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Discussion Starter #22
Where do you launch at for the bridge? Do you fish closer to the ends where it's shallow since the water is still cool or out in the middle?
 

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Blowhard extrordinair
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I picked up an Old Town Caspian when Academy had them on clearance for $298. It's really a little small for me. I weight about 240 right now, and water comes through the scupper holes under my butt with just me in it, so i got some scupper valves from ACK, but haven't tried it with those yet.
I got some foam golf balls, put a hole through them with a tiny screw driver and then tied a string through them. Works like a charm and cost $3. :thumbsup:
 

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Ghoot, yes, that is the general area for the Cantina but your exact circle is mooring for boats.

Also some one said to ride down the pass and fish the jetties. I have hundreds of hours of kayaking experience in the Gulf and there is NO WAY I would do that. Perhaps on a neap tide but then the fishing would suck any way. The Destin pass can be very unforgiving, please dont do that.

As for where to launch at the bridge there is a spot on the Okaloosa Island (west) side of the bridge. Its pretty much under the big "Welcome to Destin" sign. You cant miss it. You will have to drive pass it a bit and then turn around to get to it. Also watch the tides, I havnt checked them but a strong tide can mean LOTS of current moving at the bridge and a newbie in a paddle yak can run into trouble really fast.

Personally I think you should launch there and paddle around towards the coast guard station. There are some grass flats over there that should hold some trout and reds. Get there at dawn with a popping cork and shrimp and you will catch some fish and most importantly be in a relatively safe area.

Also youre coming down at a time when the cobia boats will be running, youre basicially going to be fishing in the middle of a major high way. Keep your head on a swivel and your whistle handy.
 

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That's pretty close, I think that area has changed a little since that pic was taken. There are little jet ski slips you can pull up on now. As far as the jetty goes, I have never had a problem getting out but I suppose it will be pretty busy there coming up. Just be careful. Worse comes to worse, you always got crab island!!!!
 

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Ghoot,
JD is definitely right about fishing along the jetties. It can get really wishy washy out there and those rocks can bust you up bad! He is also right about the current there because it rips through there. I have had to paddle my @$$ off to get back into the harbor before, plus around the bridge boat traffic can be bad for the paddler. If you are going into Destin take the first left and there is a park you can launch from about 1/4 mile down on the left. Also the parking lot by the bridge is good for going into the bay and fishing around the coast guard jetty. Just watch out for the fools renting pontoon boats around crab, I almost got a personal tour of the bottom of a rented toon last summer. Guy was looking right at me the whole time! I am watching the reports for this weekend and Sunday is not looking too bad but it is still early. Maybe an offshore day there...
 

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you asked what a deflator was and I do not think anyone answered. If you are fishing for reef fish like snapper and grouper you have to have a deflator and a dehooker to be legal. They sell "compliance kits" pretty cheap at most of the tackle stores that don't have the best tools, but you don't need the best tools if you are not really targeting those species and / or this is just a visit and not something you are doing week in and week out. The deflator is like a big hollow needle that is used to deflate the blown up air bladder of a reef fish that you just cranked up from a deep depth. If you don't deflate them when you release them they will not be able to go back down (and they are out of season right now and must be released). This link for Academy shows a clear picture of the compliance kit - http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_19509_-1

If you don't want to risk offshore you can have a blast with big reds and sheephead around the bridge. Plenty of fight to them and the sheephead are about as good eatting as any fish out there. PITA to clean, but great eating.
Have fun and be safe.
Fisherdad1
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Thanks for all of the great advice guys. Don't mean to be a pain in the tail, but since my time is short, hopefully I can go directly to some descent spots without trying to figure it out when I get there. Is this where the grass beds are?
 

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Pretty much. If you have a 4x4 Ive seen people park in the sand on the north side of 98 on Okaloosa Island. Not sure if its legal but Ive done it several times and brought my jeep to within just a few yards of the water. There are great grass flats over there too.
 
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