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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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I recommend you rent a kayak and get off the beach a bit. Kings and Spanish can be caught within a few hundred yards of the beach and you never know what else you may catch.


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For surf - your bait choice is good. I try to stay away from heavy terminal tackle, and use only what's needed (I don't like pomp floats on my rigs - I use only a small red beat, plus try to use only as big of a weight as needed).

Try not to fish same spot over and over - look for some indication of structure in the surf (trough, cuts, holes, points, lips etc - any kind of structure can work). You can find plenty of guides here and on other resources.

As for wading spots - can't help you much in destin area, but generally one good idea is to pull the Google Maps in Satelite view and just look for grass flats - pretty much any flat will work if you can cover enough water.

Kayak idea sounds good too.

EDIT: Just saw how old the post was :) Maybe somebody else will be able to use this late advice
 
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