There’s a saying about boats: The best boat is a friend’s boat. But what if you don’t have any boat friends in Destin-Fort Walton Beach and want to go fishing? No worries. The locals know the best spots to go — with or without a boat.

Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier

The Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier makes fishing ridiculously easy for everyone. Anything and everything you need for a proper fishing excursion is here. Rods, bait, tackle, and even fishing licenses can all be purchased at the Pier (rods also available for rent). The Pier extends 1,262 feet into the Gulf and features an octagonal end to give anglers more space. Sailfish and a 42-pound King Mackerel have been caught from here. Hungry? No need to pack up for a lunch break. Sandwiches and snacks are also sold at the Pier.

Children ages 5 and younger admitted free—day and annual passes available for ages 6 and up.

Inshore Fishing at Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore offers bay-side public access if you’re looking for calm, shallow waters to fish in. This is an excellent spot for families with younger children to fish. The daily mix of freshwater and saltwater from the Destin Pass creates a brackish environment that fish love. Flounder, Speckled Trout and Redfish are three popular fish species found here.

A small fee to enter the park is good for up to seven days.

Kayak Fishing

Perhaps you don’t have a boat, but you do have a kayak or a paddleboard. Perfect! Destin’s beautiful and often calm waters make fishing from your kayak or paddleboard the ideal outing. If the thought of reeling in a huge catch while balancing a kayak seems precarious, you can always head out with a guide. Kayak Fishing Destin takes anglers to the Choctawhatchee Bay, its inlets, and saltwater creeks. Experienced kayak anglers can opt for offshore fishing in the Gulf. You’ll paddle about a mile out and fish around a private underwater structure.

Charter Boats

If you want to head deep into the Gulf for an unforgettable day of fishing, there are more options than you can shake a fish at. Stroll down Destin’s Harbor Boardwalk and watch charter boats unload their catch at the end of the day. It’s a great way to get an up-close glimpse of the boats before you book. Once you book your adventure, your charter boat captain will have all the tools and tips to catch a big one.

Ready to get out there and catch some fish? Don’t forget anglers ages 16 years and older need a fishing license and catch limits apply for certain species. Go to myfwc.com to review regulations before your next Destin Harbor fishing adventure begins.