destin charter ripoff
tourist fisherman

AOL

#1 Oct 31, 2011
What has happened in destin that formed the cartel currentely ripping off tourist.We chartered a 6 hour trip and were told it would be a maximum of 6 people but it ended up being 10.Then we were told to fish for our own bait for about 45 minutes(of which we never used but were supplied with frozen cut fish and squid and never used one of the baitfish we wasted 45 minutes catching) and after arriving at a site to fish were told only 5 could fish at a time.We realized that a cartel had control of about 35 big boats,it was ironic because only 2-3 went out while we were there,and the crew could have cared less if we caught anything or not as they already had our money.This group is killing off what tourist money might be spent thru this practice of misrepresenting the trip and all on our boat were not happy.Luckily for us on the next trip to destin we hooked up with one of the few independents captains with a boat left and had a wonderful day of fishing,and we didn't have to go out 20-30 miles to catch our limit of grouper.Where is the chamber of commerce or better business when this system of fraud is killing off tourist dollars as some don't realize there are still some independent boats with good crews and captains.Wake up destin,the lack of any people at the so called fishing festival should be a sign of whats to come.If you are looking to catch fish in destin look further down the docks,past the scammers and find a good independent captain that will give you the fishing trip you pay for.
been there

Powell, OH

#2 Nov 5, 2011
Was this boat owned by kelly wines.
suggestion

AOL

#3 Nov 7, 2011
The boat we were ripped off by was the anastasia and they were represented by the lady in the booth that makes it appear they are the only way to book a trip.It was really a fraudulent representation to tell us we were going to be fishing 100% of the time when in reality we were told we could only fish 50% of the time we PAID for because they had too many people on the boat to fish.A real scam.
Johnny

Panama City Beach, FL

#4 Nov 12, 2011
suggestion wrote:
The boat we were ripped off by was the anastasia and they were represented by the lady in the booth that makes it appear they are the only way to book a trip.It was really a fraudulent representation to tell us we were going to be fishing 100% of the time when in reality we were told we could only fish 50% of the time we PAID for because they had too many people on the boat to fish.A real scam.
Next time drive the short distance to Panama City Beach, better fishing, lower prices and no rip offs.
I Own a Destin Boat

Destin, FL

#5 Mar 27, 2013
I am very sorry to hear about your fishing experience. I'm sad that it may have put a bad taste in your mouth regarding deep sea fishing in Destin. Your experience is definitely not how it is along the entire Destin Harbor. Harborwalk Marina is the entity you are referring to - be careful about saying cartel, because there is a group of VERY good boats and crews nicknamed the "cartel" BECAUSE of their prowess and success in the industry. This is NOT the kind of experience you would have on their boats.

Harborwalk Marina strictly regulates the boats that contract out of their location and is the only marina to do so. Other boats out of other marinas are independent and run their business how they like.

Destin still is and will probably ALWAYS be the best place in the world for deep sea reef fishing. We might not be cheaper than Panama City - but you know what they say about "what you pay for."
CodSack

Shalimar, FL

#6 May 29, 2013
I Own a Destin Boat wrote:
I am very sorry to hear about your fishing experience. I'm sad that it may have put a bad taste in your mouth regarding deep sea fishing in Destin. Your experience is definitely not how it is along the entire Destin Harbor. Harborwalk Marina is the entity you are referring to - be careful about saying cartel, because there is a group of VERY good boats and crews nicknamed the "cartel" BECAUSE of their prowess and success in the industry. This is NOT the kind of experience you would have on their boats.
Harborwalk Marina strictly regulates the boats that contract out of their location and is the only marina to do so. Other boats out of other marinas are independent and run their business how they like.
Destin still is and will probably ALWAYS be the best place in the world for deep sea reef fishing. We might not be cheaper than Panama City - but you know what they say about "what you pay for."
Be careful my Ass! They call themselves the cartel but in fact most and I say most are just down right A$$ Holes! Fact is, some of the Six Passenger Boats couldn't pass a simple Power Squadron inspection if they had too. I overheard the crew of one of the boats talking about the fact that the boat owner sent the boat out without fire extinguishers and up to date flares and other safety equipment. Just a matter of time before something bad happens on one of these ill equipped boats before things change.
same ole

Livonia, LA

#7 Jun 16, 2013
The fact remains that the booth misrepresented the amount of people who would be fishing on the boat,10 people can't fish from one boat.We (2 people) caught more fish on a bay boat than the ten who fished (alternately 5 at a time) from the large boat anastasia.We only fished maybe 2 hours on the small boat off the beach,we had live bait,we didn't have to catch,we had an attentive captain,and we caught our limit of fish.I was not referring to a boat or group called cartel,but to the big boats represented by the booth missleading tourist that are not privately owned but owned by a group.I grew up on the panhandle and know a tourist scam when i see one.We were there during the fishing festival and there were no people or activity there.We, 2 fisherman had more fish in our little trip than any of the big pretty boats.People who love to fish know the difference in being treated fairly and being ripped off.We come to the area maybe 10 times a year,but our fishing dollars will be spent with the few independent fishing boats left.A sad fact for a famous fishing village,thanks to the locals who hooked us up with an independent boat.
same ole

Livonia, LA

#8 Jun 16, 2013
Oh,for the greatly regulated harbourwalk marina,maybe you are not so great at regulating your boats,thats where we were ripped off,so what changes have you implemented since last year.Maybe limiting the number of guest that they can book per boat or informing the guest that they can only fish 50 per cent of the time and will be catching live bait they won't use..We were not told we would have to split our fishing time 50-50 with other guest.Then we should have only been charged half the price.

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