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An Exhilarating Adventure- Your Day, Play-by-Play

Squid Bait
Passengers in Fish School on Rear Deck
TradeWinds Shipmate Justin with Sow Red Snapper
TradeWinds-caught Sailfish June 2018
May 2, 2023 Awesome Wahoo and More
Mr. Elmquist with his Wahoo Filets
TradeWinds Captain Brian with Son/Shipmate Justin and daughter-in-law Katie

So you're ready for the best charter fishing in Destin? We will start the trip by meeting your group at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure. Once everyone is accounted for and receives our safefy briefing, it's out of the dock we go! Depending on the season, bait availability, and species of targeted fish, your group may have the option to purchase live bait from our BaitBoat partner, just outside the Destin Pass . Alternatively, we will have cut bait (typically squid, boston mackerel, bonita) and limited live bait, aboard and ready. 

We will then begin our trek offshore, trolling on our way out to our first spot. As we exit the Destin pass, our seasoned Captain will make the most prudent determination for which direction and distance we will be heading for our first stop of bottom-fishing (based on real-time wind and ocean-current data). Generally speaking, unless your group makes other specific requests, you can expect roughly 50% of your charter length to be time spent with your hooks in the water- 25% in travel time each way, and 50% fishing time. Once we approach our first stop, our expert deckhand(s) will gather your group on the rear deck for Fish-School, where we'll teach you how to use our gear, bait hooks, safety info, and more.

Then it's time to start bringing in the fish!

Our Captain will maintain boat control, expertly holding position above our fishing reefs while you catch as many fish as you can. Your deckhands will help you with this all throughout the day, dehooking fish, answering questions, and providing any other assistance you may need. With varying fish-bite, fish-catch, fish species' seasons, and other factors, we will take you to several fishing spots, taking care to maximize your fishing time andto keep you on the fish, all without overfishing the spots. On longer trips, or if we intend to stay on a spot for a while, we will also throw out a fly-line, attracting top water sport fish like Cobia, King Mackerel, and more.

As our fishing time approaches its end, our Captain will give you plenty of heads-up for how much fishing time is remaining. We will be announcing as we approach our last spot, 30 minutes remaining, 10 minutes remaining, and final drop- ensuring you maximize your time and dont miss a thing. Once the bottom fishing is done, it's time to head back inshore. Time permitting, we will troll our way back toward Destin, once again targeting our favorite predator species like Tuna, Mahi, King Mackerel, Wahoo, etc. Although not common, we do stumble across some marlin

(Or if you're whooped, get some R&R... your call!)

Once we return to the dock, you get to show off your catch! Your crew will proudly arrange your fish on our display board. (Visit our catch gallery here). Take unlimited photos with your own cameras and phones, or our photography partner at the Fisherman's Coop will usually meet the boat to take professional photos for optional purchase. And if thats just not enough, TradeWinds has a close partnership with Gray's Taxidermy  so that you can have your catch mounted, and it can last forever! (Your crew makes it incredibly easy for you; we handle all the logistics for the mount order- measuring fish, submitting photos and order form, and collecting mount deposit. Plus you still get to keep the fish!)

Finally, to end our fishing adventure, and as a complementary service, your deckhand(s) will fillet your fish with years' experience of surgical precision and pack the fillets in bags to take with you. (Not a typical service we offer, but ask us about shipping, if needed).

And if you just cant wait... many restaurants on the Destin Harbor will cook YOUR fish as part of a Hook-and-Cook special.

(HarborDocks, Brotulas, and Dewey Destins are a few). 

Please remember: our crew are masters at their craft, and they work very hard for tips, often long before the trip leaves and long after it returns.

Gratuities can be paid as part of you up-front charter balance, or any other time with Cash, Venmo, or Paypal.

(If your trip has already happened and you forgot, we totally understand! There is a button to send tips on Venmo or Paypal at the bottom of this page). 

Customary gratuity is 20% of total trip price and 100% goes to your crew. 

If you have ANY questions or comments, please dont hesitate to reach out. A contact form is at the bottom of this page along with our contact information, or you can reach us through any of our social media channels, also found below.

Now, let's go fishing!!

Boston Mackerel Bait
TradeWinds Captain Larry Meyer
TradeWinds Dechand AJ and Cobia
Diego after a busy, successful day
Red Snapper Mount
Filetting Red Snapper
TradeWinds Crew AJ and Justin with Wahoo

Keep Reading for More about Fishing with TradeWinds.

Our Fishing Grounds

We use state-of-the art Garmin and Furuno marine electronics to take you to the fish. Over decades, we have recorded literal thousands of fishing-reef coordinates, and we're constantly updating our data. You're sure to find out first-hand why Destin, FL has long been been world famous as "The Worlds Luckiest Fishing Village."

 

Depending on your trip length, we will fish between 9 and 50+ miles offshore on the stunning Emerald Coast, making port from renowned- Destin Harbor.

Our fishery includes FL State waters (0-9 Miles offshore), but as a Federally permitted vessel, we focus our efforts on less-fished Federal waters (9+ Miles offshore). 

Gulf of Mexico Fishing Grounds

Meet our Amazing Crew

TradeWinds Owner- Captain Brian Howard

Captain Brian Howard (Owner)

Capt. Brian's own roots have been planted in the Emerald Coast since 1969, but they truly run so much deeper than that. As a direct descendent of the founders of Destin, fishing has been in his blood and heritage since the mid-1800's. He has been fishing recreationally his whole life and became a serious, dedicated angler in the mid 1990's.

 

He has owned and operated the TradeWinds since 2007, amassing a large and loyal client base. You're likely to see Capt. Brian in the mornings doing pre-departure inspections, mechanical upkeep, and overall maintenance and improvements. Brian's financially conservative yet innovative mind has (pun intended) kept the TradeWinds afloat through tough economic times, when others were not so lucky. Brian is the head-of-the-spear and the main reason we can offer the most comparatively stellar prices for the most comparatviely stellar product- the overall best private fishing charters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Captain Larry Meyer

Captain Larry is a US Marine Corps veteran who took to the seas upon his honorable discharge in 1969. He began his seafaring career commercial diving, spearfishing, harvesting lobsters, and selling his catches to local restaurants in Pompano Beach, FL. In the 1970's, he began commercial fishing and built upon his fishing expertise. Once life and career allowed, he acquired his own boat and fished commercially in the Florida Keys for 25 years. Finally, in 2003, he gained his Captain's License and has been in Destin ever since, running oil field boats and fishing.

In 2014, the oil-rigs' loss was our gain when Capt. Larry joined us on the TradeWinds, and 2024 begins his 11th season with us.

TradeWinds Captain Larry Meyer
Justin Howard- Son of TradeWinds Owner/Captain Brian

Shipmate- Justin Howard

An Emerald Coast native Justin has lived and fished in the area his whole life, 30 years+. A professional aviator, he has been in the aviation industry for over a decade, currently flying for a major airline during the off-season. However, as the son of Owner, Capt. Brian, Justin takes great pride in maintaining active involvement in most areas of TradeWinds operation as a proud family endeavor. With close collaboration with Capt. Brian, he monitors and manages all digital media, many areas of public relations, community outreach, marketing campaigns, and onboard marine technology. After dedicating a decade to the aviation industry, Justin has recently rejoined the active TradeWinds crew as a deckhand, providing support and assistance to our full-time onboard professionals.

First Mate- AJ Casey

What can we say about AJ? The son of his parents, he has lived on Earth nearly his whole life....we're almost certain. An avid fisherman, you just about cant keep him off the water. AJ is the TradeWinds' primary deckhand, bringing decades of fishing experience to the table. He has been with the TradeWinds for 4 seasons now, keeping customers coming again and again. 

TradeWinds Deckhand AJ
Juan Hinze
Juan Hinze

Honorary Mate- Juan Hinze

In loving memory, we'd like to never forget our Honorary Mate- Juan. A Vietnam War Veteran, Juan served in the US military with multiple deployments overseas. While in Vietnam and in service of his country, Juan was exposed to agent orange, which affected his health throghout his adulthood. Not to be kept down, Juan was a lifelong, experienced and dedicated fisherman who knew the water like no other. Juan was a loyal First Mate aboard the TradeWinds from 2015 until shortly before his passing. His knowledge and expertise was freely shared with all those around him, and boy was there a lot to share. Juan set sail into the next life in March 2021, and he will be forever missed. Thanks for all the great times, buddy. Fish-on!

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