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Heading down later this week from DFW for a week for our yearly trip. Have always fished in front of the condos early in Crystal beach area using sand fleas, shrimp, cut bait, fish bites. Really not much other than a few whiting. Are there any other areas less crowded that might be better. I was thinking between Ft. Walton and Destin might be a better spot. Any suggestions on locations and bait of choice would be appreciated. Also looking for good wade fishing locations in the same area targeting redfish, specs, flounder. Don't really want to mess with the Okaloosa pier but am interested in the Pilcher park and pier under the 331 bridge if anyone has been.
 

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Are you looking to rent a boat while you're here? I would suggest the Shalimar Bridge. Park on the South side and walk about half way up. Spanish Mackerel caught there frequently on bubble rigs and Gotchas. Big reds hang out near the boat channel. You can catch them on pinfish. Take a small spinning rod for pinfish. Drop a drop shot rig with a #8 hook & 1oz weight next to a pylon for pinfish.
 

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Wolfgang
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Heading down later this week from DFW for a week for our yearly trip. Have always fished in front of the condos early in Crystal beach area using sand fleas, shrimp, cut bait, fish bites. Really not much other than a few whiting. Are there any other areas less crowded that might be better. I was thinking between Ft. Walton and Destin might be a better spot. Any suggestions on locations and bait of choice would be appreciated. Also looking for good wade fishing locations in the same area targeting redfish, specs, flounder. Don't really want to mess with the Okaloosa pier but am interested in the Pilcher park and pier under the 331 bridge if anyone has been.
The 331 park is too new for me to know how the bite is. But if you go further north to the causeway you can always catch something there, so long as there is a current. In the past we've caught reds, specs, black drum and even hybrid stripers, believe it or not.
The last few trips to the beach early I've seen small reds, specs and even small pompano in the shore break. They got bigger kin further out I'm sure.:yes:
 

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The 331 park is too new for me to know how the bite is. But if you go further north to the causeway you can always catch something there, so long as there is a current. In the past we've caught reds, specs, black drum and even hybrid stripers, believe it or not.
The last few trips to the beach early I've seen small reds, specs and even small pompano in the shore break. They got bigger kin further out I'm sure.:yes:
The causeway is now completely off limits and signed. They are passing out trespassing tickets for pulling over to fish. But I have heard rumors of a boat launch and fishing pier to be built on the north end.

Agree with you. Caught a lot of fish off that causeway in past years.
 

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Jaded Old Phart
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Stop by Half Hitch and chat them up.
 
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