Known as the “World's Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin boasts the widest variety of fish species in the area, direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, and the nation’s largest commercial fishing fleet.

A look at any nautical map will show you that Destin’s quick and easy access to the deepest depths of the Gulf sets it apart from nearby ports. Because various species of fish live at different depths, anglers can quickly reach all depths of fishable water featuring 20 types of edible game fish.

Fish to look for.

One of the most common finds is the snapper fish, including gray snapper, lane snapper, mutton snapper, and red snapper. Due to its bright scarlet color and larger size, the red snapper is highly coveted by fishermen. The largest red snapper ever caught in Florida was caught right off the coast of Destin and weighed a hefty 46 pounds and 8 ounces. 

Another fish frequently reeled in is the grouper fish. Similar to the snapper, there are a few different types of grouper, from the black grouper to the gag grouper to the red grouper. Groupers are considered bottom dwellers and present a unique challenge for recreational and commercial fishermen alike due to their large size and their deep homes.

A fish that commonly hangs out near the water’s surface is the dolphinfish, more commonly known as the mahi-mahi. Despite the names, dolphinfish don’t quite look like dolphins—they have rounded heads and bright blue and green scales. They can also change colors after they’re caught.

Get tips from experts.

If you’re looking to make a full day out of fishing or are hoping to catch big game, give charter fishing a try. Whether you’re looking for a small charter boat or a bigger party boat that can carry up to 60 people, Destin Harbor has the largest charter fishing fleet in the country, so you’re guaranteed to find the ideal ride. All of our charter captains have extensive training and many are lifelong fishermen. They will provide bait, poles, lures, and other supplies as well as fishing licenses, so you don’t have to worry about those details. They will also have tips and tricks to help you and your family reel in a big one.

Shore fishing.

If you’d rather stick close to the shore, try your hand at “sight-casting” off the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. Thanks to the area’s clear waters, sight-casting allows you to see the fish in the water and cast right to them. Or simply cast a line right from one of our beautiful beaches. All you need to surf fish is a spot on the beach, fishing gear, and some bait.

Once you’re back on shore with your catch of the day, take the fresh fillets to participating Gulf-to-Table restaurants for chefs to cook your fish to order.

Many of Destin’s fish can be found year-round, making fishing a perfect activity any time you visit—and explains why Destin is known as the world’s luckiest fishing village