Best Fish to Catch in Destin, Florida

Destin, Florida is the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” and we can’t stress that enough. There are an abundant number of fish to catch in Destin, Florida.

Great fishing spots, such as the Okaloosa Island Pier, Navarre Beach Pier, East Pass Jetties, and 100-Fathom Curve are Destin’s highlights.

Likewise, you can find and bag wonderful sea creatures like amberjacks, barracudas, cobias, groupers, mackerels, mahi mahis, redfish, sharks, snappers, speckled trout, and tunas in this city.


Amberjacks are pretty much everywhere in Destin, but the best time for catching them is during the months of May, August, September, and October. The best part about capturing an Amberjack with Destin Florida Fishing Charters is that it tends to be big.

However, it’s not exactly a great-tasting fish, and people do call the amberjack a “donkey fish.” It’s treated more as a game fish rather than seafood, and it can weight as much as 40 to 200 pounds.


This sea monster packs rows of sharp teeth and plenty of power. It’s also quite swift and grows up to six feet in length. More importantly, it’s in love with tropical and warm waters, so it sees Destin as a great hang out spot.

Anglers often seek to catch the barracuda in an attempt to see if they’re tough and resourceful enough to succeed. Be wary about pulling your bait too early when the fish bites because barracudas tend to eat just a bit of the bait first and then chomp the rest of the it after a break. Likewise, try not to use big hooks. These beastly creatures have sharp eyes.


Cobia is a fish Destin is proud to have. It’s a tasty and sustainable fish that can grow as long as six feet and weigh as heavy as a hundred pounds. Destin Cobia Fishing Charter suits anyone who wishes to eat something they worked on catching.

Cobia is also known as Crabeater, and sometimes even mistaken for a remora or a shark. You can find it inshore, nearshore, offshore, by the reef, or by a wreck.


Groupers are marvelous. They’re one of the best fish to catch in Destin because they offer firm and big meat. However, fishing for them is regulated. It takes them quite a while to grow in numbers since their mating habit, which is to gather in groups, leads to overfishing.

Destin has four prevalent grouper subspecies: red, black, gag, and goliath. You can’t bag goliath groupers, but the other three grouper subspecies will be more than enough to satisfy your cravings. The gag groupers are only in season from June to December, while the black and red groupers are in season year-round.


Mackerels always taste best when fresh, so quite a lot of fishing enthusiasts seek to capture them at one point in time. Cero, king, and Spanish mackerels are Destin’s prominent mackerels. They’re small, but they pack quite some flavor.

Spanish mackerels weigh around 2 to 6 pounds, while king mackerels weigh 10 to 20 pounds. The name mackerel translates to spotted or marked, and intermediary or pimp. It’s quite a fitting name for these fish since they do have marks on their bodies. Likewise, you’ll always find them near the shore where the waters are shallow.

Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi is a cheerful-looking big fish that’s also known as dolphinfish. It features a lovely yellow-green hue, but that’s not the only reason fishermen are after it. Besides looking big and pretty, it also tastes wonderful.

Florida’s dolphinfish season peaks on April to August and slows by October. During that time, anglers flock to Florida to test their luck and bag one of these lovelies. A mahi mahi can weigh around 10 to 20 pounds on average, but the best ones weigh 30 to 60 pounds.


Redfish are great for anglers of any level. They can grow quite big and throw a powerful strike when hooked, but they don’t run too far when resisting capture. They’re also called drums, channel bass, bull red, and rat red.

They usually spawn in the middle of August until early fall, and they love to stay in grassy or rocky shorelines and shallow flats. So far, the biggest redfish catch in Florida weighed almost 53 pounds.


Two subspecies of sharks prevail in Destin: bull sharks and hammerhead sharks. Fishing enthusiasts who seek some adrenaline rush are the ones that hunt for these sea creatures. By fishing for sharks, anglers can enjoy the thrill of the chase and capturing process as well as have a great story to tell their friends when they come home.

Bull sharks boast 100 to 300 pounds of weight, and can usually be spotted inshore or nearshore. Meanwhile, hammerhead sharks feature a length of 3 to 13 feet, and you can often find them offshore.


Snappers are perfect for anglers that love to eat what they caught. They’re often sought out for their wonderful taste. In Destin, you can mainly find red and yellowtail snappers, but other snapper subspecies like mangrove, mutton, cubera, queen, and vermillion also reside in Florida.

Snappers got their name from their appearance: they have dog-like teeth that snap. Moreover, they love to shake their heads when resisting a fisherman as well.

Speckled Trout

Speckled trout are sought by fishing enthusiasts that love certainty. This is because they rarely move from their spawn point. Hence, they’re quite predictable and uncomplicated to catch. Moreover, their size makes them quite easy to bag.

Speckled trout peak season is from June to August, but they start spawning as early as late March until September. You can find them in shallow waters and grass flatlands, mangroves, mud, shell reefs, and marshes. So, if you’re looking for fish to catch in Destin, add the speckled trout to your list.


Florida’s most-prized tunas are yellowfin, bluefin, blackfin, and skipjack. Catching one of them is highly rewarding for two reasons: they’re fighters and they taste good. Anglers who love to work for what they eat will find tuna fishing pleasurable.

The yellowfin, bluefin, and skipjack tunas stay in deeper waters, but you can spot blackfin tunas near the shore. The largest tuna caught in Destin so far had been 78 inches in length.

Why Fishing Charters are Important

Fishing Charters, such as Destin, Florida Fishing Charters, make it possible for you to commence on a fishing adventure with ease. By reaching out to a charter, you’re guaranteeing that you’ll be armed with the finest fishing gear, best fishing guide, and be in the most optimal spots to catch the fish you’re after.

More importantly, you’ll gain a wonderful experience that’ll last you a lifetime.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

We’ll be more than happy to help our fellow fishing enthusiasts.

Catch an Amberjack in Destin Florida
Catch a Barracuda in Destin Florida
Catch Grouper in Destin Florida
Catch Mahi Mahi in Destin Florida
Catch Redfish in Destin Florida
Things to do on Destin Florida


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Destin Florida Fishing Charters

Destin Florida Fishing Charters » Fish to Catch in Destin, Florida