Inshore Fishing in Destin, FL (10-28-20)
Bay fishing in Destin has been red hot lately. The grass flats have produced plenty of both redfish and speckled trout for us. We are catching both keeper size as well as plenty that are over the slot limit. The primary method of fishing has been live bait underneath a Send it Popping Cork as well as on a carolina or knocker rig. When available, we are using croakers and spots for bait. Other baits that are working as well are live shrimp, pinfish, silver perch, and finger mullet.
Rigging a Carolina rig or a knocker rig is pretty straight forward. There is less of a standard way of rigging a popping cork. One of the biggest issues with popping corks is that every once in a while they will tangle, often to the point of having to cut the line and rig it again. I have learned that one of the ways to minimize tangles is to remove the top swivel from the cork and not tying the main line directly to the top. Instead, it is best to tie on a short piece of fluorocarbon leader.
I like to use about a 12″-16″ piece of 20lb fluoro leader above my corks, attached to the mainline with a double uni knot or a FG knot. Removing the swivel from the top of the cork eliminates the mainline from hanging directly down around the cork. Then the added fluoro leader creates even more distance of the mainline from the cork when in the water. Whenever I rig my corks this way, it is a very rare thing to get tangles. The hook size depends on the type of bait used. For shrimp and small bait fish, a 2/0 or 3/0 hook is perfect. For the bigger baits, I go up to a 5/0 circle hook. (Hook of choice for me is usually a Mustad Demon Perfect Circle.)
Bay fishing in Destin has been great so far this Fall and there shouldn’t be any reason it will slow down over the next couple of months. The flats in Destin will continue to hold redfish and trout, both in the slot as well as under and over. This includes the big bull reds that typically show up in the shallows as the water temps cool. We also should start seeing the flounder push offshore soon, meaning around the pass as well as just offshore in the gulf, these delicious flatties will become a normal catch. It looks like we have made it through the Hurricane Season and we can focus on some good fishing as the temps become cooler.
Check out our Photo Gallery for some of our best catches!