Fleet Means Family

Welcome to the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” We started small. A quaint fishing village off the Gulf of Mexico. The group of fishermen fishing close to the shore with nets from small boats in the mid 19th century has evolved into what is the country’s largest charter fishing fleet.

Today, the fleet is operated by men and women tracing their image in the area back more than 150 years. In the beginning, cooperation and unity was essential to the fleet’s survival, and to this day the sense of community continues in the harbor and throughout the entire area.

Every year, on Ascension Day, the entire Fishing Fleet gathers for the annual Blessing of the Fleet. On this day, local pastors gather to bless charter fishing boats, boat captains, boat crews, and passengers. The blessings and prayer are for safe sea passage and bountiful catches. A variety of events take place of a 7-day period, labeled “Destin’s Week of Blessings.” Destin area churches, civic leaders, and businesses join together to offer these events. This is a beautiful display of our maritime community.

To see the bond shared among the members of our fleet, simply watch them leave the harbor in the morning. The fleet heads for the Gulf together and stops to gather bait together before off to their own “lucky spot.” It is a ritual that reminds us what the community stands for – where they came from, where we’re going – and how we are stronger together. The fleet is a team. The fleet is a family.

Known today as the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island comes from humble beginnings. Today is it considered one of the world’s premier beach vacation destination. However, the area started as a small fishing village built around the Destin Harbor. No matter how large we grow, the harbor, and the fleet, will always be the backbone of this community.