A Unique Adventure- Play by Play
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 everyone receives our safefy briefing, it's out of the dock we go! Depending on the season, weather conditions, bait availability, and species of targeted fish, your group will have the option to purchase live bait from our BaitBoat partner, right outside the Destin Pass (market price, determined by the BaitBoat). 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). Once we approach our first stop, our knowledgeable deckhand(s) will gather your group on the rear deck for Fish-School, where we will teach you how to use our gear, bait your hooks, additional safety info and more.
Then it's time to start bringing in the fish!
Our Captain will maintain boat control, expertly holding-up on our fishing reef 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, and other factors, our Captain will take you from spot to spot, maximizing your fishing time and keeping 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 comes to a close, Captain will give you plenty of heads-up for fishing time remaining, announcing our last spot, 30 minutes remaining, 10 minutes remaining, and final drop- ensuring you maximize your time and dont miss a thing. Now it's time to head back home. Time permitting, we will troll back inshore, once again targeting our favorite predator species like Bonita, Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, King Mackerel, and more.
Once we arrive at the dock, it's time to show off your catch! Your deckhand(s) will proudly display your catch on our TradeWinds display board (click here to visit our gallery). We will ensure you get plenty of photos with your own cameras/phones. Additionally, our photography partner at the Fisherman's Coop will meet the boat for professionally taken photographs for optional purchase. And if thats just not enough, TradeWinds has a close partnership with Gray's Taxidermy so that if you choose to have your catch mounted, it can last forever. (Your TradeWinds crew will make it super easy for you; we will handle all the logistics for the mount order- measuring fish, submitting order form, taking and submitting photos, and collecting mount deposit ).
Finally, to end our fishing adventure, as a complementary service, your deckhand(s) will clean your fish with surgical precision so you can take it with you for later consumption.
If you just cant wait- many restaurants on the Destin Harbor offer a Hook-and-Cook special.
(HarborDocks, Brotulas, and Dewey Destins are a few).
Please note: our deckhands are masters at their craft, and they do work very hard for gratuities. These can be accepted via initial charter payment, Cash, Venmo, or Paypal.
Customary gratuity is 20% of overall trip cost.
If you have any questions or comments, please dont hesitate to reach out via our contact info below or through any of our social media channels.
Let's go fishing!!
Our Fishing Grounds
We use our 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. Come find out first-hand why Destin, FL has been hailed "The Worlds Luckiest Fishing Village."
Depending on the length of your trip, we will fish between 5 and 50+ miles offshore in the Gulf waters of the stunning Emerald Coast, making berth from the famous Destin Harbor. Our fisheries include FL State Waters (Shoreline- 9 Miles Out), but we focus our efforts on the less-fished Federal Waters (beyond 9 Miles offshore).
Meet our Expert Crew
Captain Brian Howard (Owner)
Capt. Brian's roots have been planted on the Emerald Coast since 1969, but they truly run so much deeper. As a direct descendent of the founders of Destin, FL., fishing has been in his bloodline since the 1800's. He has been fishing recreationally his whole life and became a serious angler in the mid 1990's. He has owned and operated the TradeWinds since 2007, amassing a large and loyal client base.
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 he is now in his 10th season with us.
Shipmate- Justin Howard
An Emerald Coast native- born and bred- Justin has lived and fished in the area his whole life, 30 years+. An aviator himself, he has been in the aviation industry for over a decade, currently flying for a major airline. However, as the son of Owner, Capt. Brian, Justin takes great pride in maintaining active involvement in many 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 crew.
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 3 seasons now, keeping customers coming again and again.
Jake.....From State Farm
Our youngest member of TeamTradeWinds, Jake came fishing with us some years ago. A wee lad of just 15, he got squid on his Khakis and got fired from State Farm. Being partly responsible, we decided to give him a job. He has learned fast, excelled in the craft, and proven himself to be a worthy mariner. Jake is a very hard worker, who has literally dedicated blood, sweat, and tears into becoming an incredible young angler with the position and skills he edifies today.
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!