First Shot Charters

(57) Just booked!

Will Lady Luck shine on you in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village?” Come and see for yourself aboard the First Shot, out of Destin, FL. She’s a 20’ Cape Horn center console that can fit up to 4 passengers per trip. Captain Mike Dates, the owner and operator, has been fishing the area waters since childhood. A native of the Destin area, he’s been a USCG-licensed captain for over 16 years.

The First Shot crew primarily uses live bait, but they can easily accommodate fly and artificial fishermen as well. All the equipment and supplies necessary to clean the fish will be provided, along with a seasoned crew who are there to help along the way. As a matter of fact, they’ll 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.

First Shot 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 would be King Mackerel, Cobia, Blackfin Tuna, Sharks, Red Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, and much more depending on the season. The bay side is teeming with Trout, Redfish, Black Snapper, Flounder, Ladyfish and Bluefish.

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. All 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.


Select date to see available trips and rates:

  • Private trip
    Full Day Trip
      FREE Cancelation 3 days notice
    8 hours trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    Seasonal trip available 30 Apr - 1 Nov
    $1,280
    up to 4 persons
    Any serious angler will just love spending a full day on the water. With this 8-hour trip, you'll get to experience the best that Destin has to offer. Troll for game fish in the deeper waters, or bottom fish the reefs and wrecks for a range of delicious and exciting fish. From Kingfish to Snappers, Groupers and Amberjacks – these waters have it all. Beginners are welcome too, with the captain at hand to help anyone land their first catch.
  • Private trip
    3/4 Day Trip
      FREE Cancelation 3 days notice
    6 hours trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    Seasonal trip available 1 May - 31 Oct
    $960
    up to 4 persons
    You decide what you want to do. The beauty of a 6-hour trip is that it gives you the flexibility to decide what you want to do. You can head out into the Gulf and troll for King Mackerel, or stay in the nearshore waters and bottom fish the reefs and wrecks for beautiful, thrilling, and delicious Snappers, Groupers, Amberjacks, and many more.
  • Private trip
    Half Day Trip (AM)
    Just booked!
      FREE Cancelation 3 days notice
    4 hours trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    $640
    up to 4 persons
    A 4 hour trip is just enough time to get you out onto the Gulf's rich waters and trolling for the bite of exciting and delicious King Mackerel. The Kingfish, as it's known, is a favorite all around the Gulf's shores, with Destin, as always, providing the best fishing available.
  • Private trip
    Half Day Trip (PM)
      FREE Cancelation 3 days notice
    4 hours trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    Seasonal trip available 1 May - 31 Oct
    $640
    up to 4 persons
    Get out on the Gulf on this afternoon trip. You'll set up some trolling lines, targeting exciting and delicious Kingfish. These prized species are famous all over the Gulf and you'll need to bring your A-game if you want to fill the boat, and your fridge on this 4-hour trip.
  • Private trip
    3 Hour Trip – Kids Fun (PM)
      FREE Cancelation 3 days notice
    3 hours trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    $480
    up to 4 persons
    This is just a fun trip with kids in mind. Take your kids out on the water and get them hooked on fishing. They may even bring you home a delicious dinner in the future. They'll learn how to fish in a fun environment in the calm waters.
  • Private trip
    2 Hour Trip – Catch & Release (PM)
      FREE Cancelation 3 days notice
    2 hours trip, starts at 1:00 PM
    $380
    up to 4 persons
    This trip is designed to take beginners out and teach them basics of fishing in a fun enviroment and to catch some fish while learning. This is a catch and release trip, but you'll have the chance to take a photo with your first catch. Kids are especially welcome to learn the tricks of the trade.
There are 18 people looking at this charter.

About this listing

Targeted Species

Amberjack
Cobia
Grouper (Black)
Grouper (Gag)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)
Redfish
Sailfish
Sheepshead

Snapper (Red)
Spanish Mackerel
Tarpon
Triggerfish (Gray)

Boat Specs

Cape Horn (Center console) originally built in 2000, and restored in 2016. Powered by a 225HP Yamaha engine, with a maximum cruising speed of 35 knots.

Length
20 ft
Capacity
4 persons

Types of Fishing

Inshore Fishing
Nearshore Fishing
Offshore Fishing
Reef Fishing
Wreck Fishing
Flats Fishing
Backcountry Fishing

Fishing Techniques

Light Tackle
Heavy Tackle
Bottom Fishing
Trolling
Fly Fishing
Drift Fishing

Amenities

GPS
Life Jackets
Fishfinder
Flybridge
Live Bait Well
GPS
Life Jackets
Fishfinder
Flybridge
Live Bait Well

Trip Includes

Rods, reels & tackle
Live Bait
Lures
Catch cleaning & filleting
Fishing License Included

Policies

FREE Cancelation
You can cancel or reschedule your booking up to 3 days before the trip. If the captain cannot run the trip due to unsafe weather conditions, your booking can be moved to another date or canceled free of charge.
Pickup not included
Transfer to/from departure site is not included in trip rates.
Child Friendly
You Keep Catch
Catch and Release Allowed

Payment

Book with 20% deposit
When the captain confirms your trip, FishingBooker charges your credit card a 20% deposit to guarantee your reservation.
Pay remaining balance to captain
The remaining balance is to be paid directly to the charter operator on or prior to your trip date in one of the following payment methods:
Cash
Visa
Mastercard
Checks

When paying the remaining balance with a credit card, there is a 5% fee.

About the Captain

Mike Dates
Destin, Florida, United States
Member since September 2014
57
Mike has been a USCG-licensed Captain since 2002, but he's fished the waters of Destin since 1969. A true native to the area and he just can't get enough of the beautiful village and her incredible fishery. He will work tirelessly to put you on the fish, and employ his wealth of knowledge and experience on every trip he runs. On a personal note, I love this business because I get to meet some really great people everyday and I feel relaxed and at home on the water. Start out as a client, end the trip as a friend.
Response time: 2 hours
Response rate: 92%

Destin Fishing Calendar

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Customer Reviews

Rating Summary
Photos by reviewers (62)
4.92
out of 5 stars from 57 reviews
Boat
Crew
Experience
Great time considering the weather !!
Fishing with Mike Dates
Fishing with Mike Dates
+59
Angler Rating
55
2
0
0
0
Anglers Claimed
Good experience
100%
Friendly captain
100%
Recommend this charter
100%
Appropriate for children
100%
Satisfied with the boat
100%
Catch intended fish
90%
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5 of 57 reviews
Scott G.
Macon, Georgia
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

Best trip ever

VERIFIED   June 16, 2018
Capt. Mike is a true professional it just so happens he has salt water in his veins.  For the week leading up to the trip...
Scott G. recommends First Shot Charters
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Scott G. recommends First Shot Charters
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David E.
Mobile, AL
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

Trip with captain mike

VERIFIED   NEW  March 28, 2019
Captain Mike was great. Cared a lot about our fishing experience. Helped us learn things about fishing that we did not know...
David E. recommends First Shot Charters
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  Mike Dates Captain replied

Michelle M.
Destin, Florida
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

Fishing with Mike Dates

VERIFIED   September 18, 2018
We had an amazing time today fishing with Mike.  We really appreciated all the little things like how he baited our hooks...
Michelle M. recommends First Shot Charters
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Michelle M. recommends First Shot Charters
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Kurt K.
Ballwin, MO
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

3 Hour Kids Fishing Trip

VERIFIED   July 26, 2018
We had a great time with Captain Mike! He was really attentive to the kids and made sure they had a great time. We caught 10...
Kurt K. recommends First Shot Charters
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Kurt K. recommends First Shot Charters
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Will M.
Glen Allen, VA
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

December fishing trip

VERIFIED   December 30, 2018
Will M. recommends First Shot Charters
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1 person finds this review helpful
You and 1 other person found this helpful
Will M. recommends First Shot Charters
Mark as helpful
1 person finds this review helpful
You and 1 other person found this helpful

Weather Protection
Weather Protection
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Best Price Guarantee
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