Q: When are your office hours?

The booking office phone lines are open 8 am-Noon Mon-Fri. Please leave a message if you get our answering machine and we will get back to you ASAP!

Q: When will you know if my trip is going or not?

If a weather cancellation is looming, we will not know until we have all the details and the most recent and accurate weather updates. We receive our information from NOAA and other private weather satellite sites and then analyze the data and make a decision.

Half Day Trips:
The weather decision for half day trips will be posted by 8 am on the day of the trip. Call 727-938-5300 or check www.gulfstarfishing.com to get a weather update (look at the top left corner of our website under the date for the most recent half day fishing updates, usually updated by 8:30 AM every day).
12 hour-18 hour trips:
If the weather is a potential issue, Gulfstar management will make the final weather decision within 8 hours of the trip departure time.
On the day of the trip please call and speak to a Gulfstar representative about the weather if your travel time is longer than 8 hours.
Multi Day:
The Gulfstar will cancel all multi-day trips if the sustained wind forecast is greater than 20kts (22.8 mph) in the winter or greater than 25kts (28.5 mph) in spring, summer and fall.
If the weather is a potential issue Gulfstar management will make the final weather decision within 8 hours of the trip departure time.
On the day of the trip please call and speak to a Gulfstar representative about the weather if your travel time is longer than 8 hours.

Q: What is your booking/cancellation/refund policy

Click here to view our booking-and-cancellation-policies

Q: Do I have to pay to park my vehicle?

NO!! Parking is FREE with our all-inclusive anti-nickel-and-diming policy.

Q: Do I need to purchase a fishing license?

NO!! We purchase fishing licenses each year from the state and the federal government that allows you to fish on our boats for FREE keeping in kind with our all-inclusive anti-nickel-and-diming policy.

Q: How can I store my food and drinks onboard the boat for a multi-day trip?

With our all-inclusive anti-nickel-and-diming policy we provide all meals, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, but if you choose to bring some food and snacks, please bring a separate small cooler for them, and upon request we will provide you with FREE ice to keep your food fresh during the trip.

Q: Is braided line allowed onboard the boat?

Yes, you can fish with braided line, but we strongly recommend that you have a monofilament “top shot” of appropriate test rating. If you would like assistance with tying a “top shot” onto your line, our mates will do it for you or show you how.

Q: What personal items should I bring?


Weather appropriate clothes with at least one extra set,
Light duty rain gear,
Rubber-soled closed-toed shoes (flip flops are allowed, but strongly not recommended),
Personal toiletries including a towel and soap for a shower.
Medication with some extra stored separately (in case you lose it or it gets wet).
A pillow and a twin sized sheet and a light blanket (or a sleeping bag).
Hats, sunscreen, hand rags for use while fishing, a pocket knife, and needle nose pliers.

Half day:

Rubber-soled closed-toed shoes (flip flops are allowed, but strongly not recommended).
Medication with some extra stored separately (in case you lose it or it gets wet).
Hats, sunscreen, and hand rags to use while fishing.

Q: Is there fish cleaning available, and how much does it cost?

To our knowledge, all of our competitors charge an additional fee for cleaning your catch. We DO NOT!!!! The fish cleaning is another part of our all-inclusive anti-nickel-and-diming policy.

Our Captains and mates will clean your catch for you as you would like. They will automatically filet your fish unless you request them to be cleaned a different way. So for example: if you like your fish whole gutted… please tell them right as they are starting your cleaning job.

Q: Do I need to bring a fish cooler onboard the boat, or can I bring one?

Half day: You do not need to bring a fish cooler, but if you would like to, we ask that it is no larger than a 30 quart capacity.

Multi-day: We strongly recommend you bring a fish cooler, but we ask that it is no larger than a 90 quart capacity. If you are a fly-in and are unable to bring your own cooler, we have a loaner cooler that can be borrowed upon request as long as we are notified at least one day before the trip departs.

Q: Do I need to purchase Tackle?

NO: With our all-inclusive anti-nickel-and-diming policy, tackle is included on all of our trips with the exceptions of some specialty trips. On all trips, the mates will tie your tackle on and make rigs for you or give you lessons if you want.

Half day: The mates have the tackle aboard and ready to go.

Multi-day:  Passengers get a custom Gulfstar tackle bag loaded with enough tackle for the trip. The tackle bag is waterproof neoprene and reusable and is yours to keep along with any unused tackle. Click Here for a picture of the custom tackle bag and contents.

Q: I'm a beginner, do you provide advice/instructions?

Yes, our captains and mates will take as much time that is needed to make you a fish-catching machine. The more fish you catch equates to big smiles and hopefully recommendations to friends and family. So please don’t be shy, please ask for help, that is part of what you are paying for.

Q: What is an appropriate tip for the mates?

This is one of the most-asked questions that we get, and it really shows the good nature of us as Americans and our visitors. As a company, Gulfstar Ventures strives to pay a very good wage and appreciates the value of good employees. While tipping is not required, it is certainty appreciated.

We ask that you evaluate the level of service that the staff provided and not how much fish you caught. Because unfortunately fishing is not always catching, no matter how hard the staff works to change it.

The general rule of thumb is 15-20% but we acknowledge that any amount is a gift and we sincerely appreciate it.

We are committed to giving you the best experience possible. If you feel like one of our mates/staff is not performing to our/your expectations, please promptly speak with the captain on duty so we can make your experience an exceptional one.

Q: Do you carry ICE for sale?

NO!!!  We don’t believe in the nickel-and-dime business philosophy. When you come fishing with us, ICE is FREE for all of our anglers!

Q: What is the minimum age for children allowed onboard the boat?

We are required by the USCG to have type 1 life vests onboard for children and adults. In our experience, the life vests do not fit infants and young toddlers very well. If your child has a very small frame for their age, please call us at 727-938-5300 to discuss options prior to making a reservation.

Half day: We allow children as young as 4 yrs old onboard but they must be 7 yrs old to fish with one of our loaner rods. If you bring your own rod for children under 7 the child can certainly fish with adult supervision. Please remember that if a loaner rod goes overboard, there is no way of retrieving it, and you will be responsible for paying for a replacement fee of approx. $100.00 per rod.

Multi-day: The minimum age for overnight trips is 12 yrs old while accompanied by an adult. The minimum age for an unaccompanied child is 16 yrs old. Anyone using a loaner/rental rod will sign a loaner/rental agreement and is responsible for its safe return and in working order. If a child looses or damages a loaner/rental rod, the guardian that made the reservation and signed the loaner agreement is responsible for the costs of repair/replacement.

Q: Are you wheelchair accessible?

Yes, we have recently constructed a new floating dock equipped with aluminum wheelchair ramps that provide virtually seamless boarding to the half day boat, the Sundance II.

Q: I just want to go as a non-fishing passenger, is there a discount?

Unfortunately, no. We do appreciate the question, and on the surface it does have lots of validity. But we have a limited # of seats/passenger capacity as per the US Coast Guard regulations, and we really do need to charge appropriately for each seat/passenger for many reasons, but we will list a couple.

It is our experience that virtually all passengers who start out as a non-fishing passengers begin fishing in the middle of the trip, mostly because they can’t resist the urge to join in on the fun. This could possibly put the crew in an uncomfortable position of explaining to full-paying passengers why they had to pay full prices to fish.
Our insurance costs are extremely high, and the rates are the same for non-fishing passengers.

Q: Can I bring adult beverages?

Yes, you can bring alcoholic beverages onboard, but only in non-glass containers. Broken glass is dangerous enough on land, but extremely dangerous on a rolling, pitching boat. You are required to drink responsibly. The captain and/or crew are responsible for the safety of the vessel and her passengers. If they deem that you are drinking in excess and you refuse to stop, your alcohol will be confiscated and destroyed, even if it is the rarest, most-expensive, special reserve on the planet.

Bottom Line!!!! Drink responsibly, and don’t be an annoying, dangerous drunk.

Q: Is there air conditioning onboard?

Yes, both the Sundance II and the Gulfstar offer air conditioning. The Gulfstar has air conditioning in the berthing compartments as well as the main cabin.

Q: I'm a licensed conceal carry holder, can I bring my gun onboard the boat?

If you are planning in drinking alcohol, then you already know the answer is NO!

You can bring your firearm aboard if you are legally allowed to possess one, but it MUST remain holstered at all times. You can carry it on you in a properly fitting holster. Be advised that salt air is not friendly to most firearms.

If you would like to bring it aboard so that it is not locked in your car but not wear it, we can store it in the air conditioned wheel house safe for you until the end of the trip.

Q: Are there SHOWERS aboard the Gulfstar?

YES!!! There is a fresh water shower room available to our anglers aboard the Gulfstar. Both the Gulfstar and the Sundance II also offer separate Mens and Ladies restrooms (also known as the “Heads” aboard the boat to mariners).

Q: What are the fish limits for my trip?

Half day: We fish in state waters and state fishing regulations apply. Click HERE for state fishing regulations.

All trips longer than half day: We fish in federal waters and federal fishing regulations apply. Click HERE for federal fishing regulations.

On multi-day trips we are allowed to harvest a second day bag limit of reef fish on the second day of the trip.

Q: Is there shade onboard the boat?

Yes, both the Sundance II and the Gulfstar have an overhang covering a large portion of the cockpit. We still suggest bringing sunscreen and a hat for added protection.

Q: Can I bring a C-Pap machine?

YES!!! You’d be surprised how many customers need one and how often this question is asked. There are standard outlets in the bunk rooms, and it is fine to bring your CPAP with you. We recommend bringing a short extension cord that is about 10-15 ft long as well.

Q: Can we bring our CELL PHONES? Is there SERVICE?

Cell phones take fantastic pictures nowadays. You may bring your cell phone, but there probably will not be any service once we get about 10 miles offshore. If you need to make an urgent phone call we have a satellite phone in the wheelhouse of the Gulfstar that is available to you for FREE… (Another part of our anti-nickel-and-diming business philosophy).

Also, please remember that YOU are responsible for your own items aboard our boats.

Q: I have TACKLE questions. How do I speak with a Captain?

The office staff can answer basic tackle questions and general information.  If you have specific tackle questions and you have not found the info you need on our Tackle suggestion page, we urge you to email [email protected] directly or text him on his cell at 727-204-2601.

Q: Do you have a LIVE WELL onboard the Gulfstar?

We have two large community live wells aboard the Gulfstar. LIVE BAIT IS INCLUDED with your fare. (Another part of our anti-nickel-and-diming business philosophy)

If you plan on bringing your own fresh bait rather than using the frozen bait that is included, please bring your own small bait cooler to keep your bait fresh.

Q: Are there ELECTRICAL outlets onboard the Gulfstar?

As mentioned above, YES!!! There are standard outlets available throughout the main cabin and the bunk room.