You don’t have to live in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island to eat like the locals. Compared to other coastal areas, there are about four times as many types of fish year-round. That means plenty of options for fishing in our pristine emerald waters, for both locals and visitors.
But, if you’re here on vacation, what do you do after you fill your cooler full of fish? We’re going to tell you how to get your fish from the end of your line, to the end of your fork.
Hook and Cook
So, your hotel room doesn’t have a kitchen. That’s ok! A number of restaurants in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island will cook your catch for you. You hook it, they’ll cook it!
After you finish your fishing excursion, a deckhand will fillet and clean your fish to get it ready for a restaurant who cooks your catch, like Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer.
At Brotula’s you can order your fish to be grilled, blackened, and fried or leave it up to their chef to decide how to prepare it. They charge per person eating to cook your catch. Your fish comes served on a platter, family style. Each person gets to pick a side. Sauces for the fish are also included.
What’s for Dinner
Popular catches include red snapper, grouper, flounder, mackerel, tuna, and swordfish. The Heart of The Emerald Coast is also home to the world’s largest lionfish tournament, with a festival leading up to the two-day event. You can dive for lionfish any time during the year, as there is no season or restrictions on size and limits for them.
Lionfish are venomous, not poisonous, which means you can eat them. They are a tasty treat on your plate, with a delicate, flaky texture and no fishy taste. Plus, catching them helps Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island control the population among our waters, and keeps our marine eco-system healthy.
Lionfish are an invasive species in our area because they are not naturally hunted—and they love to dine on the native fish. Keeping their numbers in check ensures you will be able to return time and time again to fish and enjoy the local seafood yourself.
Where to Go
Some other restaurants in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, in addition to Brotula’s, who will cook your catch are 790 On the Gulf, AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Angler’s Beachside Grill, Crab Island Cantina, Dewey Destin’s Restaurant, Grande Vista Bar and Grille, Harbor Docks, Harry T’s, Jackacudas, and Stewby’s Seafood Shanty.
To get on a boat and reel in your dinner, click here.