" and even some natural reefs scattered throughout the area . At different times of the year, this structure is home and feeding grounds for nearshore snapper, amberjack, kings, triggerfish, cobia, tarpon, and many other species can be caught along our coastlines within site of the shore...it's pretty much a guessing game as to what you will hook up with. Live or dead cigar minnows are the bait of choice here with a fluorocarbon leader. See the "Fishing Info" tab and join some of the local kayak fishing groups we recommend on Facebook...follow along, buddy up, and ask questions before you arrive. PPPPPF (Proper Prep Prevent P!$$ Poor Fishing)
Crab island is a local hangout that is easily accessible by paddleboard or kayak. During the summer, you will see hundreds, if not thousands of boats and people hanging out on the shallow sandbar in the middle of the bay. There are floating restaurants and vendors but you can no longer buy alcohol at Crab Island. Aside from the typical "party cove" on steroids scene, there is great fishing all along the outskirts of the sandbar (it's not really an island). Expect trout, redfish, jacks, and many other species to patrol this bar in search of bait fish. Live or fresh dead shrimp and artificial baits work great.
Every drop of water that passes in and out of the bay goes through this point. Probably one of the best places in the bay to fish for bull reds, trout, and jacks. Sheepshead, black drum, and many other species are also loaded up under the bridge pilings enjoying the cool shade of the Destin Bridge. The waters round the bridge can also be loaded with spanish mackerel and blues during high tide.
This can be an amazing area to fish...you may have to weed through the catfish if you are on the bottom, but harbor is also packed full of reds, jack, flounder, and trout. It is not uncommon for schools of mackerel and blues to be seen boiling the surface in the harbor as well. Anywhere there is a bait or cleaning station is a good bet for big reds. Night fishing on SUPs with LED lights can be a lot of fun on the harbor...see our friends at www.paddlefishoutfitter.com for info on guided trips.
The docks along the harbor, bayous, and bay fonts are home to plenty of hungry fish. Sheepshead, black drum, redfish, flounder, and trout are all chasing bait fish around the docks both day and night. It's not uncommon to catch spanish mackerel, bluefish...an occasional black snapper may be found along some of the deeper docks as well. On our evening and night trips, many of these docks with lights make for fun sight fishing for trout and redfish.
The Destin Jetties are incredible spot for fishing and snorkeling....but, make sure you time it right. Conditions known as Slack Tide or High Tide are the safest times to be in the waters near the pass. This is also when the water is crystal clear so win/win! Along the inside of the jetties the depth ranges between 5′ – 50′...Spanish Macks and blues are thick, as well as flounder and pompano along the rocks. On the outside of the jetties, it's a guessing game as to what you will encounter...sharks, cobia, tarpon, and a large list of other saltwater species call the jetties home. Bring your heavy rod and PFD if you want to fish the outside of the jetties on any paddlecraft.
This bridge is over a mile long and goes from shallow depths of 5′ or less, all the way to 60’+ in the boating channel. Large sheepshead, redfish, black drum are congregating here. It is not uncommon to see schools of spanish and blues in this area as well. Flounder are also a common target on the bottom along the pylons.
This grate feeds the back of the harbor with fresh water. It's located about 300 yards off the beach and is about the size of a box truck. Lots of amberjack, small snapper and other inshore species will be on this structure. Tarpon and cobia make a showing here as well on occasion.
30°22'49.65"N & 86°29'16.57"W