About this listing
Stamas express () originally built in 2000, and restored in 2014. Powered by 2 240HP Yanmar engines.
With a combined 30 years of fishing experience in the waterways of South Florida, Captains Jeremy and John have made fishing the Lower Keys their passion and lifestyle. Today, Meridian Charters is a comprehensive guide service offering everything from fishing packages for the hardcore tournament anglers to dolphin watching, snorkeling, island hoping and an all-round relaxing day on the ocean.
The boat is a 32’ Stamas Express powered by diesel engines and with the maximum onboard capacity of 6 anglers per charter. The boat features an enclosed cockpit as well as an air-conditioned cabin, providing shelter from the waves or the sun. It is furnished with quality integrated electronics package, including a radar, AIS and sonar, and comes outfitted with a spacious marine toilet along with freshwater showers. There’s a large integrated swim platform with a ladder allowing for an easy sea access. Large coolers and fish boxes for oversized catches can also be found on board.
Depending on the day, your trip will be guided either by Capt. Jeremy or Capt. John. Jeremy, the owner of Meridian Charters has over 15 years of commercial and charter fishing experience in the Lower Keys, which he uses regularly to help make his guests’ day on the water as memorable as possible. His right-hand man, Capt. John is a seasoned guide with over 5 years of professional guiding and a lifetime of fishing experience. In terms of tackle, the boat’s spinning gear consists of custom-built Esky rods and Daiwa reels, with conventional tackle mainly by Fin Nor and Penn International.
Meridian Charters specialize in offshore and reef fishing for a wide range of pelagics migrating through the Lower Keys. Offshore fishing usually consists of live baiting for Sailfish, trolling for the likes of Wahoo and Tuna, deep dropping for Swordfish, Mahi Mahi fishing in the summer and more. On the reefs, you can target a variety of Snappers and Groupers, Kingfish, Cobia and more.
25% deposit charged upfront by FishingBooker to guarantee your reservation. The remaining balance is to be paid directly to the captain on or prior to your trip date in one of the following payment methods: Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express.
Went fishing on March 14, 2016
It was a beautiful day, and light wind! We caught a lot of fish. Some were rather large! I would definitely do it again!
Fished March 2016James Deren • Fished March 14, 2016James Deren recommends Meridian Charters
Went fishing on July 11, 2015
We set out to sea for my “Big 50” and a fun day at sea. 4 miles out one of the engines overheated! The captain reacted very quickly. He called in the problem and made us all feel at ease. It seemed that an oil filter needed changing and he did it as quickly as possible. They had the same problem a day earlier on the other engine. Why weren’t both changed to prevent this on a chartered trip? We lost about 40 minutes of valuable time that you cannot make up when you are going trolling for Mahi! The captain tried to make up for it in the early afternoon and we went bottom fishing over a reef and caught 24 small/medium size yellow tails for a good fish fry back at the hotel that night. Poor planning caused an emergency that could have been avoided. This ship is off my list!
Fished July 2015Fernando Barragan • Fished July 11, 2015Replied to this review on July 18, 2015
We were really sorry you had to see the mechanical failure side of boating on your charter. We recieved a load of bad fuel, and it clogged our fuel filters. There are 4 of them, and we didn’t realise the scope of the problem until they all failed. We are a busy operation, and very very rarely have issues like this occur, however, boats do break. I would like to extend an offer for a discounted fishing trip for your next visit, in the hopes of changing your mind about our operation. You may contact me by email if you have any further questions or concerns.Fernando Barragan does not recommend Meridian Charters
Replied to this review on July 18, 2015
We were really sorry you had to see the mechanical failure side of boating on your charter. We recieved a load of bad fuel, and it clogged our fuel filters. There are 4 of them, and we didn’t realise the scope of the problem until they all failed. We are a busy operation, and very very rarely have issues like this occur, however, boats do break. I would like to extend an offer for a discounted fishing trip for your next visit, in the hopes of changing your mind about our operation. You may contact me by email if you have any further questions or concerns.
Went fishing on September 16, 2014
We spoke to captain over the phone night before fishing trip not knowing whether to do reef/bottom fishing or trolling. Captain said water is still too warm to do effective trolling and suggested reef fishing at his favorite reef 6 miles offshore.
We arrived to Key West the following morning. The boat is docked at a small marina located just across the Hurricane Hole restaurant on Stock Island, Key West.
Slight surprise was that Captain and owner of Meridian Charters, Jeremy didn’t originally meet us, but his full time captain Stephen instead. Stephen turned out to be an amazing guy and a great captain, but we would have appreciated the heads-up from owner Jeremy to expect somebody else and not him.
The boat was already prepared with the engine running, by the time we arrived and we were off in no time. The boat is in good condition with room to fish 3-4 anglers comfortably.
It took us about 20 minutes to reach the reef where we would fish. We made a few circles around the reef until Capt. Stephen found signals of fish on the fishfinder and anchored at about 50ft of depth.
Capt. Stephen started chumming and it wasn’t long before shoals of yellowtail snappers, blue runners and other baitfish in the 1-2# range started appearing.
For catching baitfish we used pieces of bonito rigged to a (probably) 4 size hook and mono leader. Action commenced immediately upon casting our bait. We caught a mix of about 15-20 yellowtail and blue runners in the first hour.
After just having fun with the baitfish for some time and having several fish stolen by 6+ft barracuda and sharks, we decided to rig some live bait at the surface with a balloon and try to get something bigger.
10 seconds after casting, first barracuda takes. It managed to get to the reef and cut the wire leader but the 2 minute fight it put up was fun and full of jumps. 3 more barracuda took, but we didn’t manage to pull any out, at which point blue runner which used as bait stopped biting.
As the baitfish were having a break about 2 hours into the trip, we decided to try bottom fishing for sharks/grouper. Not long before we got our first shark! A nurse shark of 70lbs. It was a 5 minute fight and left Vukan from our team breathless.
We cast our bottom rod to try for another big fish and managed to get the baitfish active once again. We kept 4 2# yellowtails for dinner.
Vukan got a good sized Bermuda chub, but got stung with it’s spines which can be seen by his expression while holding the fish. Very painful experience.
With the fishing trip almost done, Nemo hooked into what appeared as another shark on the bottom. The fish managed to snap the line just as we were starting to get color under the surface. Great fight, but no fish to show :(
As our time was running out, we started heading back at 11:40.
Stephan cleaned and filleted our catch while we were observing the abundant tarpon and shark population swimming around the marina. We also had some interesting up-close iguana sightings.
As we parted with Stephan, he recommended a great nearby restaurant we can’t remember the name of :) to prepare our catch and have a few beers – it was DELICIOUS. Blackened grilled yellowtail snapper and mojitos. When you go fishing with Meridian, just ask about the restaurant he recommended to the FishingBooker guys and they’ll know.
In a few words, the boat, crew and gear were all in good shape, but we would have appreciated some information on who our captain would be and his name that’s why they received 4/5 on overall experience. Everything else - Flawless.
Fished September 2014Vukan Simic • Fished September 16, 2014Vukan Simic recommends Meridian Charters
5130 U.S. 1, Key West
, FL 33040, United States