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Fishing for a Mother’s Day Gift?

fishing for a mothers day gift

A mother’s love is one of the greatest blessings that anyone could ask for. She’s a teacher, comforter, and an adviser that you can always count on. With your best interest at heart, Mom seems to always know how to make sense of the world. Choosing the perfect gift on the designated day to honor Mom is kind of a big deal.

happy mothers day of all the fish in the seaMemories are the Best Gifts

Fishing for a Mother’s Day gift that says the right thing can be difficult in a department store. Think back to the best gift that you ever received. Whether you wished for a certain toy as a child, or inherited a particular family treasure, the most special part of the gift was the memory of reception. Material gifts may become lost, broken, or tarnished, but the memories survive. Those memories are bread and butter behind making the occasion special. Mothers tend to have a knack for enhancing memorable events. She’s always working behind the curtains to ensure the happiness of her children. Mom is one of a kind, and deserves the best gift for each Mother’s Day.

Jewelry, candy, and flowers have all been done before. These typical Mother’s Day gifts do say, “Mom, I love you.” But, when you want something that says more, consider what made the best gift that you ever received. Remember the vivid memories of joy and happiness that were given in love. This year, give Mom the gift of making memories with a special Mother’s Day Deep Sea Fishing Charter.

Take Mom Deep Sea Fishing

As the saying goes, “The best things in life are free.” We can’t buy lifelong memories, joy, or happiness, but we can take her deep sea fishing. The experience of deep sea fishing provides an opportunity to create those special memories for Mom. Imagine the backdrop of paradise, emerald waters below, sunshine overhead, and adventure all around. As she embarks on this journey with her favorite loved ones, joy will come in the form of smiles and laughter. There is no substitute for time well spent with Mom. Take this day, this adventure, and this time to honor your mother with one of the most incredible experiences that the sea has to offer.

How to Plan Your Mother’s Day Deep Sea Fishing Charter

Whether Mom is an outdoors enthusiast who loves the open water, or an indoors book worm, there is something in a deep sea fishing charter that appeals to every type of mother. With experienced captain and crew members who know the importance of family experiences, the focus of the trip will be on making memories with Mom! There are several options to choose from. You’re sure to find the charter that will honor your mother’s wishes for time well spent on Mother’s Day.

mothers day finest kindWhich Charter is best for my mother?

  • Half-Day: A half day charter is between 4-6 hours of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and is perfect for families with only a short window to fit in some saltwater fishing while visiting Destin, Florida.
  • 3/4 Day: A ¾ day charter describes any excursion lasting between 8-10 hours. If you’re looking to get into some deep sea fishing, the ¾ day charter is recommended.
  • Full Day: A full day charter is considered to be 12-18 hours in the deep blue waters of the gulf. For mothers who are adventurous, spontaneous, or just a blast to hang out with, choose the full day charter.
  • Overnight Overnight charters are typically booked for 24-72 hours, and include twice the limits of fish. If Mom loves deep sea fishing, or loves to eat seafood, here’s your ticket to golden status! Gear up for night, or two, or three, and escape the daily distractions of the main land. Quality time is calling, and there’s no better person to spend it with, than your dear mother!

To learn more about the differences in each charter option, visit Planning the Greatest Deep Sea Fishing Adventure of You’re Life, where you’ll find details that distinguish each charter, as well as, tips and tricks on easy planning for your next charter. If you’re not able to make the trip to Destin on Mother’s Day, consider booking the charter for a more convenient date, and presenting your mother with a certificate at Mother’s Day brunch! Either way, with the thought that you’ve put into this year’s celebration of Mom, this Mother’s Day gift will be unforgettable for her!

So, what are you waiting for? BOOK NOW to give Mom the best Mother’s Day Gift in the sea! The gift of quality time and special memories!


50 SHADES OF GREEN: The Luckiest Saint Patrick’s Day Destination

50 Shades of green at the World's Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Destination

Celebrate this Saint Patrick’s Day in Destin, Florida, where you’ll catch some luck of your own along the Emerald Coast! The nickname says it all! As the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin seems to have an Irish heritage that runs deep! You’re sure to find well over 50 shades of green throughout this paradise. From the emerald waters to the beautiful green golf courses, there is no lack of the shade of green you desire to surround yourself with this Saint Patrick’s Day. Cast a line, and reel in a lucky charm for your cooler, hunt for sand dollars and seashells at the beach, become an official Irishman, and celebrate with festivities and Irish traditions along Destin’s Boardwalk this Saint Patrick’s Day!

World's Luckiest Fishing Village

Lucky Catches on the Finest Kind of Destin, Florida

What’s Your Shade of Green?

When you choose to celebrate your Saint Patrick’s Day 2021 in Destin, your timing couldn’t be more perfect! Embrace the emerald green waters surrounding the shoreline, and embark on an adventure into the Gulf of Mexico. Once you sink a line on one of Destin’s finest deep sea fishing charters, there’s only a matter of time until you fill your chest with a golden catch! As our most prized resources along the Emerald Coast, you shall consider yourself a lucky lad as you fish the waters of the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village!”

With so many options to choose from, a deep-sea fishing charter can be customized to fit your clan’s desires for an adventurous Saint Patrick’s Holiday celebration. Shorter, half-day trips are designed for the wee ones, and longer charters, including 3/4 and full day, and even overnight and Middle Ground trips, can be arranged for those who seek the full experience of Saint Patrick’s Day traditions in paradise! Destin fishermen are anticipating one of the best seasons that we’ve seen in years, and we do expect our private and group charter vacancies to fill up fast for the Destin Spring Fishing Season. As the most desirable area to fish for saltwater game, we recommend that you start your planning your charter now!

St. Patrick's Day Destin

St. Patrick’s Celebrations at HarborWalk Village Photo Credit: Jody Felder Source: Flickr

More Saint Patrick’s Day Fun Around Destin

Experience FUN, THRILLS, and GILLS at HarborWalk Village with tons of activities centered on the Luck of the Irish! The Boardwalk will provide hours of excitement for the wee ones and seasoned lads with live entertainment, dining, shopping, and adventurous attractions. Stroll along the dock to see the catch of the day among Florida’s largest fishing fleet, and observe the emerald glow of cheer radiating from the day’s charter groups.

Looking to fit in some tee time during your hunt for Destin’s green? Try your luck at some of Florida’s most popular courses. Destin is one of America’s favorite golf destinations with courses like Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club, Kelly Plantation Golf Club, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Burnt Pine Golf Club at Sandestin, Baytowne Golf Club, and Emerald Bay Golf Club.

Become an Official Irishman at McGuire’s Irish Pub

McGuire's Irish Pub Destin

McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin. Florida

Irish traditions are always big at McGuire’s Irish Pub, but on March 17th, celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at McGuire’s is a must-do in Destin, Florida! With many shades of green hanging from the ceiling, on the rooftop, and at every angle in sight, you’ll never experience a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration quite the same as the party found in the dining venue, pub, and brewery of Destin’s McGuire’s. With an estimated 1.75 million others who have hung a signed dollar bill for good luck, joining the Molly Martin tradition at the Destin pub makes you an official Irishman with the papers and luck to prove it!

As you reach your potential as a true Irishman, you’ll experience the sounds of bagpipers playing in the waiting area, traditional Irish music throughout the pub, and a hefty serving of the Saint Patty’s Day favorite, corn beef & cabbage. If you’re celebrating your birthday in Destin this Saint Patrick’s Day 2021, don’t forget to boost your luck with McGuire’s Kiss the Moose tradition for a birthday ceremony that you’ll never forget!

Planning Your Destin Saint Patrick’s Day Experience!

Destin is truly the luckiest destination to spend your Saint Patrick’s Day 2021! Where else can you become an actual Irishman, garner luck in so many ways, fish in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” in emerald green water, and embark on a true Irish adventure unsurpassed by any other American destination! This is paradise! Start planning your Destin, Florida Saint Patrick’s Day Vacation now, and don’t forget to schedule your deep sea fishing charter to get the “reel” Destin experience! Book a room at the Emerald Grande, and you’ll be at the center of all Saint Patrick’s Day festivities in Destin, with an incredible view of the Emerald Coast!

Sharks Gathering Outside Destin Pass Florida by Birds-iView Aerial Photography





Top Valentine’s Day Experiences in Destin

Top Valentine’s Day Experiences in Destin

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it is time to start brainstorming for the most epic way to say, “I love you!” Cards, flowers, chocolates, and overcrowded restaurants have all been done before, so it’s time to go big or go home with something new! Bring your special someone to Destin, Florida to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day, and create an unforgettable adventure on the Emerald Coast!

Destin sets the scene for creating lifelong memories with a backdrop of sugar-white sand, emerald water, and beautiful pink sunsets! With so many romantic things to do, each activity holds a unique, over-the-top experience that you can only find here in the heart of the Emerald Coast! For new couples, growing families, and sweetheart veterans, there is something in the water for everyone! Here’s a list of the top 10 Valentine’s Day experiences in Destin, Florida for 2020’s season of love!

Deep Sea Fishing Destin Valentine's Day1. Deep-Sea Fishing: A VALENTINE’S EXPERIENCE FOR ALL AGES

Deep-sea fishing for Valentine’s Day in Destin tops the list for many reasons! Whether you’re celebrating the season of love with family, your better half, or just getting to know that special someone, deep-sea fishing in Destin during your Valentine’s getaway is a must! For a creative way to tell your sweetheart “I love you,” take this opportunity to embark on an adventure into the Gulf of Mexico for a memory that will last forever, and reveal that hook, line, and sinker kind of love hold that they have on your heart! Besides, you can’t travel to the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and not fish with your own personal catch of the sea!


Destin Beach Sand Sculptures Proposal 2. Beach Marriage Proposal: A VALENTINE’S DAY LOVE STORY

So you’ve hooked the ultimate catch, and you want to reel this romance in for the long run! Destin, Florida is the perfect venue for the paramount occasion of marriage proposal this Valentine’s Day! One of the most thoughtful and romantic ways to propose in paradise is to say it with sand! Leave your sticks on land, and let the pros at Beach Sand Sculptures set up this beautiful scene! Surprise your sweetheart with a day that she’ll never forget. What an amazing way to say, “I love you more than all the sand in the sea, give me this honor, and marry me!”


Emerald Grande Spa Destin3. The Emerald Grande Spa: ROMANTIC COUPLES MASSAGE

Pamper your sweetheart, and yourself, with a couple’s massage at the Emerald Grande’s Spa! With views to set the mood and total body relaxation, all stresses will fade away for an experience that focuses on nothing more than the love that you have for one another. Choose from a variety of massage packages, and enjoy a romantic atmosphere designed to bring couples closer together with private treatment rooms in the most luxurious resort and spa on the Emerald Coast.


SunQuest Solaris Destin4. SunQuest Cruises’ Solaris: VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER CRUISE

Venture into the emerald waters of Destin with your sweetheart by your side, as you celebrate a romantic night aboard SunQuest Cruises’ Solaris. This 125-foot yacht is sure to provide the perfect venue for such a special occasion! Dinner is served with a chef-prepared, three-course meal, and live entertainment and scenery under the stars make this Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise one for the books! This year we have 2 options from which to choose: Friday, February 14, 2020, from 7 – 10 pm. as well as Saturday, February 15 from 5 – 8 pm


Southern Star Dolphin Cruise5. Southern Star Dolphin Cruises: VALENTINE’S SUNSET CRUISE

Cruise along the Destin Harbor, Choctawhatchee Bay, and Gulf of Mexico with your sweetheart on the Southern Star Dolphin and Sunset Cruise! During your tour, you’ll encounter marine life, feed the birds, and enjoy music as you learn the history of Destin. This voyage is perfect for couples and families of all ages who believe in miracles and love dolphins. Complimentary wine and cheese will be provided for adults to further enhance this romantic experience! The Southern Star offers several departure times throughout the day, but the special Valentine’s Sunset Cruise will depart on Friday, February 14th, from 4:00PM to 6:00PM.


Just Sailing Destin6. Just Sailing: SAIL AWAY THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

For a more intimate experience on the waters of Destin, Florida, consider surprising your special someone with a private charter on a stunning schooner that is sure to make his or her day, or evening! Take a break from everything on land, and enjoy Destin’s breeze from the heart of the Emerald Coast waters! Sail away to another realm, where you and your sweetheart are the focus of this adventurous excursion! Just Sailing also offers a variety of departure times, so you’ll have a chance to fit this romantic experience into your Destin Valentine’s Getaway!


HarborWalk Village Destin, Florida7. HarborWalk Village: A VALENTINE’S DAY SWEETSPOT

With so much to do in HarborWalk Village of Destin, Florida, your 2017 Valentine’s Day is sure to be a hit. Experience shopping at some of the Destin area’s most unique boutiques, dining with a view on the water at one of Florida’s many favorite harbor restaurants, or embark on one of the thrilling activities found around Destin’s Boardwalk! Stroll along the dock to experience the culture of paradise with plenty of scenery and live entertainment to set the mood! Experiencing HarborWalk Village is a must for visitors of all ages!


The Track Family Recreation Center Destin8. The Track: FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the young, and the young at heart, at The Track Family Recreation Center. With mini-golf, go-karts, bumper rides, tot rides, and big thrills like bungee jumping and sky flying, you’ll have plenty of flutters and laughs as you draw closer together! Great for couples of all ages and children, visiting The Track in Destin, Florida is one of the best adventures for memory-making this Valentine’s Day! Skip the lines by ordering your tickets in advance, and share the excitement with your sweetheart!


Destin Beach at Sunset9. Public Beaches: MOONLIT WALK ON THE BEACH

After embarking on the best Valentine’s Day experiences in Destin, you’ll still have time to keep the romance afloat with a moonlit stroll along one of the many public beaches on the Emerald Coast. With white sand underfoot, take your sweetheart’s hand, and walk beside the crashing waves in paradise. No distractions will interrupt your one on one moment, as you take the time to appreciate one another upon the most beautiful scenery in Destin, Florida!



Destin, Florida offers our visitors plenty of choices to experience breathtaking scenery, exciting adventures, and memory-making moments! Add a chapter to your love story this Valentine’s Day in Destin, and you’ll see why locals and visitors refer to the Emerald Coast as paradise! There is no better place to be for Valentine’s Day than Destin, Florida!





Destin’s Coastal Living Menu Ideas Thanksgiving Dinner 2020


Image Source: Family

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to grab those fish fillets from this year’s catch out of the freezer, and channel your inner Martha Stewart for a feast that your guests will never forget. Bring the taste of coastal living into your home this Thanksgiving with our favorite recipes for Destin’s local harvest.

The First Thanksgiving


Image source:

Thanksgiving is a time when we all come together to recognize the blessings that we’ve been given throughout the year. Dating back to November of 1621, when Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims shared a feast at Plymouth, a celebration of harvest evolved into the Thanksgiving tradition that we continue still today.

Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie are some of the ingredients that make the Thanksgiving holiday special for many families across America. But before you make that mad dash to the supermarket to pick up all of the must-haves to make your Thanksgiving feast fit the American tradition, let’s look back at the first harvest celebration.

The menu for that very first meal at Plymouth was a symbolic moment of being thankful for the fruits of the land, and sharing the gift of fellowship with neighbors who were willing to recognize the abundance of valuable resources nearby. In short, they were thankful for what was already available.

Turkey, geese, ducks, swans, deer, and fish are believed to be present at that very first Thanksgiving meal, as these meat sources were plentiful in the local area. Sides consisted of corn, cabbage, squash, onions, beans, carrots, spinach, and possibly peas, as the autumn season was a time of harvest for domestic crops. Instead of pumpkin pie, it is believed that the pumpkins were hollowed and filled with spices, milk, and honey, then roasted for a custard dish.

You can learn more about the first Thanksgiving meal here.

Destin Thanksgiving

Much like the Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims who were thankful for the gifts of the land during that first Thanksgiving meal, Destin locals show an immense appreciation for the resources that built the city from a desolate land to the thriving city that it is today.

Destin is historically recognized as a blessed coastal community with an abundance of harvestable fish. This dates back to the seventeenth century when Leonard Destin settled in what we all know now as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Throughout the years, fishermen have come from all over the world to fish the waters just off the coast of Destin.

Though the once sleepy fishing village has now grown into one of America’s favorite tourist destinations with the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida, locals continue to acknowledge what started it all. The blessings of bountiful catches are recognized as the most valuable resource to the area. Annual traditions like the Blessings of the Fleet and the Destin Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo are celebrated throughout the year to recognize the gifts of harvest given to the fishermen, the community, and visitors who partake in the tradition of deep sea fishing out of Destin’s famous harbor.

Around the tables of Destin’s fishing fleet captains and crew members, you’ll find more than turkey and dressing. Most of these families are giving thanks for a great year of fishing with goods harvested from the waters just off the Destin coast. If you pop in on a Destin fisherman’s Thanksgiving dinner, you’re likely to find snapper, amberjack, mackerel, tuna, shrimp, and oysters with all the trimmings that go perfectly with a coastal living Thanksgiving meal. After all, what all fishermen are most thankful for after their families is the abundant harvest of this year’s catch.

Our Favorite Saltwater Fish Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner

In the spirit of being thankful for what you have readily available this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to grab those fish fillets from this year’s catch out of the freezer, and celebrate the harvest feast with some local recipe favorites.

Main Course

Baked Fish Fillet Recipe
Grilled Red Snapper
Blackened Amberjack
Grilled Triggerfish with Escarole and Roasted Peppers
Florida King Mackerel Steaks with Herb Citrus Butter and Garlic Snap Beans
Guava Glazed Mahi Mahi with Coconut Bamboo Rice, Tempura Baby Bok Choy & Coconut Curry Sauce
Black Pepper Crusted Yellowfin Tuna Seared Rare

Appetizers and Sides

Southern Seafood Stuffing
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Harbor Docks Smoked Tuna Dip
Spicy Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon Oysters
Hush Puppies with Cream-Style Corn
Fried Corn


Lemon Meringue Pie
Key Lime Cake

Main Course

Baked Fish Fillet Recipe

Recipe contributed by Jan Slagell

  • 2 lbs. fish fillets
  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter- melted
  • 10 gloves garlic chopped (5tsp minced)
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tbs. black pepper
  • 3 tbs. chili sauce or 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp. parsley
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 tsp. garlic season
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbs. onion powder or 1 onion sliced
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce


1. Let fish marinate in a bowl for 30 minutes before placing entire contents on pan in a single layer.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until fish is flaky.

Grilled Red Snapper

Recipe contributed by Sizzler

  • 2 red snapper fillets, halved
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup butter


1. Mix together paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper. Sprinkle over each side of the red snapper.
2. Oil grill grate and preheat grill.
3. Bring lemon juice to a boil.
4. Remove from heat and add butter.
5. Mix well.
6. Grill red snapper until done. (About 4 minutes per side.)
7. Remove fish from grill. Add parsley to lemon butter.
8. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter mixture over each piece of fish.
(Garnish with parsley)


Blackened Amberjack

Recipe contributed by Oxmoor House

  • 1 (1-pound) amberjack fillet
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
  • Cooking spray


1. Cut fillet into 4 equal pieces. Combine paprika and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Dredge fish in spice mixture; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Coat a large cast-iron skillet with cooking spray; place over high heat until very hot.
3. Add fish, and cook 3 minutes. Turn fish, and cook 3 to 4 additional minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Fish should look charred.

(You may prefer to do this procedure outside due to the small amount of smoke that is created.)


Grilled Triggerfish with Escarole and Roasted Peppers

Recipe contributed by Chef Tim Creehan


1. Prepare the roasted peppers.
2. Preheat a grill surface. Brush the triggerfish with olive oil and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
3. Grill the triggerfish filets until thoroughly cooked.
4. Prepare the escarole and place on the base of four dinner plates. Place the grilled triggerfish filets on top of the sautéed escarole.
5. Top the triggerfish filets with the roasted peppers and drizzle balsamic vinegar over each triggerfish filet.
6. Garnish the triggerfish with chopped basil.


Florida King Mackerel Steaks with Herb Citrus Butter and Garlic Snap Beans

Recipe contributed by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • 4 (6-ounce) Florida King Mackerel steaks
  • 1 cup flour, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Citrus Butter

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. orange zest, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. lime zest, chopped fine
  • 1 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped fine

Garlic Snap Beans

  • 1/2 pound Florida snap beans, stems trimmed
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienne
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


1. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
2. Lightly dredge each fillet in the seasoned flour.
3. Add the olive oil to the preheated sauté pan.
4. Carefully add the coated fillets to the sauté pan.
5. Cook fillets for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until completely cooked throughout.
6. Remove cooked fillets from pan and serve with green beans and citrus butter.

Citrus Butter

1. Mix all ingredients into a small bowl and stir to combine.

Garlic Snap Beans

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Carefully add the bell pepper and onion; cook for about 1 minute.
3. Add the beans and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute or until crisp and tender.
5. Add lemon juice and toss before serving.

Guava Glazed Mahi Mahi with Coconut Bamboo Rice, Tempura Baby Bok Choy & Coconut Curry Sauce

Recipe contributed by Emeril’s Florida and


Image Source:

Coconut Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed and chopped
  • 1 Thai chili, chopped
  • 1 tbs. red Thai curry paste
  • 6 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 cup vermouth
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Guava Glaze

  • cups guava paste
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds removed then chopped

Coconut Bamboo Rice

  • 2 cups of bamboo rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water

Mahi Mahi and Tempura Bok Choi

  • 4 (7 ounce) pieces fresh mahi mahi
  • 1 quart plus 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 pieces baby bok choi
  • 2 cups tempura batter mix, homemade or store-bought
  • Ice water


1. In a medium saucepot gently sauté the green onion, shallot, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass with the peanut oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
2. Add in the curry paste and chili and continue to cook for a few minutes more, stirring to incorporate.
3. Put in the herbs, spices and brown sugar and cook for two more minutes. Deglaze with vermouth and continue to cook. When it has cooked completely dry, add in the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.
4. Pour in the coconut milk and increase heat to high and bring it to a boil then remove sauce from the heat and let it cool at room temperature.
5. Puree the sauce in a blender and strain it through a fine sieve.
6. Reheat the sauce when needed and finish it with fresh cilantro, lemon juice, and salt.

Black Pepper Crusted Yellowfin Tuna Seared Rare

Recipe contributed by Tim Creehan and Destin Ice House, Inc.

  • 4 (6oz) Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks
  • Black Pepper
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • 4 Cups Spinach, cleaned
  • 4 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 4 tsp. Rice Vinegar
  • Pinch Ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Water
  • 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chive, chopped
  • ½ Sweet Red Pepper, diced
  • 20 Chives, whole


1. Blend the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, water, crushed red pepper and chopped chives. Let the sauce stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The sauce is available at Destin Ice Seafood Market already prepared.)
2. Press the black pepper into both sides of the tuna steak.
3. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan until very hot.
4. Sear the tuna steaks for 10 seconds on each side and remove from pan.
5. Place the spinach in the sauté pan and toss until wilted.
6. Transfer the spinach to 4 large dinner plates.
7. Thinly slice the tuna across the grain.
8. Arrange the tuna slices over the spinach in a star shape. Garnish the tuna with diced red pepper, whole chives and finish with prepared sauce.

Appetizers and Sides

Southern Seafood Stuffing
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Harbor Docks Smoked Tuna Dip
Spicy Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon Oysters
Hush Puppies with Cream-Style Corn
Fried Corn

Southern Seafood Stuffing

Recipe contributed by Jan Slagell

  • ½ cup margarine
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 pound crab meat, drained and flaked
  • ½ pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 (6 ounce) package corn bread stuffing mix
  • 2 tbs. white sugar divided
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth


1. Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, celery crabmeat and shrimp; cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the stuffing, bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
3. Mix in the vegetables and seafood from the skillet.
4. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup and as much of the chicken broth as you like.
5. Spoon into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted on top.

 Baked Coconut Shrimp

Recipe contributed by Jan Slagell

    • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp peeled and deveined
    • 1 tbs. lime juice
    • ¼ tsp. crush red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup pineapple preserves
    • 2 egg whites
    • 2 tbs. cornstarch
    • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut


1. Combine lime juice, pepper flakes and pineapple preserves in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a small bowl beat egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
4. Place cornstarch and coconut on two separate plates. Hold shrimp by the tail and dip and coat the shrimp with cornstarch.
5. Next, dip the shrimp in the egg whites and finally in the coconut coating well.
6. Place shrimp on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until coconut is a golden brown. Make sure to turn it once halfway through (around 8 minutes into cooking time) to make sure both sides are brown.
7. Serve with pineapple dipping sauce.

Harbor Docks Smoked Tuna Dip


Image Source: Active Rain

Recipe contributed by Joel Jadofsky

    • 2 1/2 lbs. fresh yellowfin tuna
    • 1 quart water
    • 1/4 cup salt
    • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (can use more or less depending on your preferred consistency)
    • 1 tbs. black pepper
    • 1 tbs. garlic powder
    • Hot sauce to taste


1. Combine salt and water. Soak tuna steaks in a salt water brine for one hour before smoking.
2. Transfer to a smoker and smoke until cooked through (do not overcook).
3. Chop smoked tuna steaks to your desired consistency (rough chopped or finely chopped – Harbor Docks chops fine).
4. In a stainless steel mixing bowl, combine smoked tuna, mayonnaise, pepper and garlic powder and mix well.

Spicy Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon Oysters

Recipe contributed by Sea Oats Motel

    • 36 Florida oysters, shucked, on the half shell
    • Rock salt
    • 12 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
    • ½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
    • 4 Florida jalapeno peppers, chopped


1. Arrange oysters on rock salt in a baking dish.
2. Top each oyster with ½ teaspoon of the cheese crumbled bacon and chopped jalapeno to taste.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until edges of oysters begin to curl.

Hush Puppies with Cream-Style Corn

Recipe contributed by Diana Rattray

    • 1 cup yellow or white cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1 can cream style corn (approximately 15 ounces)
    • milk, if needed


1. Heat the oven to 200 F.
2. Set a cooling rack in a large, rimmed baking sheet.
3. In a deep, heavy saucepan, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 370 F. Or heat the oil in an electric deep fryer to 370 F.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir the chopped onion into the dry mixture, and then stir in the cream-style corn. (If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of milk.)
5. Use a tablespoon or small cookie scoop to drop the batter into the hot vegetable oil.
6. Fry the hush puppies in small batches of 4 or 5 until golden brown, or about 2 minutes, turning to make sure all sides are evenly browned.
7. Remove the hush puppies to paper towels to drain for a minute or two and then move them to the rack in the prepared pan. Place the pan in the oven to keep fried hush puppies warm while you fry subsequent batches.

Tips and Variations

    • Use neutral-flavored oil for deep-frying, such as vegetable oil, canola, or peanut oil.
    • Add finely chopped green onion to the hush puppies in place of the onions.
    • Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of onion powder for extra onion flavor.
    • Add a few tablespoons of crumbled cooked bacon to the batter.
    • Add about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the batter

Fried Corn

Recipe contributed by Jessica Baggett

    • 2 cans of white creamed corn
    • 6-10 Slices of your preferred bacon
    • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Fry bacon on medium high heat in a cast iron skillet, and then set bacon aside to cool.
2. Pour both cans of creamed corn into hot bacon grease.
3. Crumble bacon and add to the corn mixture.
4. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
5. Serve warm.


Lemon Meringue Pie
Key Lime Cake

Lemon Meringue Pie


Image Source: Food

Recipe contributed by Paula Dean and Food

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 (8-inch) prebaked pie shell or crumb crust


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar

1. In medium bowl, combine milk, lemon juice, and zest; blend in egg yolks. Pour into cooled crust.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
3. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks from. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff.
4. Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

Key Lime Cake

key lime cake

Image Source: Food

Recipe contributed by Trisha Yearwood and Food

For the Cake:

  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • Flour, for dusting pan
  • 1 (3-ounce) package lime flavored gelatin
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, slightly beaten

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (from about 25 small key limes or 4 large regular limes)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the Icing:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick butter), room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (1 pound) box confectioners’ sugar


For the Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour one 9-by-12-by-2-inch cake pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, granulated sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
3. Pour the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the tops or inserting a toothpick.
4. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the glaze:

1. While the cake is still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners’ sugar together well.
2. Pierce the cake with a fork to allow the glaze to soak in better and pour it over the cake on the cooling rack.
3. Allow cake to cool completely as you prepare the icing.

For the icing:

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese.
2. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until mixture is smooth and easy to spread.
3. Spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake.

Cook’s Note: you can also use three 9-inch round cake pans and make this into a layer cake.





2020 Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo

2020 Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo


DESTIN FISHING RODEO 1954 Image by Destin Fishing & History Museum via New Orleans Magazine.

Destin’s Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

Destin’s Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has roots dating back to 1948 when a sense of community embraced the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village to promote compassion and well-being for fellow fishermen and families. What started as a three-day special event to extend the fishing season a little further has now blossomed into a month-long fishing tournament filled with festivities that cater to the whole family. Visitors from all over the world now travel to Destin every year during the month of October for one of the biggest annual deep-sea fishing tournaments. From championship fishing teams to toddlers and teens, there is something for everyone during Destin’s Annual Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

Blessings from the past continue to overwhelm the coast as an abundant harvest of the most desirable fish in the Gulf of Mexico are brought to shore by anglers aboard Destin’s finest charter boats. To describe this annual event as anything short of glorious is an understatement.  The amazing encounters of unbelievable and record-breaking saltwater fish caught, during the month of October, entices locals, visitors, and retired fisherman to grace the dock for a glimpse of the daily catch and weigh-in boards.

Harvesting Harbor Blessings


Roy H. Martin displays the reason he holds 19 world fishing records at the Destin Rodeo in 1956. Image by Karl E. Holland via State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.


A boy and his large catch of fish at the Destin Rodeo 1955. Image by Francis P. Johnson via State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.


Captain Wheeler and crew with 455 Pound Marlin. 1972. Image by Karin Linick via State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

Destin was founded as a fishing village in 1835 when Leonard Destin, a fisherman from New London, Connecticut, discovered one of the best-kept secret saltwater hot spots that the world would ever come to know.

As quality marine saltwater species rely on deep waters to live, reproduce, and grow to colossal size, Destin’s prominent access to deep waters distinguishes its position as the most desirable sports, recreational, and commercial fishing location in the Gulf of Mexico.

With a mere 10 miles from the shoreline, anglers aboard Destin charter boats are already hitting some great spots, which means paying for less travel time and larger quantities of quality saltwater fish than anywhere else on the Gulf Coast. With over 175 years of family secrets passed through the bloodlines of the founding fishermen of Destin, experienced captains know exactly where to reel-in the finest fish in the Gulf of Mexico. The ability to deliver surpasses the expectations of customers and brings them back for more each year after their first taste of glory.

Jake Brashears, official Rodeo Photographer

The 72nd Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo


Weigh Master Bruce Cheves with a day’s weigh-in during the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo

Destin is already recognized as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and the “Billfish Capital of the Gulf.” The annual rodeo is a celebration of the blessings given to these legendary fishermen with participation from over 30,000 saltwater anglers from all over, who come to compete for bragging rights, prizes, and cash. With Destin’s annual rodeo growing in reputation as the “Ultimate Saltwater Tournament,” the prizes and awards grow even more elaborate each year. Booking a charter with a registered captain automatically qualifies all anglers to enter the tournament with no additional charge, and you are still in the running for award-winning placement at the weigh-ins.

There are 29 divisions for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, consisting of over 33 species of fish, in seniors, ladies, juniors, and teen subdivisions, with rewards for the top daily, weekly, overall, and jackpot catches. The sense of community from 1948 is still maintained today, as registered charter boat captains volunteer their time and sponsor several of the rewards for top winners, totaling over $100,000.00 in cash and prizes. When you charter a vessel registered with Destin’s Fishing Rodeo, your chances are great for a prize catch.

Shark Saturdays

Shark Saturdays Destin Fishing RodeoShark Saturdays are one of the most exciting events in the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. Anglers are allowed one entry for the day, and since the entry with the largest shark wins, the shark hunters are aiming for the big ones. Over the years, we’ve seen some massive sharks come in from the gulf.

This October, the Saturdays will give those hanging out for the weigh-ins a thrill to remember. The slogan for the 2020 Shark Saturdays tournament is Hang ‘Em High. The bigger the shark, the higher it hangs.

If observing the sharks coming in is not enough excitement to get your blood pumping, BOOK YOUR SHARK HUNT TODAY. Shark trips in October are very popular and must be booked well in advance. Remember, cash prizes are given to the angler who brings in the largest shark.

For the best chances of catching a winning bull shark or mako, we recommend an overnight charter leaving Friday nights in October to set up with plenty of time to catch some other entry fish while we’re out, and to get back to the weigh-ins at AJ’s on Saturday.

Fish the Days and Rock the Nights

What’s better than a Saturday of deep-sea fishing in Destin, Florida? Well, nothing really. But to make an even better experience, HarborWalk Village will be hosting a party every Saturday night in October, beginning October 1st from 7:00 PM through 9:30 PM. Fireworks will light up the Destin Harbor at 9:00 PM. The Fish the Days and Rock the Nights event is free to the public, so bring the family down, watch the rodeo weigh-ins behind AJ’s from 10 AM-7 PM, and then head to the village for live entertainment, music, and the freshest local seafood that you can find! The Fish the Days and Rock the Nights event is shared with a variety of fall activities along the Destin Harbor, so visitors of all ages are welcome to join in on the fun!

A Fishing Tournament for the Whole Family

Destin Fishing Rodeo for kids

Children with their winning catches at the Destin Fishing Rodeo. Image courtesy of Destin Fishing Rodeo

Deep-sea fishing tournaments are huge for avid fishermen of all backgrounds. What makes the Destin Fishing Rodeo stand apart from other tournaments is the emphasis placed on children during the event. The biggest investment that the fishing communities across America have is in our children. The Destin Fishing Rodeo is a time to involve children and families in the traditions of coastal living.

Every child that enters a fish weighing at least 1 pound into the tournament will win a rod and reel, and they’ll receive an official rodeo certificate. This is not one of those everyone gets a trophy for trying organizations. Instead, the deep sea fishing community of Destin, Florida aims to plant a seed of inspiration into the hearts of young children who have the opportunity to experience a true love for fishing.

A wise man once said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That’s exactly what we intend to do with these children participating in the fishing rodeo. Teaching a child to love the sport of fishing ensures that the respect and passion for our saltwater resources will continue to thrive long after today’s generation of fishermen retire. After all, we’ll need some of these youngsters to go out and catch us some snappers someday.

So, bring your children down to fish in the Destin Fishing Rodeo. Make it an annual tradition, and consider an investment into both your child and the future of our fishing community. There are several events geared towards children of all ages, and lots of stories to hear from the famous Bruce Cheves who delights in sharing his stories of victorious catches with little ones.

The Reel Bottom Line

  • The 72nd Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo lasts from October 1st through October
  • Weigh-ins are held behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar where anglers will meet Bruce Cheves, the official Rodeo Weigh-master, and the 2020 Miss Destin, Lauren Adams.
  • Shark Saturdays will run every Saturday in October, including the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st. Anglers with the biggest catch will win the cash prize.
  • Daily, weekly, and overall winners are awarded over $100,000.00 in cash and prizes.
  • Senior, Ladies, Teen, and Junior divisions ensure fun for the whole family.
  • Once you fish during a Fishing Rodeo in the Destin waters, you’ll be hooked on the tradition for years to come.

Destin Fishing Rodeo: Florida’s Emerald Coast

The sooner that you book your charter for Destin’s Annual Fishing Rodeo, the better. This is a prime-time harvest season and some of the best fishing that you will encounter during your lifetime. Making a reservation will guarantee your place as you embark on the legendary adventures of deep-sea fishing in Destin. Tournament entry fees are covered with your charter. For the best chances to gain a top spot on the weigh-in boards, it is recommended to charter a boat with a seasoned captain and a reputation for hooking the Big Ones.

So, what are you waiting for? The 69th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo is just around the corner. BOOK NOW 

The 72nd Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo Event Schedule

destin fishing rodeo

image from

Saturday, October 1st – 31st 2020

10:00 am – 7:00 pm

The 72nd Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo will officially begin on October 01, 2020 and continue through October 31, 2020.

Weigh-ins are held on the dock behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar each day where you will find Bruce Cheves, the Rodeo Weigh-master, and meet the 2020 Miss Destin, Lauren Adams.

The weigh-in event is free to the public, and so are the stories told by the legendary Weigh-master. Anglers will bring their catch of the day to be weighed for placement on the board and have their photos taken with Miss Destin.

5 (1)Shark Saturdays/ Fish the Days and Rock the Nights

October 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st

Each Saturday in the month of October will be deemed Shark Saturday. The 2017 slogan for Shark Saturday is Hang ‘Em High. The bigger the shark, the higher they’ll hang. Cash prizes are given to the angler who reels-in the largest shark. BOOK YOUR SHARK CHARTER NOW.

Following the weigh-ins behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, HarborWalk Village will host a dock party every Saturday night in October. Live music, seafood, and fun for the whole family will last from 7:00-9:30 PM.  Fireworks will light up the harbor at 9:00 PM for this weekly celebration during Destin’s Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

Destin Rodeo Run

Destin Rodeo Run. Image Source:

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Destin 5K Rodeo Run: The annual 3.1-mile flat course will begin at the Clement Taylor Park on Choctawhatchee Bay and wind its way through some Dxestin’s historic neighborhoods. There is a $25 entry fee, and the proceeds will support the Ronald McDonald’s House and the Miss Destin Scholarship Fund.

Contact for more information or register online at

1 (3)Friday, October 16, 2020

Bruce Cheves Day, as proclaimed by the City of Destin. Join the gathering of men, women, and children to hear the epic tales of the official Rodeo Weigh-master, Bruce, during his heyday at sea. Bring him a fish, and he’ll make you famous!

Ringing of the Bell Ceremony: At 5:00 pm Bruce will honor the legendary lives of Destin’s loved ones as he leads the annual Ringing of the Bell Ceremony at the weigh station behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween on the Harbor: Locals declare Halloween on the Harbor as the largest Halloween Party in Destin, Florida. Everyone is invited to join the 72nd Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo’s Fleet, judges, and Miss Destin in wrapping up another abundant harvest of great fishing. Wear your costume, and witness the closing of the rodeo with a huge party complete with a fireworks finale sponsored by AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.


destin-fishing-rodeoFriday, November 06, 2020 at 4 PM

72nd Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo Awards: AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar will host the gathering to present the award winning Captains, Anglers, and Mates who will hold the overall records for the upcoming year! These fishermen are truly the luckiest of “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village!”



Written By: Jessica Baggett