Bryce wanted to do some fishing, so with perfect weather predicted for Friday, we made plans with Tim & Denise to spend the day on their boat. We went online the night before and bought Bryce a 3-day saltwater fishing license, packed lunches, and got ready for a 7am start.
When we arrived over at Eden Gardens, Denise was just finishing cleaning up the boat, and getting stuff packed into it.
We spent about an hour getting everything ready to go, and then we drove the short distance to the boat launch.
This boat launch is in the Choctawhatchee Bay, which is the large body of water to the north of Destin and all of the other coastal resort towns.
The water of the Bay was as smooth as glass, and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day!
We crossed under the big bridge that brings travellers down to Destin,
and as we got closer to the resort towns, we began seeing some really nice houses overlooking the Bay.
The area in the Bay, right before the inlet opens into the Gulf, is referred to by the locals as Crab Island. It’s not really an island, but just a sand bar where boats gather and the locals hang out. There are several floating restaurants, and some play areas for the kids.
There’s lots of activity around Destin, and lots of sights to see.
This pirate ship gives tours of Destin Harbor, and there are other tour boats, as well. Dolphin tours, glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling tours, and lots and lots of parasailing.
We were here for fish, though, so we continued on into the Gulf, where Tim met up with “ the bait guy” to get some bait.
As we passed by the jetty,
and the beaches along the waterfront,
we were amazed by the crystal-clear bluegreen water! This is what people flock to Destin for!!
Grouper and Red Snapper are in season right now, so we continued about a mile out into the Gulf, where Tim knows a good spot for catching both.
Bryce did his part as co-captain.
We weren’t alone out there.
Tom and I were just along for the ride, and the sunshine, so we relaxed in the front of the boat, away from the fishing poles, and the hooks, and the bait!
I realized, when I started putting this blog post together, that I didn’t get a single picture of Bryce fishing! I guess I kept waiting for him to get something on his hook, but that hardly ever happened!
We stayed at this spot for about a half hour, and something was stealing their bait, but they never managed to snag anything. We were all getting a little hungry, and Denise was feeling seasick, so we headed back towards Crab Island where we could eat our lunches and walk around for a bit.
It’s a busy place – with lots of hotels and restaurants!
But there are also a few small stretches of beach.
We crossed back under the bridge and anchored at the edge of the Crab Island area.
Tim said that the best time to come to Crab Island is just before high tide, when the tide is coming in. The water is really clear, and it has the most beautiful blue-green color at that time.
We were a little later than that, so although the water was still clear, it was a little more yellow-green in color.
We ate our lunches, and took a walk around the area, where the water was never more than thigh deep. We did have to watch out for anchor ropes, though, and anchors . . . I don’t think I’d want to be there on a day when it was REALLY crowded!
After lunch, they tried a little more fishing, over in front of the Coast Guard Station, on the Bay side of the bridge.
No luck there, either!!
Bryce’s “Good Luck” fishing shirt wasn’t even helping!!
They decided to try one one spot out in the Gulf before giving up for the day. This one was about 2 miles out, and the water had gotten slightly rougher in the afternoon. Bryce and I rode up front, and we were bouncing around quite a bit, and got sprayed a few times.
Bryce didn’t mind too much – me either, it cooled us off!
Out there, they managed to hook a few fish – pretty big ones, too, but didn’t keep them on the hook long enough to get them into the boat! I still didn’t get any pictures!
I did manage to get a picture of one of the fighter jets flying over us. I’m not sure if it was from the Air Show rehearsal going on over in Pensacola Beach, or just from Eglin Air Force Base, which is close by Destin.
At 4pm, captain Tim decided to call it a day, even though they had had any success in the fishing department, and hadn’t even used up all their bait!
We made our way back to the Bay, and picked up the pirate ship again on the way back! lol
The water in the inlet between the Gulf and the Bay gets REALLY rough between the jetty and the bridge – it was really throwing us around!
We made it through the inlet without anybody falling out of the boat, and back to the quieter waters of the Bay for our 45 minute ride back to the boat launch.
Along the way, we passed a barge carrying concrete beams for the US-331 bridge expansion project.
We made it back to the quiet inlet, past this sunken boat (we think they leave it there as a marker, or maybe a fish habitat),
and had the boat out of the water by 5pm.
It may not have been a successful fishing day, but it was still an enjoyable day on the water!