Captain
Zach Stells

Member since March 2015 Big Pine Key, United States
Background
Fishing charters in the Lower Florida Keys. My name is Capt. Zach Stells. I'm the owner and operator of Boneafide Fishing Charters in the Lower Florida Keys. I have had ad a passion for light tackle and offshore fishing since a young age. I got on the water at a very young and just loved every aspect of angling. Spin, fly, conventional. I just love to put my friends and my family on fish and the passion grew to where I could actually do this for a living which is the greatest job in the world. I’d love to get you out on the water. We offer a variety of charters for every lifestyle and budget. We have 2 boats available. 29ft. SeaVee, 17 Maverick. 305.986.3211

Hey, I'm Captain Zach Stells

Big Pine Key, United States
Background
Fishing charters in the Lower Florida Keys. My name is Capt. Zach Stells. I'm the owner and operator of Boneafide Fishing Charters in the Lower Florida Keys. I have had ad a passion for light tackle and offshore fishing since a young age. I got on the water at a very young and just loved every aspect of angling. Spin, fly, conventional. I just love to put my friends and my family on fish and the passion grew to where I could actually do this for a living which is the greatest job in the world. I’d love to get you out on the water. We offer a variety of charters for every lifestyle and budget. We have 2 boats available. 29ft. SeaVee, 17 Maverick. 305.986.3211

My Charter Listing

Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
Big Pine Key
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $850

Fishing Reports

Florida Keys Fishing News
Florida Keys Fishing News
Sep 25, 2018 Big Pine Key
FISHING GUIDES NOAA and Florida Keys fishing guides partner to support sustainable recreational fishing Long considered an angler’s paradise, the sandbars, flats, channels, and reefs in the Florida Keys provide year-round opportunities for anglers who dream of catching a “fish of a lifetime.” These lush habitats support charter fishing captains and guides whose livelihoods depend on a healthy, productive ecosystem. The Blue Star Fishing Guide program recognizes charter fishing captains who are committed to sustainable fishing practices and educating their customers about resource protection in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The voluntary training and compliance program seeks to increase fishing guides’ knowledge and, ultimately, that of their clients, to conserve the mangroves, seagrass meadows, and reefs that are the foundation for world-class fishing in the Florida Keys Boneafide is Blue Star Fishing Guide operator. Photo: Boneafide Charter Company “Becoming a Blue Star Fishing Guide is not only a step towards conserving the Florida Keys, but also protects the fisheries we rely on each day for charters,” says Tony Young, owner of Forever Young Charter Company in Islamorada. “It is in each operator’s best interest to go Blue Star and educate their clients on sustainable fishing practices.” In 2017, 41 percent of visitors participated in recreational sport fishing, according to the Monroe County Tourist Development Council’s visitor profile survey. Florida Bay, edged by the inner curve of the Keys and the Florida mainland, is referred to locally as the backcountry. It is home to five of the most sought-after game fish among recreational anglers: bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish (red drum, and snook. Off the Keys’ outer curve and the nearby Gulf Stream lies the Atlantic Ocean. Blue and white marlin, sailfish, and swordfish inhabit these deep-sea areas. Debi Gabriel, of Boneafide Charter Company in the Lower Florida Keys, says the Keys offers unrivaled outdoor experiences as well as the opportunity to educate visitors about the principles of sustainable recreation. “We became involved with the Blue Star Fishing Guide program because we are the eyes and ears of the Florida Keys sanctuary,” she says. “Teaching people about how important it is to conserve, preserve, and educate is what we feel needs to be done in order to sustain our precious fishery.” Captains and guides in the program receive online training that covers general education about the sanctuary, its diverse habitats, and its fisheries. They also learn best practices that include using gear suited to the size of fish targeted and employing proper techniques and tools to revive fish if they are released. Blue Star Fishing Guide operators are required to follow legal and ethical standards as well as conservation measures such as proper fish handling. Program guidelines also encourage the use of barbless circle hooks whenever practical, and limit catch to what clients want for their own use. The program also encourages respect for other anglers. Blue Star Fishing Guide operators receive branded materials to market their business as a sanctuary partner, plus educational materials to share with clients and customers on their vessel. Annual evaluations ensure compliance with program criteria and continued program excellence. Gabriel and other guides say the need for angler education is painfully evident in the negative impacts on the Key’s sensitive marine habitat that they see when they’re on the water. Guides witness anchor damage to corals, propeller scars in seagrass meadows, entangled and discarded fishing line, abandoned traps, and trash. “We pick up trash on every trip,” Gabriel says. “It’s really sad. We educate anglers every day that it is so important to keep the bays and the oceans clean and to not teach their trash to swim. Especially the bait boxes. I pick up a lot of those every week.” Adds Young: “We see a lot of people anchoring on the coral in shallow reefs, fishing in areas they are not supposed to, and taking fish that are undersized or out of season. Some visitors do not know, but many simply ignore the regulations and laws that are set in place to protect the Florida Keys.” In addition to pollution and poor boating practices, guides say many visitors lack basic awareness about the sanctuary and their surroundings. “Most clients are from outside the local area and really don’t have sanctuaries in their backyard or even realize they’re fishing in one until you tell them,” says Jim Loftus, owner of Mile Marker 27 Fishing Charters. We must do our part to protect our beautiful marine environment.

Customer reviews

Rating Summary
Excellent
5.0 / 5
out of 5 stars from 9 reviews
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Photos & videos by reviewers (28)
May fishing trip
May fishing trip
May fishing trip
+25
Angler Rating
9
0
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
88%
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Showing:
5 of 9 reviews
Jody C.
Tampa, Florida
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

Full day trip

VERIFIED   NEW  Full Day Offshore on July 20, 2022
We caught fish even though it was a bit rough. Captain Zach out worked any other Captain on the water. Great job!
Jody C. recommends Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee
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1 person finds this review helpful
You and 1 other person found this review helpful
  Zach Stells Captain replied

Christopher S.
Perrysville, OH
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

Capt zach filling in for jason

VERIFIED   4 HR REEF/SHALLOW PATCHES FISHING on July 10, 2019
We had a great day. Thx to Zach for filling in during Jason’s absence.  Worked hard and made the trip fun.  Would do it...
Christopher S. recommends Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee
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Naeem L.
Hollywood, Florida
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

2 hour trip with captain Jason

VERIFIED   2 HOUR CHARTER on December 27, 2016
Captain Jason took us to a ship wreck where we spent 2 hours fishing. We caught mangove (snapper) fishes every few minutes...
Naeem L. recommends Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee
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  Zach Stells Captain replied

Vance C.
Winter Garden, Florida
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

6 HOUR CHARTER 4 ppl

VERIFIED   6 HOUR CHARTER 24ft. Pathfinder on August 9, 2017
We had a great trip on the bonefide charter. The captain and his wife worked well together and were knowledgeable of their...
Vance C. recommends Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee
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  Zach Stells Captain replied

Chuck M.
New Bloomfield, MO
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

May fishing trip

VERIFIED   AWESOME YELLOWTAIL 10:00 AM on May 11, 2018
Chuck M. recommends Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee
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Chuck M. recommends Boneafide Charters - 29' SeaVee
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