Private Charters vs Group Charters & Party Boats

When you are looking to book a charter boat in Destin, first you should know the difference in type of boats our area has to offer. The charter fishing fleet here in Destin is the largest in the country. The fleet includes a wide variety of different size boats and different types of trips.

When it comes to selecting the ideal Destin fishing charter for deep sea fishing, there are numerous options to consider. From smaller, intimate vessels to larger, fully-equipped sportfishing boats, there’s a charter that suits your preferences. Look for charters with experienced captains and crews who prioritize safety, offer personalized guidance, and possess a deep understanding of the local fishing techniques. Among the different types of boats you can find here on the Destin Harbor, there is also different types of charters. The most common are private charters or group charters.

Group Charters are for those that are have smaller parties and are looking to split the cost of a deep sea fishing trip. A group charter is when smaller groups between 1 and 4 passengers pay by the person and are placed on a Destin charter boat with other smaller parties. Therefore, it will not be just you and your family on the boat. This can be a good option for those who cannot afford a private charter but can also cause conflict if you are stuck on a boat with other people you do not care for. Another option often used as a grouping is a party boat or head boat. A party boat or head boat is a large boat that offers single passengers or multi-passenger groups to pay by the person and get on a boat with about 40-60 others. This option can be fun for first timers or last minute bookings. The main con of a party boat is you sometimes spend more time being tangle with other anglers versus actually catching fish.

Private Charters are the ultimate experience when booking any type of fishing charter in Destin. The price is more expensive but you and your family get the boat exclusively to yourselves. All the fish you catch is your fish and there is no confusion on what boat you are booked on. Do you research and read reviews to pick out the best boat to match your needs. Private charters allow you to experience deep sea fishing as it should be. Our charter boat here in Destin, the Backlash, only offers private charters. Therefore, it will only be you and who you bring on the boat with you. We do not group any parties together. Our price is high compared to most competitors and so are our standards along with a reputable reputation to coincide. It is our mission to offer the highest quality deep sea fishing charter there is.

So remember, when looking to book a charter boat in Destin, Florida and get out in the Gulf for some deep sea fishing, do your research and understand the difference between private charters and group charters. Understand the different size and styles of boats the area has to offer along with why prices vary from option to option. Most of the time the cheapest option is not the best options.

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Bottom Fishing in Destin, Florida: The Perfect Destination for Red Snapper

Destin, Florida is a prime location for bottom fishing, with its rich and diverse marine ecosystem that supports a wide range of fish species. And one of the most sought-after species for bottom fishing is the red snapper, a prized game fish that is highly valued for its delicious flavor and fighting spirit.

Red snapper is a deep water species that is commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico, and the waters off the coast of Destin are home to some of the largest red snapper populations in the area. With its clear and deep waters, bottom fishing in Destin is an ideal location to catch this sought-after species.

The best time to catch red snapper is during the summer months, when they move inshore to spawn. This is the perfect time to book a bottom fishing trip with Destin Offshore Charters on the charter boat Backlash and take advantage of the prime conditions for catching these delicious fish when they are in season. Red Snapper season for federally permitted vessels will open June 1st.

At Destin Offshore Charters, we use only the latest and most advanced fishing gear and techniques to make your bottom fishing experience a success. With our top-notch equipment and knowledgable mates right beside you, you are bound to land multiple species. Our mates will be your right hand on the deck and be there teaching and guiding you step by step on how to capitalize on the initial first bite to the reeling through and landing your trophy fish. You’ll have the opportunity to catch a variety of fish species.

So if you’re looking for an exciting and successful bottom fishing experience in Destin, Florida, look no further than Destin Offshore Charters on board the charter boat Backlash. With our commitment to providing a five-star fishing experience and a personal touch to each trip, you can be sure that your bottom fishing trip with us will be a trip of a lifetime. Book your trip today and experience the thrill of catching red snapper and other bottom dwelling species in one of the most beautiful fishing destinations in the country.

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Cobia Fishing 101

Cobia can be harvested year round on the Florida Gulf Coast. Over the past
five years the population of Cobia has been vigorously studied and has been found
to be on the decline. To help the cobia population and regulate the overfishing
problem, as of July 1 st , 2022 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have changed
the legal harvest length of cobias from 33 inches to 36 inches to the fork. FWC has
also changed the recreational and commercial vessel limit from six to 2 fish per day.
This will be executed in all state waters. These changes are necessary to ensure we
put a stop to over fishing and allow cobia populations to rebuild for future

Here on the Emerald Coast, the best time to fish for cobias is during spring.
Late March and April seem to be the prominent months for seeing fish on top. You
can often spot boats gliding up and down the east and west beach searching for a
Cobia. While schools of Cobia pass through our area on their way to the breeding
grounds, a traditional tactic to target them is sight fishing and spotting them on top
water. Once the fish is spotted the crew will seem frantic as they turn the boat
sideways and cast bait towards the fish in hopes it is feeding time. Some fish eat
right away while others take some teasing to get them to react. Bait of choice is
usually a live eel or swim bait such as a pinfish. If the fish is not interested in live
bait, a colorful cobia jig can also be a good alternative.

FUN FACTS: Cobia can grow up to 6 feet and weigh over 100 pounds. Cobias
have also been found to live up to 12 years old. They reproduce when they are
young. Female Cobias mature at age 3 while males mature at age 2.

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What Fish Are in Season in Florida?

            Here in Florida the variety of species of fish wildly varies along with the season to harvest each species. When deciding when to book a fishing trip, who to choose for your guided charter and what species you would like to target here are some things to consider.

In our area, Destin, Florida, we are located in the Northwest region of Florida. Among our breathtaking white sand beaches, resides some of the best inshore bay, nearshore gulf and offshore gulf fishing in the world. Here is a breakdown of the different guided fishing charters you can book while visiting our area.

  1. Offshore Gulf Fishing – For the unlimited package and open-minded angler, there is the offshore gulf fishing option. The length of trip you book will determine the distance offshore you fish along with what species you are able to target during that time frame and water depth you will be fishing in. Most all these trips will take place on a large sport fishing boat equipped with all the amenities of home such as bathroom, a/c cabin, dining area, indoor seating, etc. This allows for you to fish for a long period of time all while being comfortable. All-day, overnight and multi-day trips will fall into the offshore gulf category. Species targeted will range from Red Snappers, Amberjacks, Gag Groupers, Scamp Groupers, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Swordfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Marlins, Yellow-edge Groupers, Snowy Groupers, Tilefish, and Barrel fish. The longer the trip you book, the wider variety of fish species you will be able to target depending on area in which the captain decides to fish. Most all-day trips will be 12, 14 or 16 hours. Overnight trips will start at 24 hours and continue into multi-day trips of 30, 36 and even 48-hour trips.
  • Nearshore Gulf Fishing – These guided fishing trips are half day 6 or 8 hour trips that will take place out in the Gulf of Mexico where you are still be within eyesight of land. Guided fishing trips in Destin, Florida that fall into the “nearshore” category take place 3 to 10 miles off the beach. This is a perfect choice for family groups looking to have constant action for their kids of any age in a short period of time. Fishing tactics used during this trip will be bottom fishing and trolling. Average depth for bottom fishing in open water will be about 100 to 200 ft on a nearshore trip. For trolling you will often use live bait that is cast behind the boat as the boat stays in constant motion at a slow speed to allow for the pelagic fish to find it and attack. The species of fish targeted will be determined by the month you book your trip and what is biting best. Among some of the most common species targeted nearshore are Triggerfish, Mingo snapper (Vermillion Snapper), White Snapper (Red Porgy), King Mackerel, and Spanish Mackerel. 
    • Gray Triggerfish – As of January 2022, Triggerfish season is open in the Gulf from March 1st– May 31st and August 31st-December 31st. Minimum size is 15” to the fork of the tail and you can harvest 1 per person per day. 
    • Mingo Snappers or Vermillion Snappers – Vermillion Snappers are open to harvest year-round in the Gulf. They must be a minimum of 10 inches in length and the daily bag limit is 10 per person (not considered part of the snapper aggerate bag limit) 
    • White Snapper or Red Porgy – Red Porgies are open year-round. They have no minimum harvest size in the Gulf. Daily bag limit is 100 pounds per person.
    • King Mackerel – King Mackerel are open year-round. They must be a minimum of 24 inches to the fork in length and have a daily bag limit of three per person daily.
    • Spanish Mackerel – Spanish Mackerel can be harvested year-round and must be a minimum of 12 inches to the fork to be harvested. The daily bag limit per person is 15 per day.

In searching for a guided fishing trip that is not too short and not too long, the nearshore gulf option is by far the best for your needs. It is a great option for you to experience bottom fishing and trolling in the Gulf no matter your age. Usually on a half day trip nearshore, you will harvest enough fish filets for about four fish dinners.

  • Inshore Bay Fishing – This style of fishing can be compared to lake or bass fishing. While you are not fishing fresh water, you will still be using light tackle and fishing around structures such as docks, bridges, jetties, oyster beds etc. Most inshore bay fishing will take place on a center console boat with an outboard motor. Most of these boats will range in size from 22ft to 26ft. Comfortable family or group size of four or less is ideal for this style of fishing and boat size. In Destin, FL the guided fishing trips booked for inshore bay fishing will take place in the Choctawhatchee Bay. The main species targeted on this trip will be Redfish (Red Drum), Speckled Trout, and Black Snappers (Mangrove Snapper). 
    • Red Fish can be harvested every month except February. They have a slot limit and can be no less then 18” but no more than 27” in total length. One fish per person, per day with a four fish vessel limit.
    • Speckled Trout or “Spotted Sea Trout” can be harvested year-round. They have a slot limit of no less than 15” but no more than 19” in total length. Anglers may possess one fish over 19” per vessel included in bag limit. Daily bag limit is three per harvester.
    • Black Snappers or “Mangrove” Snappers are open to harvest year-round. In state waters, there is a daily bag limit of five per person. They must be a minimum of 10 inches in length to harvest.

If you are a first timer, have fear of being seasick, or just prefer to cast and fish with light tackle such as 15lb test or less, inshore bay fishing is the option for you. This laid-back leisure fishing, usually yields enough fish for one or two nights of fish-filet dinners. 

When Should I Book a Guided Fishing Trip?

When deciding WHEN to book your guided fishing trip, the two main factors to consider is specific species season and weather. For example, if you are looking to target Red Snappers, historically the past three years the Federal Red Snappers season has opened June 1st and usually ends the second week of August. To target Red Snappers for the 2023 Red Snapper season, I would recommend booking during the months of either June or July to ensure they are in season while you are here. Here is a chart to help break down when is the best time to fish according to species and regulations:

Species:                       Best Month to Target:

Red Snappers              June & July

Scamp Groupers         Year Round

Amberjacks                 May, September, October

Almaco Jack                Year Round

Triggerfish                  March, April, May, August

Vermillion Snapper     Year Round

Swordfish                    Year Round

Tilefish                        Year Round

Mahi-Mahi                  July & August

Wahoo                        April – August

Yellowfin Tuna            Year Round

Blackfin Tuna              October & November

King Mackerel             May – November

Marlins                        June – August 

Gag Groupers              June – November

Who is the Best Charter Boat in Destin?

Last and certainly not least the most important aspect of booking your fishing charter here in Destin, Florida is WHOM to book your trip with. Over the past decade the number of charter boats in our area has tripled. We are the largest charter fishing fleet in the country. With this being said, be sure to do your homework and research what boat, company, and captain is the best for you. Google and Facebook reviews are your best friend. Do not be fooled by pop up charter companies who are not seasoned and will leave a bad taste in your mouth. DO NOT USE A THIRD-PARTY BOOKING SITE. Be sure to book your trip directly with the owner to avoid any miscommunications or misinformation about the boat and crew. Also keep in mind, the best in boat in Destin will book up ahead of the competition. You will need to book your trip well in advance of your arrival to ensure you are on a reputable boat.

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2022 Federal Red Snapper Season Announced!

Today, NOAA announced the 2022 Red Snapper fishing season for vessels with federal for-hire reef fish permits is 79 days in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The season for federally permitted for-hire vessels will begin at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2022, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 19, 2022.


See y’all on the water!

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Deep Sea Fishing Destin Florida

Deep Sea Fishing in Destin, FL is a known tradition and “must-do” when coming to town.

Three fun things to know about deep sea fishing in Destin:

  1. Destin, FL is home the world’s largest charter fishing fleet in the world!
  2. You can take the fish you caught, walk right off the boat and have them prepared at any local seafood restaurant on the harbor.
  3. Our season is year round, as there is always something in season here!

Whether you are traveling here on vacation or planning to make it your home, we would love the opportunity to take you on your first deep sea fishing trip  in Destin! Our one of a kind boat and operation can accommodate any size group. We offer fun family deep sea fishing trips and large party corporate deep sea fishing trips. No matter if it is spring, summer or fall there is always something to catch here while deep sea fishing in Destin, FL.

It is here!! The 2022 Season has already began! If you are interested in booking a trip, visit our Trips page on the main menu and check out all the different options we have to offer. If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page as well!

For booking a trip please contact Capt. Chris’ wife Shelby directly at (850)685-9368. See y’all on the water!

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Fall into Offshore Fishing

Although it’s cooler weather, plenty of fish are available in the Gulf when you go on a fishing trip with Destin Offshore Charters.

Whether you want a short trip or a longer one, you’re sure to be happy with what you bring home from the expedition.

In the northwest portion of the state, you can expect to catch Flounder, Gag Grouper or Red Grouper, Black Drum, Redfish, Sheepshead, Bass, Flathead Catfish, speckled Seatrout or Tuna. While Red Snapper is not in season now, Black Snapper, Mingo Snapper, Vermillion Snapper and White Snapper are.
While Triggerfish is in season, fishing for Triggerfish is considered to be fair in November and December. You may also be able to catch Mahi Mahi or Blackfin Tuna.

Of course, there’s always a chance you could catch a trophy fish, such as a Sailfish, a Swordfish, a Blue Marlin or another that will put up a fight for you.

Your captain will take you to the best location for the best fishing. Whether it’s an artificial or manmade reef, you can trust his knowledge.
Fishing remains fast and furious in local waters, so book your charter trip today with Destin Offshore Charters. Grab a waterproof jacket, sunglasses and sunscreen, and don’t forget your fishing license.

Come on aboard with Destin Offshore Charters for the fishing experience of a lifetime.

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Fall Offshore Fishing is a Must

Destin off shore fishing with Destin Offshore Charters is a must for a memorable fall vacation. You’ll get the fishing memories you’ve been wanting. Just wait until you tell your friends what you caught.

A deep sea trip can last a long as you want; anywhere from 8 to 16 hours, depending on the fishing experience you desire. Check with Destin Offshore Charters for help with what’s best for you. Don’t worry if you aren’t an experienced fisherman or woman. Help is available for all levels.

Off shore Destin offers many reefs, both artificial and man-made, where fish are plentiful. In the Gulf of Mexico, you may have an opportunity to catch amberjack, grouper, king mackerel, wahoo, mahi mahi, sailfish blue marlin, sword fish and many others. Your captain will know the best locations for the best fishing, including what fish have been biting lately. Their knowledge will guarantee that you’ll at least have a good time and maybe even reel in a big catch.

Make a reservation now and prepare to board for the best fishing experience with Destin Offshore Charters.

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Fish Offshore in Destin

If you’re vacationing in Destin, a deep sea fishing trip is a must. With many charter boats available, you’ll want to cut through the crowd and call Destin Offshore Charters. You’ll have the fishing experience you’ve been wanting when you’re in their hands.

Near-shore trips range from 4-6 hours and are perfect for the entire family. Others may want a longer trip, and that can be arranged, as well. Longer trips can last from 8 to 16 hours and provide the ultimate fishing experience.

The Gulf of Mexico offers a large variety of fish, including red snapper, grouper, amberjack, king mackerel, wahoo, mahi mahi, sailfish, blue marlin, sword fish and others. Your captain will know the best locations for you to encounter the best fishing. While nothing is guaranteed a far as which fish you’ll catch, you are guaranteed a good time.

Make a reservation and prepare to board. This vacation will be the fishing trip of a lifetime so don’t forget the camera.

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Everyone’s Bucket List Fish ~ The Mahi-Mahi

Mahi- Mahi, Dorado, Dolphin… whichever name you call it, is a name heard around the coast. Everyone wants to reel in one of these over the top colorful, tasty fish. This is one of our most popular requests on our trips.

A Mahi-Mahi is considered part of the pelagic family. Pelagic fish are species found neither near the bottom or near the shore. These free-swimming fish are often caught while deep water offshore trolling. They are also known to be hanging around sargassum seaweed patches or floating objects that have accumulated bait fish to school around it. Unlike many other species of fish, a mature dolphin is very easily determined to be a male or female by just the way they look. The males (or bulls) will have a large prominent protruding forehead while the females (or cows) have a rounded shaped head. Mahi-Mahi are also known for their mesmerizing blue, green, and yellow colors. They are truly a piece of art swimming around.

Mahi-Mahis are among some of the fastest growing fish. They don’t live much long than four to five years but regenerate very rapidly. Female Mahis will spawn two to three times a year and can produce between 80,000 and 1,000,000 eggs per event! That is a lot of kids.

To better your odds on catching one of these fish of a lifetime, we suggest booking an all-day 12 hour (or longer) trip. This will allow enough time to travel to the clean blue, deep water where the Mahi-Mahi usually homestead. Also, while trolling for Mahi-Mahi you have a chance to hook up a sailfish, wahoo or blackfin tuna as well.

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