5/27/05 3:38:00 PM
Capt. Ken Roy (126.96.36.199) from FLORIDA says Destin Surf fishing
I lived in Destin a lot of years ago and kept a boat there for several years after leaving the area for Mobile.
Forget Bass Pro Shop and contact Half Hitch Tackle. All of the folks at Half Hitch know thier stuff and always give you the straight skinney.
Early and late in the day is best. From just before daylight until around 730 then the last hour and a half before dark will provide the best action.
Light 7' rods with reels capable of holding 250yards of 8-10# test Power-Pro will cast far and give you great sport with Spanish Mackerel, Ladyfish, Blue Runners, Jack Crevalle and the occasional Bluefish. Cast far, reel fast with a straight retrieve. Some folks jerk but Lots of fish miss on jerky retrieves.
My lures of choice would be 1/2-3/4 oz Kastmaster or Mr Champ Spoons. (Identical except for the name) Hopkins lures in the same weight range work great too.
I prefer to add about 10' of 25# test Fluorocarbon leader plus 1' of #4 single strand brown wire for a bite leader.
The long fluorocarbon leader serves 3 purposes. One, it is very hard to see, two it is a lot easier on your fingers when making lots of casts and third, it gives you a lot of abrasion resistance from fish tails, scales and the sand bottom.
If you want to catch a big Shark at night, take a look at the new Daiwa DF 100A Giant spinning reel. The latest Half Hitch Tackle Catlog lists this reel for $29.99, one helluva deal for a reel that works. I recently loaded one with 650 yards of 65# test Power Pro. The biggest fish on it so far was a 200# plus Bull Shark. Put it on a heavy duty 10 foot rod and you will be prepared for bigguns.
A 10' leader of 80# test fluorocarbon, 4' of #9 single strand wire and a 12/0 circle hook completes the rig. If you add a sinker, use 4oz or less. A pyramid holds well in the gentle surf in the panhandle. A 3/4# Blue Runner with the top lobe of its tail removed is a great Shark magnet. With this rig and a little luck, you will be able to land Sharks in the 300# class or bigger, depending on the species and the amount of fight in the fish.
Please release the shark. Sharks have been severely overfished in recent years.