First Shot Charters

214 Harbor Blvd
Destin FL, United States

First Shot is a 20’ boat 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, Mike has been a USCG licensed captain for over 16 years.

First Shot crew primarily uses live bait, although they can easily accommodate fly and artificial fishermen as well. All the equipment and supplies necessary to clean the fish (should you decide to keep any) will be provided, along with a seasoned crew who are there to help along the way. 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.


Select date to see available trips and rates:

  • Private trip
    Full Day Fishing Excursion
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    8 hours trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    Seasonal trip available 30 Apr - 1 Nov
    US$ 1280
    up to 4 persons
  • Private trip
    3/4 Day Fishing Excursion
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    6 hours trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    Seasonal trip available 1 May - 31 Oct
    US$ 960
    up to 4 persons
  • Private trip
    Half Day Fishing Excursion
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    4 hours trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    Seasonal trip available 1 May - 31 Oct
    US$ 640
    up to 4 persons
  • Private trip
    Half Day Trip
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    4 hours trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    US$ 640
    up to 4 persons
  • Private trip
    3 Hour Kids fun trip
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    3 hours trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    US$ 480
    up to 4 persons
    This is just a fun trip with kids in mind.I will teach them how to fish in a fun environment in clam waters. This is an afternoon trip only.
  • Private trip
    2 hour kids trip, Catch and release
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    2 hours trip, starts at 1:00 PM
    US$ 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.
  • Private trip
    Private Dolphin cruise
      FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    2 hours trip, starts at 1:00 PM
    US$ 250
    up to 4 persons
    This is a private cruise where just you and your friends or family will meander around the pass and Crab Island area looking for dolphin and other aquatic life while learning some of the history of the area. The price of this trip includes up to 5 people.
There are 6 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 Cancellation
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
55
Mike has been a USCG licensed Captain for over 14 years, but he's fished the waters of Destin since 1969. He and his crew work tirelessly to put you on fish, and employ their wealth of knowledge and experience on every trip they run.
Response time: 2 hours
Response rate: 91%

Destin Fishing Calendar

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Customer Reviews

Rating Summary
Photos by reviewers (61)
4.92
out of 5 stars from 55 reviews
Boat
Crew
Experience
Fishing with Mike Dates
Fishing with Mike Dates
Fishing with Mike Dates
+58
Angler Rating
53
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
94%
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Showing:
5 of 55 reviews
Scott Gardzelewski
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 Gardzelewski recommends First Shot Charters
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Scott Gardzelewski recommends First Shot Charters
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Michelle Morgan
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 Morgan recommends First Shot Charters
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Michelle Morgan recommends First Shot Charters
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Kurt Koth
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 Koth recommends First Shot Charters
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Kurt Koth recommends First Shot Charters
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John Collins
West Liberty, KY
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

Half Day with Capt Mike

VERIFIED   July 12, 2018
Great afternoon with Captain Mike!  He is very hospitable and kept putting us on the fish. I plan to look him up on my...
John Collins recommends First Shot Charters
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  Mike Dates Captain replied

Mike Meade
Louisville, KY
 5.00
Experience:
Boat
Crew
Overall

Wonderful Father/Son Experience

VERIFIED   June 20, 2018
What a great experience!  Captain Mike was great with my 12 year old son and we caught plenty of fish to keep him smiling. ...
Mike Meade recommends First Shot Charters
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  Mike Dates Captain replied