A Newly Discovered DESTIN-ation

Today’s TGIF post comes from my colleague and avid boater, Rob, who explored the waters off the Florida panhandle:

I recently visited the beach town of Destin in northern Florida with a few friends and a very clear personal mission: to catch a fish big enough to beat out any fish my friends may catch. What I found, beyond fishing glory, was the boating destination that I cannot get out of my mind in the weeks since.

We gave ourselves three full days in this boater’s paradise. With perfect weather ahead, we dedicated the first two days to pleasure boating and exploration. Our boat was docked in the bay area about 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The ride to open water took us past Eglin Air Force base, where our eyes were drawn with amazement by the occasional fighter jet screaming into the skies above. Just before we reached the opening to the Gulf, we came upon the local favorite spot --Crab Island (see below).

Crab Island is a sandbar area just before the Destin Bridge, where hundreds of boaters go to swim and relax in its crystal clear waters. We quickly discovered a floating restaurant and three-story inflatable waterslide. We had no problem spending the enter day there, meeting the locals, playing football in the shallows, swimming and diving into the waters where you can see 30 ft. to the bottom.

Day 2 was spent navigating the bay area waterways, stopping at several quiet and secluded beaches. Beaching the boat on the pure white sands and getting away from everything was exactly the kind of relaxation and scenery we all hope for. This was the kind of view we put on our computer screensavers, where all that exists is the perfect combination of water and palm trees. Our exploration that day took us near Crab Island again, where not too far off we found a stretch of countless restaurants to dock and hop out for a late breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3 was game day, dedicated to the pursuit of fish.  5am is early, there is no debating that, but we had the burst of energy needed when awoken to the song “No Fish Today,” by Kid Creole & the Coconuts (if you haven’t heard this song, find it, it’s my new fishing theme song). We didn’t need to go further than a few hundred yards offshore before we had the first bite, and this luck continued the entire morning.

That’s yours truly in the blue shirt. My fish was 3 oz. heavier and an inch larger than any of the King and Spanish Mackerel we caught that day ... mission accomplished! Vacation a success! As my mind drifts back to perfect boating trip in Destin, I can’t help but wonder what I will find in my next exploration of new waters.

Have a great weekend on the water!

posted @ 7/24/2009 9:50 AM by Kelly