Hello world!

Sandestin is a great place to dip a line! Whether you wish to fish any of the fresh water catch and release lakes at the resort, go surf fishing, or hire a charter, you can do it at Sandestin. Whether you’re looking for an exciting Florida deep sea fishing trip, a sailboat for two, a pontoon boat for twelve or a luxurious Destin, Florida cruise, you’ll find it all at Sandestin’s Baytowne Marina.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is ranked as one of the top beach resort destinations situated between a stretch of beautiful white sand along the Gulf Of Mexico and the quiet shore of the Choctawhatchee Bay. Throughout the resort, there are 75 freshwater ponds teaming with bass.

You can also rent or buy single fishing poles and pre-packaged fishing kits for children and adults. The staff here is also a great resource for hot tips on what lures and bait are working best with local fish.

If you’re bringing home dinner, stop by the nearby Marina Bar & Grill, where they’ll cook your catch for you, head back home and fry ‘em up in your fully stocked kitchen, or throw the filets on your back porch grill with some blackened seasoning. If you’ve released all the fish you’ve caught, you can partake in some locally caught seafood. There are many restaurants and establishments nearby dedicated to serving fresh, never frozen seafood right from the beautiful Gulf waters nearby.

Birds circling and diving over pods of baitfish is an almost certain sign that bigger fish are staging a similar scene below them.

As noted earlier, circling gulls usually indicate the presence of baitfish and larger fish forcing them to the surface. But many fishermen regard the presence of loons as a more reliable indicator of nearby fish.

Redwing blackbirds love “edge” areas. You can see them often around emergent shoreline vegetation. One prominent bass pro recently credited a major tournament win to recognizing the presence of these distinctive and highly territorial birds.

Think of herons and egrets as fellow fishermen. They wade carefully in shallow areas fish are likely to inhabit. Eagles and osprey can capture fairly large fish in their talons sweeping down on an unsuspecting fish swimming near the surface. Pelicans, along with other species, plunge head-first to capture fish that may be several feet below the surface. To witness such activity is always a treat – as well as proof of fish presence!

Spitfire Bait Shop

Your next great fish story starts at Spitfire Mercantile. This is where to go before heading out on that charter to get live worms, shrimp, shiners and crickets, lures and hooks. You can also rent or buy single fishing poles and pre-packaged fishing kits for children and adults and of course get hot tips on what lures and bait are working best with local fish.

(850) 267-4396


Fishing at Sandestin Resort Guests are able to fish at the beach and piers located on property, as well as various ponds throughout the resort. Ponds are stocked and are “catch and release”. At the beach and pier you can keep your catch. Fishing on the beach or the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay requires a license. Rent fishing gear at Spitfire Mercantile. Spitfire Mercantile ………………………………………. 850.267.4396 Fishing Gear and supply store located at Baytowne Marina. S



The Carolina rig is a popular and effective way to rig for bass. Just about any soft plastic can be used when Carolina rigging. It is a successful method of soft plastic bait presentation in all depths of water, its only limitation is certain types of cover that you are trying to move it through. For example areas of extreme weeds or brush don’t lend themselves to the usage of a Carolina rig. Areas were the bottom is made up of rocks and boulders that are very close together is another area where the rig is sure to get caught up. Fishing with a Carolina rig you can see why they are so effective as the rig is drawn across the bottom the soft plastic bait will move side to side upward and downward bumping weeds and bouncing off rocks. Cast and retrieve slow is the key for a successful presentation. A bite on a Carolina rig can be a subtle tap, twitch or pressure on the line in setting the hook use a forceful snap of the rod ensuring the embeded hook point travels through the body of the soft plastic bait.

The Carolina rig is basically a modified Texas rig with a few additions and similar to a sliding sinker bottom rig used for walleyes.

Suggested Tackle 
Rods 6-6 1/2- 7 foot medium heavy fast action bait casting.
Reel: Low profile bait casting reel 6:3:1 gear ratio, thumb bar line release medium line capacity.
Line: 10lb to 14 lb low stretch monofilament.

What you need for a Carolina Rig

Assortment of Sinkers Types Bullet or Egg (Lead, Brass or Steel)
1/8 – 3/16 – 1/4 oz for shallow water or 4″ to 6″ soft plastic’s
3/8 – 1/2 – 3/4 – 1 oz for deeper water or larger 6″+ soft plastic’s

The swivels used should be of good quality and as small as possible. The general function of the swivel is as a stopper for the weight rather than keeping out line twist. Sizes 5-6-7 Are large enough to stop the sliding weight.

Offset Worm Hooks 
1/0-2/0 – Small Soft Plastic’s
3/0-4/0 – 5/0 Larger Soft Plastic’s

Just about any type of soft plastic baits

How to Rig

Determine the leader length, 18″ to 36″ is the most common, the general rule is 18 inches of leader per 10 feet of water. Tie your hook on to the leader on the other end tie on your swivel using a Palomar or Improved Clinch Knotfor both.

Slip on the sinker on your main line, if your using a bullet weight be sure the point is facing the rod tip. Then slip on a glass bead, this adds sound that attracts bass and acts as a insulator protecting the knot from the banging of the weight.

Tie on the leader to the other side of the swivel using a Palomar or Improved Clinch Knot .

In rigging your soft plastic’s on the hook use the same procedure as the Texas Rig above.

3. Drop Shot Rig


The drop-shot rig is a finesse technique that has been made popular by the bass fishing community, walleye and panfish anglers as well are now using the drop shot with many successes. It is especially good for suspended fish that requires vertical placement of the bait in front of active fish. The drop shot is a way of tying your hook up the line and putting the lead on the bottom. Fishing the drop shot is simple, cast or drop the rig straight down over the side of the boat, when the line goes slack reel up until the line is tight with the weight on the bottom, now shake the rod gently, you just want your bait to wiggle. A bite can be a subtle tug, a side way movement or just pressure on the line. Set the hook using a upward sweeping motion.

Suggested Tackle : As a finesse rig the drop shot is best fished on light line and spinning outfits.
Rod: Light fast action 6′-6″ to 7′ foot
Reels: Light Spinning balanced to the rod
Line: 6-8 lb monofilament

What you need for a Drop Shot Rig

Many tackle companies manufacture designed drop shot weights, round or rectangular of lead or tungstenthat come with a tie on clip on the top. The weights range from 1/8 to1/2 oz. The most common weights used are 3/16 – 3/8 oz. Another alternative is a casting sinker a bell shaped sinker with a tie on swivel molded on the top.

There are many specialized drop shot hooks on the market, but any small hooks will work. For rigging small soft plastic’s use a 1/0 or 2/0 offset worm hook. Live bait minnows and leeches use a octopus hook size #6-#8. Panfish use Aberdeen light wire hooks size #6-#8

Lures/Live bait
Bait versatility is advantage of the drop shot rig. In rigging small soft plastic’s if you’re fishing open water run the hook thru it’s nose with the hook exposed, if there is cover in the area you can rig it Texas style making it weedless (See Texas Rig above)
Live Bait hook the minnow through it’s mouth, leeches through its sucker.

How to Rig

The drop shot rig is a easy rig to tie as long as you become comfortable with the knot used for the hook. The Palomar Knot . We recommend first time users to practice tying this rig at home before heading out on the water. As a reference you should print out a copy of our knot instructions as a guide. Just Click Here .

To tie a drop shot rig determine how far off the bottom you want your bait to be 18 to 36 inches, make a loop at that length and pass the line through the hook eye from the point side. Allow the hook to dangle, and tie a loose over hand knot in the doubled line, being careful not to twist the lines or tighten the knot. Pull the line by its looped end far enough to pass it over the hook Pulling at both ends of the line, tighten the knot. Leaving one end connected to the rod and the other tag end to tie on the drop shot weight using a Improved Clinch Knot . Be sure the hook rides horizontally from the line.

Deep Sea

For a “deep sea” style of fishing, you can book a charter or rent a boat. Here, you can access the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico and the fish that run there, in half of the time that it would take to reach these depths from anywhere else. Gulf fish species caught locally include Red Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Mackerel, Cobia, Bonito, Sailfish, and Blackfin Tuna.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association depth charts of the Choctawhatchee Bay. Horsehshoe Bayou pictured above.


Sandestin Marina Bar & Grill



If you’re bringing home dinner, stop by the nearby Marina Bar & Grill, where they’ll cook your catch for you, head back home and fry ‘em up in your fully stocked kitchen, or throw the filets on your back porch grill with some blackened seasoning. If you’ve released all the fish you’ve caught, you can partake in some locally caught seafood. There are many restaurants and establishments nearby dedicated to serving fresh, never frozen seafood right from the beautiful Gulf waters nearby.


With the best seat in the house for bay views, Marina Bar & Grill is situated on the Baytowne Marina and Choctawhatchee Bay. This is the spot to relax with family and friends to enjoy a hearty breakfast or maybe trade fish stories with friends over an ice cold beer after the tackle has been put away. Open for lunch and early dinner any day of the week and weekend breakfasts, Marina Bar & Grill is famous for making you feel like a local the minute you walk through the door. And don’t forget to say hi to the Marina’s official feathered greeter, Maryann the macaw.



Visit Mary Ann on her perch overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay at Marina Bar & Grill

With menu items featuring locally caught seafood and Southern classics with a Bayou twist, you can enjoy coastal favorites inside or outside in the casual, rustic dining area and soak in a 180-degree sunset view over the marina.

The lunch and dinner menu features buffalo wings, fried calamari, blackened fish tacos, and hand-made Angus burgers. Daily specials include BBQ shrimp and grits, flatbread pizzas, seafood gumbo and horseradish crusted grouper. If you’ve had a lucky day on the water, they’ll provide “you catch ‘em, we cook ‘em” service, and serve your catch grilled, fried or blackened to your liking. View the menu online!
Bay views forever at Marina Bar & Grill

Come out for the weekend and enjoy live music on the deck on Saturday evenings. Check the SoWal Music Calendar to find out who will be on stage each week. During Fall, watch your favorite NCAA or NFL team on the big screen on Saturdays and Sundays during the “Sailgate” Parties.

On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy your breakfast favorites from 8 – 11 a.m. including organic three-egg omelets, French toast, bacon or sausage breakfast sandwiches and pancakes with fresh berry compote.


Marina Bar and Grill is a pet friendly place so bring your four-legged friends and enjoy a fun dining experience on the outdoor deck.

Marina Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is served on weekends:

Monday-Friday | 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday | 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Breakfast served from 8 – 11 a.m.
Live Music 5 – 8 p.m.
Sunday | 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Breakfast served from 8 – 11 a.m.

Marina Bar and Grill is located bayside in Sandestin at the Baytowne Marina and adjacent to The Village of Baytowne Wharf where you’ll find many unique shops and restaurants to discover as well as outstanding events year round. Follow Marina Bar and Grill on Facebook for updates, live music and fun photos.



Marina Bar & Grill is located at the Baytowne Marina in Sandestin
Baytowne Marina
Ride the wave of your favorite waterfront activities at colorful Baytowne Marina. Located adjacent to our Village, this is where guests, residents and locals come together to enjoy picturesque Choctawhatchee Bay. The full-service 113-slip marina accommodates yachts up to 140 feet. It’s also where you can charter whatever boat you want to float, including light tackle fishing charters, pontoon boat rentals, Wave Runners and YOLO SUP boards. Heading out for some fishing? Lures, hooks, poles and more for your day on the water are available here as well. Read more at Sandestin.com.


In Shore Bay Fishing in DestinThe beautiful, emerald green waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay are full of game fish! Its many bayous and creeks are thriving estuaries teaming with bait fish such as menhaden, mullet and shrimp, while its grass beds and oyster bars are patrolled by redfish and speckled trout! There are many popular species of game fish caught here in our bay, but redfish and trout are the all-stars!

Redfish are caught year round here. There are many different ways to catch reds, which are dictated by the time of year. Spring (March, April and May) is prime time for “slot reds”! These are fish that are in the federally imposed size limit of 18”-27”. With lots of fish around, it’s common to catch dozens of fish per trip! These fish are caught around docks, on oyster bars and on grass flats. With long runs on light tackle these fish are a blast!

August and September bring the “bull” reds. These are large fish averaging 15 to 30 lbs! Bull reds are caught around bridges and in channels. Caught on heavier tackle, the bulls give a down and dirty battle!

Speckled trout are a beautiful and great eating game fish! March and April are the best months for trout with September and October coming in a close second. Trout are caught using live bait and are fished on grass flats during the early morning hours. Our best trout fishing is at night!
Flounder is also a very popular fish caught primarily in the fall. October and November are the best and the action gets hot!
Bay fishing is a great outing for kids. The water is always calm and the action is fast!

Speckled Trout Charter Fishing in DestinSpeckled Trout, also known as spotted seatrout, is a popular game fish in the estuaries in South Alabama and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. They are especially abundant during the spawning season in the months of May, June, and July, when aggressive feeding makes them easier to hook in lower areas of bays and along beaches and barrier islands.

The Redfish is a super-challenging opponent on the grass beds and flats of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. The shallower the water, the more thrilling the fight. The bulk of small marine life and food will be found in shallow water around structures and near grassy cover. This offers the small fish, crustaceans and mollusks protection from predators. Therefore, Redfish will be found near this abundant food supply.

The summer flounder, or “fluke,” a flatfish is found in coastal waters from the southern Gulf of Maine to Florida.  Like other species of flatfish, the fluke has both eyes on one side of its head and rests on the ocean floor on its side.  The fluke is called a left handed flatfish because its eyes are on the upper surface of the head when the fish is facing left.  Summer flounder are called the chameleons of the sea because of their ability to change color to match the bottom on which they are found.

Sheepshead are found Gulfwide, primarily in saline to near-fresh estuarine waters. They are very common near rock jetties, piers, pilings, and weirs.

Spanish Mackerels are beautifully colored finfish caught off both Florida coasts. Their slender bullet-shaped bodies are blue and silver, spotted with golden yellow or olive ovals. They are distinguished from the Cero or King Mackerel in having these spots without stripes on the sides, and in lacking scales on the pectoral fins.

The bluefish, a trophy species hotly pursued by anglers due to it’s reputation as a champion battler and voracious predator.

Sandestin Family Fishing Tournament

Sandestin Family Fishing Tournament

Fridays starting June 2 – September 1

Join us on Fridays for a Sandestin Family Fishing Tournaments. Stop by the Baytowne Marina Bait Shop to receive your fishing rod. The family to catch the biggest fish, and provide a picture to the bait shop when they are done, receives a PRIZE!

Only 1 rod per family. Additional bait can be purchased at bait shop. Must bring your photo back by 12:00 pm. Fish are catch and release. Maps will be provided for available fishing ponds.

Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic


The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic was started in 2003 when a group of guys from Galati Yacht Sales and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort decided it was time to bring a big money tournament back to the Destin area. The rest, as they say, is history.

Richest Fishing Tournament Gulf Coast


Timed to coincide with the peak of the Gulf Coast’s blue marlin season, and located at the South’s number-one ranked resort destination, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort sets the new precedent for world-class sportfishing tournaments.

This annual event offers something for everyone. Most importantly, for the angling teams, there’s the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, red-hot billfish action, and cool green cash.

While on-shore, both the teams and their families can enjoy the wide variety of recreational activities offered at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and The Village of Baytowne Wharf. The spectacular night time weigh-ins are held at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin and are open to the public.

The competition takes place in one of the most productive fisheries in the United States. In the past several years two blue marlin “Granders” (blue marlin weighing over 1,000 lbs.) have been weighed in the Gulf, and state records for blue marlin and both bluefin and yellowfin tuna have been broken.

The ECBC is a “modified-release” tournament and led the Gulf Coast tournament circuit in setting high minimum lengths for blue marlin. Blue marlin are the only billfish that may be weighed. Release points are awarded for blue marlin also, in addition to white marlin, sailfish and spearfish.

The three heaviest weighed blue marlin, dolphin, tuna and wahoo are eligible for cash awards, as are the top three teams entered in the Release Division, and the top three Crews entered in the Crew Division. Awards are presented to the top overall, release, lady and junior anglers, and the top overall release team has its name engraved on the Magnificent BluePerpetual Trophy.

Info and registration: http://www.fishecbc.com/

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a major destination for all seasons and all ages, and was named the #1 resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The resort invites guests to a world of 2,400 acres and 30 charming neighborhoods featuring more than 1,250 South Walton vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, town homes and the best in Destin hotel accommodations. The resort features more than seven miles of beaches and pristine bay front, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 113-slip marina, a fitness center and spa, meeting space and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming pedestrian village with events, shopping, dining and nightlife. People are invited to download Sandestin’s APP for iPhone and Android devices, or become a Facebook Fan orTwitter follower for the latest events and news.

Upstream Or Downstream

fish face into current, generally preferring to see things coming downstream toward them. They know that the stronger the current, the less distance bass move to intercept things. They know that lures with a lot of resistance may blow out, look unnatural, or fail to get down when fished perpendicular to the current. They know water levels and current strength affect all these things and—to some extent—determine casting angles.

Read more: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/smallmouth-bass/smallmouth-bass-and-current/#ixzz4s3pSEy8U

Types Of Fish

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Red drum, also called redfish, channel bass, spottail, red bass or reds, are one of Florida’s most popular sport fish and the state’s most widespread estuarine fish. Red drum are named after the “drumming” sound the make during spawning and when taken out of the water. The sound is produced by muscles rubbing against the inflated air bladder. Red drum inhabit the nearshore and offshore waters throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Key West. Juvenile red drum inhabit rivers, bays, canals, tidal creeks, and passes in estuaries for up to four years, after which they usually move to nearshore or open ocean waters as adults. Red drum in Florida can reach lengths of 45 inches and weigh up to 51 pounds. The world record red drum was caught off North Carolina waters in 1984 and it weighed 94 pounds, 2 ounces.The oldest recorded red drum in Florida was aged at 40 years. Floating a live shrimp under a popping cork is a good way to fish for red drum. They also chase crabs, mullet, pinfish and killifish (mud minnows). Casting soft-bodied jigs, spoons and even top-water plugs will catch the attention of these powerful estuarine musicians. Redfish make great table fare.

Check http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/red-drum/ for current regulations, bag limits and season dates

Insect Repellent

Fishing Gear

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Offshore & Surf Fishing

For Offshore and Surf fishing I like the ‘Quantum Boca Offshore Angler Rod and Reel Spinning Combo’ available here: http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/quantum-boca-pt-offshore-angler-inshore-extreme-rod-and-reel-spinning-combo


Inshore & Bass Fishing

For Inshore and Freshwater, or Bass fishing, I like the ‘Quantum Throttle Bionic Blade Spinning Combo’ available here: http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/quantum-throttle-bass-pro-shops-bionic-blade-spinning-combo


For Surf or Pier fishing, you can’t go wrong with this kit from Shakespeare available here: http://amzn.to/2f1eW2k Perfect for novice or the practiced angler.



Shakespeare Catch More Fish – Surf/Pier M Spinning Combo Kit, 8-Feet by Shakespeare



Croch Fishing Rod Pole Holder Aluminium Alloy Ground Support Stand



Surf Fishing


Deep Sea Fishing

For a “deep sea” style of fishing, you can book a charter or rent a boat. Here, you can access the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico and the fish that run there, in half of the time that it would take to reach these depths from anywhere else. Gulf fish species caught locally include Red Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Mackerel, Cobia, Bonito, Sailfish, and Blackfin Tuna.

The Bay

Sandestin sits on the Choctawhatchee Bay, specifically the Horseshoe Bayou…

The Bay

in the world sits in a secluded, natural setting, nestled near

You can make yourself at home and cast out from our neighborhood dock out onto the Bay, where you might pull in a “Keeper Red” or a Speckled Trout. One of our favorite charter Captains, Capt. Sid of the Lil’ Lucky fishing boat, will pick you up for your fishing experience right here. When you’re done, he’ll bring you back home and drop you off right at your doorstep, so to speak.

Sandestin Marina Fishing Charters

Phone: (850) 699-2286

Website: www.lillucky.com

E-mail: littlecz@cox.net

We’re fortunate to call Choctawhatchee Bay home which means fantastic fishing opportunities for you right from Baytowne Marina, the only full-service marina in Walton County. We offer two options for light tackle fishing charters on our nimble and sporty boats Ceviche and Lil’ Lucky. Outfitted with top of the line light tackle fishing gear, these smaller craft allow you to navigate the shallow back bays and grassy flats of the bay targeting species like redfish, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel and flounder. Whether you opt for catch-and-release or are looking to bring something home for the frying pan, it’s always a memorable time on the water when you charter out of the Baytowne Marina.

Activity Highlights
→ Bait, tackle and fishing license included.
→ Experienced captain and crew.
→ Catch snapper, grouper, trigger fisher and more!

Watersports at Sandestin

Phone: (850) 267-7777

Website: www.sandestin.com/sandestin-marina

If it’s fun and it floats, you’ll most likely find it at the Baytowne Marina. With our armada of watercraft and sporting gear, we’ve got you covered whether you want to get out on the water and relax or you’re up for something that will get the adrenaline racing. Choose from WaveRunners, snorkel and scuba gear, kayaks, boogie boards and pontoon boats. And the best part? Our warm and welcoming waters average 75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round meaning any time is the right time to explore Sandestin’s wet and wild side at the Baytowne Marina.

YOLO at Sandestin

Phone: (850) 267-7877

Website: www.sandestin.com/sandestin-marina

Local stand-up paddle innovators YOLO have it right – You Only Live Once. That’s why they make it so easy to come out to our bay or beach to try the hot new sport of SUP on their premium boards. YOLO offers styles for all skill levels and ages, so you can try SUP Yoga, Camp YOLO for kids, or just cruise with ease while exploring the bay one stroke at a time enjoying your new favorite sport that mixes agility, skill and a whole lot of fun.

Fish for Bass in over 75 freshwater ponds located within the resort. Ponds are stocked and are “catch and release.” You can also rent or buy single fishing poles and pre-packaged fishing kits for children and adults. The staff here is also a great resource for hot tips on what lures and bait are working best with local fish.

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