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John's Journal... Entry 101, Day 1

Captain Mike Parker of Destin, Florida

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Mike Parker, the captain of the "Silver King," a charter boat based out of Destin, Florida, rarely fishes more than 10 miles off the beach, unlike many other charter-boat captains. And Parker daily produces really good numbers of bottom feeders and pelagic species. This week we'll look at how, where and when Parker fishes.

Question: Where is No Man's Land, Mike?
Answer: No Man's Land is the section of the Gulf of Mexico located between Destin and Panama City, Florida. This area is about 20 miles from Destin and 20 miles from Panama City. Most charter boats that put in a 20-mile run to find fish will go 20 miles offshore instead of running 20 miles down the beach. The region I fish is in 60 to 90 feet of water -- from 2 to 10 miles off the beach.

click to enlargeQuestion: What kind of bottom relief is in this part of the Gulf of Mexico?
Answer: I'm fishing around rocks, coral, old wrecks and what's left of a few man-made reefs. Many of these spots are not very big at all, but they can hold some very nice fish.

Question: What do you usually catch while fishing in No Man's Land?
Answer: We generally take grouper, red snapper, black snapper, king mackerel and an occasional blackfin tuna.

Question: What pound test line are you fishing and why?
Answer: I'll use 30- to 40-pound-test line and often a fluorocarbon leader. I bait up with live cigar minnows or live menhaden because I believe you get more bites with live bait than with dead bait.

click to enlargeQuestion: You're fishing with a circle hook too, aren't you?
Answer: Yes, I am. I'm convinced that the circle hook catches more fish than a straight hook does. And the circle hook prevents the angler from gut hooking and killing fish. Once people learn how to fish with the circle hook, they'll catch more fish with circle hooks.

Question: You're also catching a good number of king mackerel on these spots. Can you tell us why?
Answer: Anywhere you have bottom relief that can hold bait, you may catch king mackerel. This region I'm fishing holds a lot of bait.

click to enlargeTo learn more about Captain Mike Parker's charters aboard the "Silver King," call (877) 827-7667, or go to the website www.destincharterboats.com

TOMORROW: How Captain Mike Parker Catches King Mackerel




Check back each day this week for more about Captain Mike Parker On Offshore Fishing ...

Day 1 -Captain Mike Parker of Destin, Florida
Day 2 -How Captain Mike Parker Catches King Mackerel
Day 3 -Captain Parker's Grouper Fishing Tactics
Day 4 -Secrets of Catching King Mackerel
Day 5 -How to Catch Red Snapper

John's Journal