To check pricing, please select duration and group size.
Please fill out Trip Date, Duration, Group Size, and Start Time before proceeding.
Captain Mike Dates with First Shot Charters specializes in fishing the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico as well as the backcountry waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay. In the gulf, your targets will be King Mackerel, Cobia, Blackfin Tuna, Sharks, Red Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, and much more depending on the season. The bayside is teeming with Trout, Redfish, Black Snapper, Flounder, Ladyfish and Bluefish....Read More
Capt. Mike primarily uses live bait, but he can easily accommodate fly and artificial fishermen as well. All the equipment from rods, reels, tackle and bait will be provided, along with a seasoned guide who will be there to help along the way. As a matter of fact he will also be happy to clean the catch for you following the trip.
If you don’t want to keep the fish, Captain Mike is experienced in CPR fishing – “Catch, Photo, Release”. This way, you’ll ensure you do minimal harm to the fish you catch, which will then be safely released back into its natural habitat.
From the first-time angler to the skilled professional, Capt. Mike will do his best to keep you on the fish and put a smile on your face. Don't forget to bring your favorite snacks, drinks, and a tip for your guide, but all the fishing equipment for your group is provided by the Captain, along with fishing licenses for all occupants of the boat, so you can relax and enjoy an incredible time fishing.
Boat type: Center console
Boat Manufacturer: Cape Horn
Boat length: 20ft
Engine Manufacturer: Yamaha
Engine HP: 225HP
Number of engines: 1
Extras: GPS, Fishfinder, Live Bait Well
Captain Mike Dates has been fishing the Destin area waters from 1969 to present, Captain Mike has the experience and know-how to keep you busy. The inshore Gulf of Mexico has everything from the drag-screaming light tackle action of King Mackerel to the excellent table fare of Red Snapper and Grouper. Also available is Backcountry (back bay) fishing for Speckled Trout, Red fish, flounder, and Spanish mackerel. This is the kind of light tackle rod bending action that will keep you and your family smiling. Captain Mike uses live bait in almost all situations to keep you catching the big ones, however, if you are an artificial bait fisher manor fly-fisherman…yes they do that too! Captain Mike will do everything in his power to make your Destin fishing experience is a memorable one and the highlight of your vacation. There are so many different fish to catch in this area, which one do you want to target?
About us: I am a lifetime fisherman from Oklahoma, and all of my family have fished, but this was our first saltwater adventure. Had little idea about what to expect but we are an adventurous family. We camp, fish, boat and tube on the lake regularly. Prior to our trip:. ...Read More Prior to our trip, I called him once, and texted a few follow up questions and he answered promptly and his communication was very good. I detected a bit of a sense of humor in our exchanges which was nice. Boarding his boat: We were NOT greeted with a bunch of rules or Do’s and Don’t’s when we boarded his boat. We all said hello, loaded our ice chest, and we shoved off to fish. On the water: From the first moment, the trip was about what WE wanted out of our experience with Capt Mike, not his agenda. Unfortunately I had no idea how to tell him what we wanted, because it was our first time. So, we simply said we wanted to catch what is biting. I put in a “bonus” request to catch something that screams line off the reel if possible. Capt Mike delivered! I could write a whole fishing report but not enough room for that here. He put us on fish right away with a couple of king mackerel, and lost a few good ones. If you’re a fisherman, you will appreciate that he knows when’s to move locations when a hole turns off. He has hundreds of fishing holes loaded on his locator, so there is no shortage of spots to hit. And he hit holes that hadn’t been worked in a while, and weren’t near other a lot of other boats. Service: Capt Mike truly cared about the comfort of my girls, and that they were having fun. One of my girls wasn’t feeling so good at one point, and Mike picked up on it and checked in with her thinking she might be feeling seasick (but it was other issues). He re-baited lines faster than you can blink and he always served “ladies first” even when re-baiting. He really stayed in tune with my girls to make sure they were having fun and were comfortable. As a fisherman, I was going to have fun no matter what. Fish: Too many stories to tell, but we caught our limit on red snapper (less the big one that got away), and we threw a lot of small ones back. 2 king mackerel, 1 false albacore, couple of trigger fish (not in season today), and my daughter hooked up on a large shark that she fought for 15-20min until the line broke (it was a thrill to watch her have this experience). We had a lot of “big one got away” experiences as well. Summary: Mike is customer-focused and doing what he loves… showing people the fun of fishing! A lifetime Destin resident, he knows the area. He told us several times that his focus is to ensure we have a FUN experience, whatever that means for US. He put us on fish and gave us good memories to take home. Book with Capt Mike Dates. Great experience. Capt Mike: Very much appreciate you, sir. I’ll be back some day.
We originally had scheduled an off shore fishing trip with Captain Mike for 6 hours. Unfortunately, we were not able to go out in the Gulf due to a tropical storm and so we elected to do Bay fishing. We weren’t expecting to catch much due to the weather conditions ...Read More but my son and I love fishing and being on the boat so we were willing to take the risk. Thankfully, the Lord answered our prayers and we were catching fish left and right! We caught many speckled sea trout, lady fish, and a sail catfish. We had fun with Captain Mike and are glad that we made the decision to still go out on our fishing trip!
Captain Mike was awesome. He kept us on fish all day. This picture doesn’t do it justice. We were bringing them in all day. Unfortunately, we missed Red Snapper season or this picture would have a lot more fish in it. Captain Mike knew the water and knew when and ...Read More where to move to keep us on fish all day. We definitely recommend him and plan to use him again.
Captain Mike was a wonderful guide. He worked hard to get us our limit of Red Snapper . I had mentioned when I booked the trip that I had recently , within the last year and a half , had both knees replaced . Captain Mike went above and ...Read More beyond to see to it that I was comfortable and that I had a good trip . He helped me onto and off of the boat . I highly recommend Captain Mike Dates of First Shot Charters . My wife and I will be booking trips with him in the future .
Weather conditions were not optimal but a good time was still had. Captain Mike is a very nice gentleman and went above and beyond. Highly recommend.
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
All rods, reels, and tackle are included.
This guide will clean your catch for you.
Feel free to enjoy responsibly, but please no glass.
You will get a refund if the trip is canceled due to weather.
No, this boat does not have a bathroom on board.
No meal provided.
Fishing License, Rods, reels & tackle
At an Additional Rate
No added costs.
Weather Appropriate Gear Sun Protection Your own Fly Fishing gear ONLY if that's what you want to do!
Nothing additional needed.
Payment & Tipping
After paying the deposit, a QR Code will be emailed to you. On the day of the trip, your guide will scan your QR code to automatically transfer the remaining balance. The only cash needed is for a customary tip (we recommend 20%).
Yes, cancel for free up to 3 days before the trip.
Where to Buy a Fishing License
No license needed for this trip.
538 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, FL 32541, United States