Charter fleet enlisted to help maintain perimeter during AF bomb testing
The Destin (Fla.) Log/MCT
It’s a slow-go and in some places a no-go on the Gulf of Mexico this week, at least in the morning hours.
But it’s not because the fish aren’t biting. The Air Force is bomb testing, and they have hired some of the charter boats in Destin, Fla., to “man the border” area.
For the next three weeks, from 7:30-11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, the Air Force has blocked off an area, 900 square miles, about a couple of miles due south of Destin’s East Pass.
The U.S. Air Force will be conducting air-to-ground munitions releases in the Gulf of Mexico. All vessels are required to remain clear of the hazard area during the mission periods.
Capt. Jim Westbrook and his boat the New Florida Girl is one of the boats that have been recruited to help in the exercise. He and others are helping to maintain the border around the test area.
“All mariners should be on alert,” Westbrook said.
The boundaries extend about nine miles east of the pass to near Sandestin and then 16 miles to the west toward Navarre.
So in order to get out to those hot fishing spots, charter boats have to travel a ways east or west then go south.
For a list of the coordinates for the testing area that is off limits, stop by the Destin’s Fisherman's Coopbehind Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant. You can also see a map on our website at thedestinlog.com
Capt. Mike Eller of the Lady Em said you can plan on adding a couple of hours to your fishing trip during the morning hours to get around the testing area.
But if you’re in town and wanting to go fish, the fishing is still good.
Capt. Steve Land on the Miss Sandy and his crew stayed in close, just north of the test area and managed to reel in a nice catch of king mackerel and Spanish on Monday.
The afternoons are always open, and the weekend is coming.
See you at the docks.
Distributed by MCT Information Services