30A Fishing Locations
Where we fish changes constantly and is most often defined by the weather conditions each day. What was “happening” yesterday might not be the best action today…
One of the benefits of a large Guide Service is that our guides are constantly in contact with each other as well as other anglers and guides throughout the area. We are constantly in touch with others on the water to assure our anglers the most action and Fun for their 30A fishing charter.
There are several “ZONES” we typically frequent in the area:
Inshore Bayfishing 30A
The inshore waters around 30A are defined by 2 main categories, Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. First, this large bay system is comprised of a very large basin the stretches the length of Walton and Okaloosa Counties. And second, the gulf is the area outside the Destin Pass. Our 30A fishing charters target all of these areas.
The Choctawhatchee Bay is generally divided into 2 main areas with the Mid-Bay Bridge being the dividing line. There are several different launch points along the 30A area to enter into the Choctawhatchee bay system.
These different areas make-up the inshore waters our 30A guides frequent.
Flats fishing 30A
The shallow grassy edges of the inner bays are defined by the general term “flats”
These areas are very shallow habitat that act as a nursery system for juvenile fish species. These flats are home to thousands of juvenile redfish up to 30 inches. Our area boasts some of the best sight fishing for tailing redfish in the Northern Gulf. Much of the Choctawhatchee Bay system has sandy flats with sparse grass. We mainly use or flats boats to access these shallow flats that’s are just a short drive from the 30A zone.
The Destin Pass is a deep frequently “dredged” channel that allows access to the Gulf of Mexico from the inner Choctawhatchee Bay.
Our guides spend a lot of time in the pass, Jetties and Destin Bridge, as it is a highway and gathering point for many of our area species. If staying along the 30A area the Destin Pass is just a short drive to the west and allows access to the gulf of Mexico and the potential for a variety of species not available in the areas bays.
The Destin Pass is permanently open to the gulf due to the addition of “jetty” walls on either side of the channel, without these rock barriers the pass would fill in due to the movement of sand and water flow. These Jetties provide a great structure and holding area for many fish and our captains know these structures intimately! Redfish, mangrove Snapper and Sheepshead are some of the target species along the jetties.
Beach Fishing 30A
As the name implies, “Beaches” speaks to the shallow maze of sandbars just off the dry sand of the 30A stretch. We spend a lot of time hunting for fish just steps from sunbathers and swimmers from Rosemary to Blue Mountain Beach. At one time or another all of our areas species spend time along these outside “beach” areas. Destin, 30A and Panama City is known for it’s springtime Cobia Migration, and if you’re here in April you have surely seen the parade of boats slowly moving up and down the beach “sightfishing” for the surface swimming Cobia.
Destin Bridge: The Destin bridge is Home to many fish species and almost any given day of the year you can find a guide or 2 fishing the structure under this bridge, Sheepshead, Mangrove snapper and Bull Redfish are some of the most common targets beneath the Destin Bridge. These is convenient launch and meeting points located within feet of the bridge.
Near-Shore Fishing 30A
At times some of the species we pursue are found a short distance off the Destin beaches and sandbars, namely, King Mackerel, Bonito, Cobia, and sometimes even Sailfish and Mahi-Mahi. The water depth drops off fast along the western Florida Panhandle and allows for some of the deeper water pelagic species to come within reach in late summer. When fishing the near-shore waters we look for feeding fish, diving birds and rips. For our 30A guests access to the gulf is available thru either the Destin or Panama City passes, for years our clients have made the short drive to either Harborwalk Marina in Destin, or Sun Harbor Marina in Panama City to meet or Bay boat guides, then fishing is just a short run out of the passes.
Wreck Fishing Off 30A
Some of the best fishing along the 30A area can be found in and around the Near-shore wrecks, Grouper, Red Snapper, Amberjack, Cobia, Black and Mangrove Snapper, Flounder and Bonito. Any restaurant along the 30A beaches will feature Snapper or Grouper on the menu, as these species are some of the most prized catches in the gulf. With the quick drop off of depth along our coast, some of our best bottom fishing structures are within sight of the beach. Sometimes while reeling in a grouper you can still see the beach goers of Watercolor Resort or Seaside!