Fun On The Water

Crab Island - Destin

Crab Island is actually not an island – it’s an underwater sandbar in the middle of the Choctawhatchee Bay. Ranging from 1 to 4 feet deep in most areas, it is loved by tourists and locals alike. Photographed and aired on national networks and shows such as HGTV and Good Morning America and published in various travel magazines and publications worldwide, it is the most popular attraction in Destin! Rent a pontoon, fishing boat or jetski for the day or hire a captained boat or floating tiki bar to enjoy a day at Crab Island.

Boogie Water Sports | 850.654.4497
Cruisin Tikis Destin | 850-200-0573
Crab Island Adventure Cruises | 937.782.8120
Destin Vacation Boat Rentals | 850.650.2628
Crab Island Shuttle Boat | (850) 733-7434
Luther’s Pontoon, Waverunner & Kayak Rentals | (850) 650-8733


The great thing about Florida is that fishing season is practically year-round. Try your luck with shore fishing, casting a line on the Okaloosa Pier or taking a charter trip. Whether it’s black sea bass, cobia, tuna, tarpon, grouper, or red drum (easy pickings in the summer), you can expect an abundance of bites all along the Emerald Coast. However, there is one species the Gulf is known for – the prized red snapper! If it’s pink, it’s gotta be good. After all, pink and green go oh so well together. Snapper season is typically open in June and July.


At the East and West Pass Jetties you’ll get excellent views of Destin’s harbor, beach, and be able to watch the boats coming in and out. Norriego Point, just past the East and West Jetties is a fantastic inshore fishing spot. You can find Ladyfish, Redfish, Trout, Jacks, Flounder, and lots of baitfish! The Okaloosa Fishing Pier juts out 1,262 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. The Okaloosa Fishing Pier is a great place to buy bait and you don’t need a license to fish here. Pilcher Park in Santa Rosa Beach features a 380-foot fishing pier, three fishing platforms, and fish cleaning stations, as well as picnic tables, benches, and grills.

Fishing Charters

If you’re looking for an all-day adventure, the charter is the way to go. Head out on the water on a private group charter, or meet some new friends by joining a shared excursion. With the largest fishing fleet in the country, there are plenty of charter boats to choose from!

Destin Inshore Guides | 850.502.9170
Florida Boy Adventures | (850) 499-4473
One Shot Fishing Charters | 850.585.9436
Swoop Fishing Party Boat | 850.337.8250

The clear water and white sandy bottom allow for easy viewing of marine life, including large schools of fish, stingrays, seahorses, crabs and sea turtles. Depending on the tide and location, visibility can be anywhere from 20 to 80 feet. The best spots to go snorkeling vary from protected jetties to deeper areas accessed by boat and found with the help of a local guide.

Surrounded by dunes, Norriego Point is a small peninsula of soft white sand that sits back from the Gulf of Mexico with Destin Harbor to the west and East Pass to the east. The protected jetties at the east side of the peninsula are where you’ll find calm areas for swimming and snorkeling. Norriego Point public beach access is at the west end of Gulf Shore Drive. 

Henderson Beach State Park has some pretty spectacular views before you even reach the water. The park has gleaming white sand dunes standing 30 feet high and a mile of unspoiled and uncrowded shoreline, where swimmers and snorkelers can explore the clear Gulf water. Henderson Beach State Park is an important nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles, which you might encounter in the water. In the summer months, the water temperatures peak in the 80s.

East Pass and Destin Jetties, at the Destin Bridge and U.S. 98, near HarborWalk Village, are popular for snorkeling as well as fishing and scuba diving. The jetties serve as man-made reefs where fish are plentiful. Here, snorkelers can see sheepshead, snapper, redfish, and sometimes barracuda out there, as well as invertebrates like octopuses and hermit crabs.

South Walton is known for its sugar-white sand and turquoise waters, but thanks to the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA), South Walton is also known for its snorkel reefs which dot the coast from Miramar Beach in the west to Inlet Beach in the east. The snorkel reefs are close enough to the shore that they can be reached by kayak or paddleboard, so snorkelers or divers can access them directly from the beach.

Dolphin Reef:
Located in Miramar Beach, this reef sits about 685 feet from the shore near the Miramar Beach Regional Beach Access and is comprised of 79 individual EcoSystem Reefs. The Dolphin Reef was deployed in the summer of 2017.
Seahorse Reef:
Located off of Topsail Hill State Park, this reefs sits about 715 feet from the shore. The Seahorse Reef was installed in the summer of 2017 and is comprised of 78 individual reefs deployed in the shape of a seahorse.
Sea Turtle Reef:
Located off the beach in Grayton Beach State Park, this reef sits about 783 feet from the shore and is comprised of 58 individual reefs deployed in the shape of a turtle. The first of the nearshore snorkeling reefs to be installed, this reef took shape in the summer of 2015.
Grouper Reef:
Located in Inlet Beach, this reef was installed in the summer of 2017 and sits about 970 feet from the shore off the Inlet Beach Regional Beach Access. The Grouper reef is comprised of 94 individual EcoSystems Reefs deployed in the shape of one of the region’s most popular sport fish.