Everyone’s Bucket List Fish ~ The Mahi-Mahi

Mahi- Mahi, Dorado, Dolphin… whichever name you call it, is a name heard around the coast. Everyone wants to reel in one of these over the top colorful, tasty fish. This is one of our most popular requests on our trips.

A Mahi-Mahi is considered part of the pelagic family. Pelagic fish are species found neither near the bottom or near the shore. These free-swimming fish are often caught while deep water offshore trolling. They are also known to be hanging around sargassum seaweed patches or floating objects that have accumulated bait fish to school around it. Unlike many other species of fish, a mature dolphin is very easily determined to be a male or female by just the way they look. The males (or bulls) will have a large prominent protruding forehead while the females (or cows) have a rounded shaped head. Mahi-Mahi are also known for their mesmerizing blue, green, and yellow colors. They are truly a piece of art swimming around.

Mahi-Mahis are among some of the fastest growing fish. They don’t live much long than four to five years but regenerate very rapidly. Female Mahis will spawn two to three times a year and can produce between 80,000 and 1,000,000 eggs per event! That is a lot of kids.

To better your odds on catching one of these fish of a lifetime, we suggest booking an all-day 12 hour (or longer) trip. This will allow enough time to travel to the clean blue, deep water where the Mahi-Mahi usually homestead. Also, while trolling for Mahi-Mahi you have a chance to hook up a sailfish, wahoo or blackfin tuna as well.

Category: Uncategorized

2021 Red Snapper Season

Federal Red Snapper Announced! The 2021 Red Snappers season will start June 1st and go through August 2nd closing on August 3rd.

Along with Red Snappers, Gag Groupers are set to open June 1st, 2021 as well. This is a great time to come fishing and be able to capitalize on the chance to harvest both species at the same time. Snappers and Groupers are by far some the most delicious fish to eat!

June and July are our busiest months of the year. Popular by demand we usually book up 2 to 3 months out for this particular time. Don’t be left at the dock!

Call Shelby directly at (850) 685-9368 to book your trip now.

FUN FACTS: Here is are the 2020 preliminary Gulf Red Snapper Landings (as of 1/20/2021)

-June Landings : 591,358 lbs.

-July Landings : 503,202 lbs.

-October Landings : 103,791 lbs.

That is a total of 1,172,208 lbs. harvested (62% of Florida’s allotted quota).

Category: Fishing Trips

2021 Triggerfish Season Announced

Federal Waters: Gulf of Mexico: Gray Triggerfish 2021 Season


(please note potential early closure if quota is met prematurely)

Triggerfish regulations are required to be 15”. Only 1 per person per day included within 20 reef fish aggregate.

With Red Snappers, Gag Groupers, and Amberjacks being closed until later in the year, Triggerfish are an awesome bonus to be able to keep during the Spring. They are one of the tastiest fishes to eat. Triggerfish are not only good to eat but fun to catch as well! No better way to spend your Spring Break or Late Summer then catching your own dinner. It doesn’t get any fresher then walking off the boat and taking your fish right to a restaurant on the harbor for a “hook n cook” or a “cook your catch” dinner. A fun way to spend time with friends or family!

Category: Fishing Trips

Wrapping Up October 2020

Destin’s 72nd Annual Fishing Rodeo, Triggerfish, and Amberjack season are coming to an end as we wrap up the last week of October.

The 2020 Gray Triggerfish season will close on October 26th.

The 2020 Greater Amberjack season will close October 31st.

Triggerfish and Amberjacks are both delicious to eat and fun to catch! Both species represent the experience of Deep-Sea Fishing in Destin, FL perfectly. Triggerfish and Amberjacks are hard fighting fish. This duo makes deep sea fishing in Destin fun for the whole family!

We had a record hurricane season this year which made for an interesting September and October to say the least. Most of our trips were spent dealing with the big seas that Mother Nature pushed in. We are thankful for the trips we were able to make and the fish we were able to harvest.

On November 2nd, The Backlash is set to be hauled out and undergo a face lift. We will be working with the Coast Guard in order to officially be certified to carry more than 6 passengers. We will resume normal operations starting the first of the year once we are finished at dry dock and the certification is completed.

Anyone who has fished with is during the 2020 season who would like to reserve the same date for the 2021 season is welcome to book now. All other bookings will be on a first come, first serve basis starting January 1st, 2021.

Looking forward to seeing y’all on the water and a huge THANK YOU to all the customers who fished with us this season

Category: Offshore Fishing

Greater Amberjack Season 2020 Announced

Destin Amberjack SeasonOffshore charter fishingOffshore Fishing Charter

The 2020 Greater Amberjack season for Gulf state and federal waters will open May 1st-31st and August 1st – October 31st, 2020. The daily bag limit is 1 per person, per day and must be a minimum of 34” to the fork.

Amberjacks are a pound for pound hard fighting fish. They are often to referred to as “Reef Donkeys” because of their fighting strength. They prefer live bait and can be found schooling around nearshore and offshore structures in the Gulf such as reefs, wrecks and pieces of steal. Amberjacks can grow upwards of 60 inches in length and up to 176lbs. The most common found are 40 inches and 40lbs and under. The Florida state record is 142lbs and was caught near Islamorada. Amberjacks are a firm fish and can be cooked a variety of ways. One fish can yield quite a bit of meat and set a feast for lots of mouths. Here is one of our favorite ways to prepare Amberjack.

Microwave Fish Tacos

(YES, you read that correctly!)

You will need:

Soft butter, Margarine (Country Crock is what I use)

Cavenders Greek Seasoning

Slap Yo Mama Seasoning

Shredded Lettuce

Diced Tomatoes

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Soft Tortillas

Your favorite salsa


1) Prep your fish. Cut out any bloodline and cut into 3-4-inch-wide strips. You don’t want the filet to over hang your plate.

2) Place strips on plate and cover with butter completely.

3) Top with seasoning of your choice. We do a variety of each. The Slap Yo Mama will be spicier then the Cavenders.

4) Cook on high for 3 ½ minutes or until you can put a fork and twist with them flaking apart.

5) Prep your tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes and salsa. Then add one filet and top with shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Trigger Fish Season 2020 Announced

destin offshore fishing charter

offshore fishing charter

The 2020 Gray Triggerfish season for state and federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico will open March 1st, 2020 and go until May 1st, 2020. The season will close for May, June, and July but then reopen August 1st 2020 and go through December 31st, 2020. (If the max quota for the Gulf is reached, earlier season closures are possible.)

The daily bag limit for Triggerfish in state and federal waters is 1 per person, per day. The minimum size to harvest is 15” to the fork. Triggerfish are usually found on hard- bottoms, reefs, and ledges in water that usually exceeds 80ft deep. Because of their habitat they are usually are caught alongside the famous Red Snapper. Triggerfish typically prefer cut bait such as squid. Since they have very hard, bony mouths it is important to use smaller hooks when fishing for them to increase your hook up ratio. Triggerfish are one of the most delicious fish to eat in the Gulf and are a firm, white flakey filet that you can cook a variety of ways. See the recipe below for one of our favorite ways to cook up a Blackened Triggerfish Sandwich.

FUN FACT: The Florida state record triggerfish is 12lbs, 7oz and was caught off the coast of Pensacola in July 2001.


Blackened Triggerfish Sandwich & Homemade Slaw


You will need:

1 bottle Chef Paul’s Magic Seafood Seasoning

Cast Iron Skillet

2 Sticks of butter, melted

Kaiser or Hawaiian King Buns

Louisiana Tartar Sauce

Triggerfish Filets

6 cups shredded cabbage/carrot mix

½ cup Mayo

1 tsp white vinegar

1/3 cup miracle whip

¼ cup sugar

1 lemon, squeezed and seeded


1) Prep your fish. Cut out any bloodlines and trim up filet to fit a sandwich. Triggerfish usually yield one sandwich per filet.

2) Get your skillet hot. (350-400 degrees)

3) In a large bowl combine mayo, miracle whip, sugar, cabbage mix, vinegar, and lemon juice. Mix until all combined. Set slaw aside.

4) Once skillet is hot, dip one filet into melted butter and then top the upward side completely with chef Paul’s seasoning. Place seasoned side down in skillet and then coat top side in skillet with seasoning as well. Repeat process for all filets. They will need to cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

5) Toast your buns and add a little tartar sauce on them.

6) Top buns with slaw and a blackened filet. Serve immediately.


71st Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo with Backlash

With the start of October comes not only Halloween decorations, but every Destin fisherman’s favorite time of year. Established in 1948, The Destin Fishing Rodeo is the ultimate fishing tournament for saltwater anglers of all ages! People come from across the globe to enter the tournament for a chance to win their share of over $100,000 in awarded cash and prizes. The Rodeo is held from October 1st thru the 31st, and daily weigh-ins are located at A.J.’s Seafood and Oyster Bar from 10am – 7pm.

destin offshore charters

Don’t Miss Shark Saturday!

Hang ‘Em High every Saturday in October. It’s time to put all that muscle work from the summer to the test. If you bring in the largest shark of the day, you’ll get a cash prize! What are you waiting for? Start reeling!

Aboard the Backlash, your captain will be Chris Kirby and his professional team of fishermen. Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean the fishing fun has come to an end. Book your fishing trip today to take part in this yearly event!

Category: Fishing Events

Not Just A Swordfish

It’s Sunday, April 28th, 6:34am, I’m up going through my normal routine of feeding deer, chickens, dogs and watering my garden. It’s my day off…and by day off I mean playing catch up in my home office with the paperwork side of fishing. Chris calls to pass his time while he’s cruising out to his first stop. He has an 8-hour trip today. We start talking about the upcoming week and which days would be the prettiest to attempt to break away and go sword fishing. Today would mark 3 days since I pulled my Dad’s Swordfish off on the wire 10ft behind the boat. I hadn’t slept a night since and Chris is the one who had to hear all about it. Chris was quiet for a minute then blurted out, “Tonight is the night, we’re going. Seas are less than a foot.” That was all I needed to hear. I got off the phone and spent the next 6 hours throwing together all the gear in order to meet Chris at the dock as soon as he got in.

What felt like 30 minutes later, I was standing at the stern of the Backlash loading her up. First mate, Chris Hunter is there. He is spraying and scrubbing off the days meat haul. With the boat loaded, Chris Hunter ran to his house and changed clothes. Chris Kirby opened the cooler I packed and asked where his rigged baits were. It then dawned on me that I had forgot them. With straight panic I told him I would run home or call Jeff, the bait man, and see if he could run me some squids. 10 minutes later I was heading to the tackle shop to pick up squids and hooks. Bait man saves the day. It’s now 4:28pm, Chris Kirby, Chris Hunter, a case of twisted-tea, a few packs of squid, a harness, and myself are headed out of the pass in search of a Swordfish. In search of redemption.

sword fishing

The sun had set and it wasn’t much longer, Chris is pulling them out of gear signaling it is time. Chris started to rig baits while I broke out the grill and started to prep our feast. I already had a good buzz from tea-time mixed with some ultras. Once we landed in Sword country it was about 9:00pm. Chris shut the big girl’s motors off and we began to drift slowly in the middle of nowhere. We let out three baits and began to wait. 20 minutes later, I’m pulling ribeyes off the grill, 50 yards off the back of the boat appears a pissed off, bill swinging Swordfish on top. I threw the plates down, it was pure chaos for about 15 long seconds before I was holding the rod. Ten minutes later Chris Kirby was leaned over the gunnel reaching down to pull this mighty-might out of the water. This girl was healthy, lit up with the bluest cobalt blue down her back and measured in at 47 inches. We snapped a few pictures of her as her eyes swiveled, looking at each of us like we were aliens. With a good luck kiss, I deposited her back into the deep. We all smiled and laughed as we ate our luke-warm steaks and discussed how the trip had already been made.

We reset our baits and finished cleaning up dinner. Chris picked up the jig rod and started searching for a Blackfin. It wasn’t long until he had one on. The three of us shot the shit and drank, telling stories and listening to music. I felt so relaxed and thankful to be alive. About the time the buzz had increased to a cloud, ZZZZZzzzzzZzzzZZZZZZzzzZZZzzzz. There she was. We all ran around the boat like squirrels. I harnessed up as she ran to the bottom. Chris Kirby woke the Backlash up as Chris Hunter reeled in the other lines. This would make the 15th time I was in the harness and saddled in to reel in a sword. Every time prior to this, ended with being a shark, pulling the hook, or some giant eel. While I have been on the boat multiple times as part of the crew, I had yet to ever reel in a sea monster I could call mine. I concentrated on the reel and watched my rod tip position to make sure I didn’t screw this up. Little while later we got our first glimpse of her. She came up on top and was trying her best to escape the lasso she had around her. She made another short run and then came back up and straight down off the starboard side. She was comfy there and refused to come up any further for a harpoon shot. She raised up and made a big run straight under the boat. Chris Hunter unclipped the rod, followed her and yelled “HARD TO PORT”. Chris Kirby blew some diesel smoke and flipped the Backlash around to save it. She would then take off for her final run. With the line straight down and taking drag off the stern, I was hooked back in and waited for her to stop. When she did, I could almost feel how tired she was. (So was I) I started to ease her up and gain back the line lost. 10 minutes later Chris Hunter said, “ Oh shit, shes dead.” I looked up from the reel and saw a tail coming towards me. The fight was over. I never stopped reeling until the swivel hit the rod tip. Chris squared and myself heaved this monster over the side. We all stood in awe trying to comprehend what the hell just happened. The hook had ripped through her dorsal fin and landed in top of her head. The leader completely wrapped around her stomach and then again around her tail. With a smile so big it kind of hurt a little, I grabbed Chris Kirby and hugged him so hard I thought I broke him in half. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart. He never gave up and the curse was broken. I was officially holding a broadbill that was mine. My Dad’s face crossed through my mind and a tear ran down my cheek. With some hoops, hollers, high-fives, a little photo shoot, drinks and some music cranking, we celebrated in the middle of nowhere, as a speck of sand in the Gulf. While the rest of the world was sleeping, we rounded back to the spot where the madness began, iced our trophy, and put out some more lines. Chris squared went to sleep a short while later. It was now 4:30am. I watched the moon rise and then the sun. I spent the whole night talking to God and singing Miranda Lambert songs on the back deck as I watched the lines. I thanked God for this harvest. As the sun got brighter the guys woke up. I reeled in our Sword rigs and put out lures. It was time to head back. On the way there we swung by some shrimp boats off in the distance to see if they had any friends hanging around. Sure enough we found some yellowfins wanting to play. What a way to cap it off.

I called my Dad as soon as we came into cell range to tell him what had just happened. Redemption at its absolute finest. Thank you Chris squared. Thank YOU Chris Kirby. Thank you God. My first broadbill, a trip I will tell my grandchildren about.

Thank you for reading,

Shelby Lynn Kirby~

Category: Fishing Trips

Cobia Fishing 2019

Its that time of year! Destin Offshore Charters specializes in Cobia fishing and the best bay fishing in Destin, Florida.

Cobia can be found in a variety of habitats including coral reefs, rocky shores, and inshore around pilings. They are found in clean, offshore waters around drifting and stationary objects. Along the Gulf Coast, Cobia tend to inhabit the Panhandle area in late February, early March. They then travel southward along the coast beginning in April and peaking all along the Gulf Coast in July and August.

Cobia feed on fish, crabs and squid and can be caught by bottom fishing and trolling. They can be spotted as they travel in shallow water, markers, around pilings, buoys and anchored boats. They will also accompany other large fish and rays. You want to cast ahead of the fish, bring the lure across its path and work the lure with plenty of action. Cobia are tough fish to fight, so use caution getting them into the boat.

The Destin Cobia Tournament began March 1st and ends April 30th at 8pm. Contact Destin Offshore Charters for more details on Cobia fishing along the Gulf Coast.

Category: Offshore Fishing

Triggerfish Are Open!

Triggerfish season will extend from March 1st to May 31st. They will reopen later in the year starting August 1st – December 31st. The bag limit is 1 fish per day and must be 15 inches to the fork. Triggerfish are by far one of the most delicious reef fish in the Gulf. Their firm, flaky white meat is perfect for a blackened fish sandwich.

Our half day, six hour trips have consisted of mostly bottom fishing for Triggerfish, White Snappers, and Vermillion Snappers. The fishing has been great and consistent. The live bait has been abundant as well which has been excellent for our longer all day ten-hour trips. Fresh live baits have been crucial for firing up our Scamp Groupers. We are excited for the 2019 Red Snapper and Amberjack season to open as well, as we have been catch and releasing quite a few Jacks and Reds while bottom fishing for our Triggerfish. Red Snappers and Amberjacks will be out of season until later in the year (See below).

Offshore Trolling has been rather slow right now. The King and Spanish mackerel haven’t showed up yet with the water temperatures still being rather cold. The weather has been very up and down with highs in the 70s and even 80s one week and then lows reaching down to the 30s the next. We are hoping for the cold to push out soon and the water temp to start rising.

2019 triggerfish season


Gulf State Waters
Minimum Size Limit: 34” to the fork
Daily Bag Limit: 1 per person
Season: Open May 1st – 31st and August 1 – October 31st
**Federal Regulations for Amberjack season will be announced soon!

Red Snapper

Gulf State Waters
Minimum Size Limit: 16” total length
Daily Bag Limit: 2 per person
Season: Proposed 2019 season: June 11 – July 12

Gulf Federal Waters
Minimum Size Limit: 16” total length
Daily Bag Limit: 2 per person
Proposed 2019 open date: June 1st

Category: Uncategorized
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