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 13 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.

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 13 years.<

Select date to see available trips and rates:

Trip Date:
  • Full Day Fishing Excursion
    8 hour trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    US$ 1100 private charter
  • 3/4 Day Fishing Excursion
    6 hour trip, starts at 6:00 AM
    US$ 825 private charter
  • Half Day Fishing Excursion
    4 hour trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    US$ 550 private charter
  • 3 Hour Kids fun trip
    3 hour trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    US$ 420 private charter
  • 2 Hour Dolphin/harbor cruise
    2 hour trip, starts at 1:30 PM
    US$ 250 private charter
There are 10 people looking at this charter.

About this listing

Targeted Species

  Grouper (Black)
  Grouper (Gag)

  Grouper (Red)
  King Mackerel (Kingfish)

  Snapper (Red)
  Spanish Mackerel
  Triggerfish (Gray)

Boat Specs

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

20 ft
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
Fly Fishing


Life Jackets
Live Bait Well
Life Jackets
Live Bait Well

Trip Includes

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


FREE Cancellation
You can cancel or change your booking free of charge up to 3 days before the trip date.
Pickup not included
Transfer to/from departure site is not included in trip rates.
Child Friendly
You Keep Catch
Catch and Release Allowed


Book with 15% deposit
When the captain confirms your trip, FishingBooker charges your credit card a 15% 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:
American Express

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
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: 90%

Destin Fishing Calendar

Customer Reviews

4.93 out of 5 stars from 46 reviews

5 stars
4 stars
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1 star

I appreciate how honest he was with me. He recommended a time of day to go out based on his experience combined with the weather conditions. We had luck in less than ideal conditions. I would recommend him and return next time

Fished March 26, 2018
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  • Crew
  • Overall

Conditions were less than ideal, high winds and rough seas after a frontal passage. Mike was very forthright about catching possibilities. We decided to fish regardless of the conditions. Mike worked hard to get us in fish and we had a successful day catching king mackerels. Mike was very sociable and willing to share his experiences and knowledge. Felt bad that I didn’t have more cash to tip him more. He worked hard in rough seas to ensure a good trip for us. I have no need to look anywhere else when I’m back in the area for more fishing. Looking forward to the next trip when the weather will allow Mike more options for other species.

Thanks again Captain Mike for an enjoyable day on the water.

Fished October 17, 2017
Mike Dates (The Captain)
Replied to this review on October 18, 2017

Thanks Tom for the kind words!! You guys did a great job hanging in there in pretty rough seas!!  Don’t sweat the tip, I was happy with it Tom :)

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  • Crew
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Capt Mike was awesome! Professional, friendly, and very helpful. We caught what we went for. We didn’t catch our limit but it wasn’t because of his lack of effort! If you’ve fished before then you know how that goes. We will definitely call him next year!!

Fished August 2, 2017
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  • Crew
  • Overall