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Places of Interest
The Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier is very popular among anglers. With access to deeper water from the pier, this is probably your best chance to catch something big if you are fishing without a boat in this area. From the pier, anglers catch many different species of fish. Some of the fish that are caught here are tarpon, tuna, king mackerel, cobia, mahi mahi, redfish, bonito, jack cravelle, Spanish mackerel, whiting, bluefish and pompano.
Surf anglers have a lot of beach to fish here. This is a popular tourist destination, so it may be difficult to fish on some of the public beaches during the middle of the day in the peak season, but you should be able to find plenty of places to fish in the mornings and evenings. From the surf, anglers usually target whiting, pompano and redfish, but depending on the season, you may also be able to catch spanish mackerel, black drum, flounder, sheepshead, sharks and other species of fish.
The Emerald Coast area offers some excellent inshore fishing near Destin and Fort Walton Beach. The Choctawhatchee Bay gives anglers plenty of opportunities to catch fish in the smaller bays, around the bridges, docks, up the creeks and along the flats. Most anglers will target redfish and sea trout inshore, but you may also catch sheepshead, ladyfish, pompano, jack crevalle, black drum and many others. The tides play a huge role in whether or not you will catch fish inshore. Moving water is key for most species of fish and the slack tide usually provides the worst fishing conditions for most fish.
Nearshore, anglers can target a variety of fish along the beaches of the Emerald Coast. The inshore and offshore fishing may get a lot more attention that the nearshore fishing here, but tarpon and cobia do generate plenty of interest when they are in the area. Fishing from spring through fall will give you the best chance to catch fish nearshore because there are more species of fish in this area during these months. Some of the other fish that you can catch nearshore are grouper, snapper, kingfish, Spanich mackerel and more.
The Emerald Coast area is known for its outstanding offshore fishing. There are a fleet of fishing charters that call Destin home, so you should be able to find a fishing charter that can put you on some fish. Anglers will fish the offshore structures that will hold many different species of fish. The target species will vary depending on the seasons, but some of the popular fish that are caught offshore are grouper, snapper, cobia, amberjack, king mackerel, barracuda, sharks and others.