Secret to Destin’s early fishing succes


Capt. Roscoe Mikel, Destin fisherman, in a photo from the mid-50s when he was about 40.

Special to The Log
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 02:51 PM.

Captain Roscoe Mikel was one of the best fishermen ever to captain a vessel out of Destin. He had a secret weapon and I’ll share it with you later. 

Consider when Destin fishermen began to take to the gulf waters there was nothing to help them but a compass, wrist watch, and God given intelligence in great abundance.  

They were capable of going to where the fish were without the electronics in use today that most folks couldn’t find their way home without. 

They were very serious and careful for they knew they were at the mercy of the Lord. There was no modern Coast Guard to come to their rescue when in danger. 

Today, our USCG is the finest ever with the most fantastic equipment. They have jet airplanes, sophisticated helicopters, vessels of all sizes from outboard propelled small craft to large cutters with huge turbo charged engines that can “flat move out.”  And most of all dedicated and trained men and women who often place their lives at risk for those in trouble at sea.

When Captain Mikel and other captains also took to the gulf, their vessels were handmade and powered with automobile engines that had been modified for marine use. 

I can remember from my childhood the sound of the exhaust as it blubbered water almost as if it was timed. If salt water wasn’t made to go through the exhaust to cool it, a fire could be the result. Fire was the only thing my dad feared while at sea. 

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