Fishing Destin Guide©

Offshore Charter Boats

A local's guide to fishing around Destin and the Florida Panhandle    

This web site is updated as I have time from other things going on. As there are a 1000 + different ways to do things, this is only
my way of fishing, nothing else,  and it is not the last word in fishing the area. I am by no means an expert but if you would like my opinion on something related to fishing
the area, please email me at  It may take a few days before I get to it, so be patient. Thanks.....

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Offshore Charter Boats

This is the most expensive but probably
the most rewarding and enjoyable way to
fish Destin. Here you rent a large fishing
boat, from 36 to over 60' long. You and
your group have the boat to yourselves
and the will coordinate with the Captain
when you book the trip what type of fishing
you want to do.

The price of a private charter averages
between $150 and $180 dollars per hour,
for up to 6 people. If there are more than 6
people in your group it will cost an
additional 10% for each person over 6.
Some boats only take 6 passengers, so
make it clearly understood how many
people you have and how many your boat
can hold.

A professional crew comes with your
charter, usually consisting of a Captain
and a mate. Of course the Captain is
in charge and will be driving the boat and
putting you on the fishing spots.

The mate will be on deck with you and will
probably be the one you work with. He will
show you how to bait the hooks, operate
the rod and reels and catch fish. He will
also bring your fish into the boat and place
it in on ice for the trip home. Once you
get back to dock, he will also clean your
fish for you and hand the fillets to you  in a
plastic bag.

If you do not have enough people in your
group and want to split the costs with
other people, that is ok. They call this a
Group Charter. To sign up for a group
charter, walk up to one of the several
dockside ticket booths and ask if they
have any lists for a group charter.  You will
be joined up together with other people to
split the boat equally. Typically there has
to be a total of 6 fisherman signed up to
make a group charter go, or you agree to
pay the cost for six people. Group charters
are a good way to go if there are only a
few people and they do not want to charter
the whole boat.

But!!!!!!! There is no guarantee that you
will get out fishing on a group charter.
Several things can keep a group charter
from going out. If there are not very many
people in town, it is hard to get a group
together, or if the weather is bad before
the trip, people will not be walking the
dock looking to sign up.

Grouping up with other people can also be
a problem if you want a specific type of trip
(i.e. a ½ day) and everyone else signed up
wants to go all day or vice versa. If you are
a little flexible you stand a much better
chance. The biggest problem is that you
cannot make a reservation for a group
charter. It is strictly a wait and see
situation with most groups being
completed the afternoon or evening before
the trip. During the busy summer month's
group charters are put together very
quickly and it is usually not a problem. In
the early spring and late fall it is more
difficult. In the off season it is practically

One way to guarantee your fishing trip is if
you go ahead and charter the boat, but
ask to have other people put on the trip.
That way, you go ahead and get your boat
locked in and are assured going fishing.
The down side to that is you may not get
the full 6 people. Then you are stuck
paying for the boat with a smaller group.

Group charters are the same price as
private charters; it's just divided between
everyone on the boat. The groups are
usually kept down to 6 people