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Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours

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Panama City Beach, FL, USA
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About Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours
There are so many fun things to do here at Capt. Anderson's Marina that we don't know where to begin! With almost 60 years as North Florida's premier water excursion facility in Panama City Beach, we are the marina "where the fish are always biting and the kids are always smiling"! Capt. Anderson's Marina, located on the Historic Grand Lagoon within minutes of scenic St. Andrews Bay and the bountiful Gulf of Mexico, is open year' round and a must-do on your vacation list - we can help you put the fun stuff in your trip~! FISHING: We offer 5 HR, 6 HR, 8 HR, 10 HR, 12 HR, half-day and all-day Deep Sea Fishing trips on 5 large head boats (party boats) as well as private sport fishing on over 25 smaller charter boats. Come spend the day on the newest boat in the fleet, the Capt. Anderson 10 HR Deep-Sea Fishing boat and experience salt water fishing at its best! We also have a conveniently located Fish Market here at the dock to clean and pack your fish for travel. Just imagine how you will be eating fresh fish for dinner that night! DOLPHINS: The Capt. Anderson III is our double decker boat taking visitors on narrated Dolphin Sightseeing Cruises loaded with fun and adventure! Join us during the day for the 3-1/2 HR cruise which includes a visit to pristine Shell Island, an Eco-Tour (watch a trawl net pulled up to check out the cool sea life of St. Andrews Bay!) and of course go see the Dolphins frolic and play! Or, choose serenity and sunsets with the 1-1/2 HR evening cruise that is the perfect way to get out on the water, listen to music and relax while viewing the Dolphins and the beautiful sunsets that Panama City Beach is famous for! SHELL ISLAND: Our large, comfortable PCB Shell Island Express Ferry will take your family from the Grand Lagoon through St. Andrew's Bay over to the dock at legendary Spanish Shanty Cove on Shell Island where you can spend just a couple hours or the whole day! We have the easiest way to get to Shell Island with a large dockside parking lot (FREE parking!) where you can off-load all your beach equipment right at the shuttle departure area. Upon arriving at Shell Island, it is only a very short boardwalk to get to the pristine clean white sands! Go exploring, swimming, shelling, or just relaxing on a stretch of the sugar sands that is like your own private beach with no condos behind you! The shuttle also offers Paddle Board rentals so you can check out the oyster beds, sea grass, and diverse ecosystem of Spanish Shanty and St. Andrews Bay!
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Rebecca B wrote a review Oct 18
Pensacola, Florida1 contribution
One of the deck hand was responsible for our lines and he made things so uncomfortable. He used profanity in front of everyone and talked about wanted to kill bottle nose dolphins. The boat ride was nice and we did manage to catch 2 fish between the 2 of us but the overall experience was ruined by one worker. Will not book again.
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Response from CaptAndersonsMarina, Marketing Director at Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours
Responded 1 week ago
I'm so sorry you had to deal with this on our fishing trip. I have taken this to the owner and he will deal with it. Could you please tell me what trip you were on, or the deckhands name?
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Beachcomb_33 wrote a review Oct 3
Eaton, Ohio585 contributions61 helpful votes
Shell Island Express Ferry by far the best way to reach shell island. The marina itself is nice. There were pelicans hanging around and other birds all waiting for a meal due to local fisherman coming in and having fish cut up. There is a snack bar with drinks and food. The ferry itself was reasonably priced. Staff were friendly. Clean boat with open air seating. Drinks available on baord with cost. Staff were informative regarding pick up and were there waiting as stated. I highly recommend using Capt Andersons as your means of reaching the island.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from CaptAndersonsMarina, Marketing Director at Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours
Responded 3 weeks ago
Thank you so much for the kind words. We really appreciate your business. We hope you come back to see us sometime. I will let the crew know your nice words.
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TheMasseys2010 wrote a review Jul 2020
Andalusia, Alabama142 contributions29 helpful votes
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Each trip to PCB, we venture out to Shell Island and always use Captain Anderson's Shell Island Shuttle for transport. This trip, however, the water conditions were not ideal thanks to a tropical storm. So, we decided to try out the 3.5 hour eco-tour and Shell Island visit. We are very glad we did! The boat ride was fantastic and the crew were all wonderful. The crew provided feed as we started the trip to feed the seagulls that flew right along side the boat. They ate right out of our hands. Captain John was super friendly and our kids were so excited that he asked them to "help him steer the boat". He took the time to make sure we got lots of dolphin sightings and ensure everyone had a great trip. The entire crew was great but I have to give a special shout out to one young man, Alex. He was a teenaged member of the crew working a summer job. He took lots of time to talk with all the kids and explain different things to them about the bay, sea life, the boats and lots of other things. When we were leaving the boat, my six year old said "Mom, Alex is soooo nice!" He definitely made the trip for our crew! Thanks to all the Captain Anderson's crew and we will see you again next trip!
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from CaptAndersonsMarina, Marketing Director at Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours
Responded Jul 28, 2020
Thank you so much for the kind words. We're very happy that the Tropical Storm did not ruin your cruise. The Shell Island Eco-Tour is our most popular cruise and we're glad you we're able to enjoy it. Capt. John is the best and I have printed this out for his boss to see. Ironically his boss is Alex's Mom- Mrs. Anderson. They will be very happy to know that the crew was so helpful and that Alex made such an impression. Thank you for this awesome review, we hope to see you next year!
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Samantha A wrote a review Jul 2020
Graceville, Florida3 contributions1 helpful vote
I very rarely give this bad of a review, actually I’m not sure I have ever given such a bad review but I can unequivocally say without a doubt as a reporter and travel blogger for the northwest Florida/Southeast Alabama region, I would absolutely not recommend deep sea fishing with Captain Anderson’s. After having numerous followers ask me about deep sea fishing at night and about Captain Anderson, I decided to bite the bullet and spend the $180 for my husband and I to see what the night fishing was all about and give my readers and followers an answer on the place to go for deep sea fishing in PCB. While we were in the first half to register and had the two spots we wanted to be at picked out, we were given at the exact opposite spot requested, not even in the same vicinity of our choice. However since I travel and try to do “family friendly” events in the region, I understood that sometimes because of party size and such these things are changed and figured I’d give it a shot. Unfortunately the spot we were placed was so crowded over 3/4 of the time spent on fishing was spent getting lines untangled. When asking the deckhand about possibly moving, we were told the boat was at full capacity. After asking him If it was always this bad as far as hooks getting tangled to the point of not even being able to fish, the deckhand replied and I quote “it’s always like this as far as lines getting tangled”. If it is always this bad then I highly suggest not overloading your boats with passengers so that those fishing are spaced enough they can actually catch something besides each other’s lines. Another issue that many on the boat voiced their complaints about was the fact that the majority of the trip was spent riding not fishing. While it was expected to take between 1 to 2 hours to get to a spot to fish, the boat never stayed still for more than 15 minutes. By the times lines were untangled and ready to throw back in the Captain was moving us again. I counted a total of 8 times between 6 and 10 PM. At 10 PM the Captain came on and said we were headed back to shore and “sorry they weren’t biting”... my thought after having done trips in Pensacola “you have to sit still for more than a few minutes to catch something”. Sadly it wasn’t just us, the gentleman on our right that was there for his birthday only caught two with him also commenting he wouldn’t be back, and the college graduates to our left that were from Texas on their graduation trip caught 1 (there was 4 of them). While I understand that fish don’t always bite, fishing poles were less than 2 feet apart and the majority of time was spent with deckhands untangling lines because of this or riding because the Captain could not sit still. Sadly the most disheartening part is that the trip isn’t even as long as advertised. On the business’ website it states you will be getting to the dock at 2 AM (I have its circled in the attached photo) implying you fish til midnight. This is completely untrue, you return at midnight. So for $90 you will spend 2 hours traveling from the dock, putting you fishing around 6 PM and you will spend 2 hours traveling back to the dock with fishing ending at 10 PM not midnight. However if you have the Captain we had you will possibly get an hour of your line actually being in water (please note the majority of that hour will be deck hands untangling your hooks, not you actually being able to fish) and the other 3 hours will be the boat seemingly going in circles or sailing 20 minutes, stopping 10 minutes to try to put your line in the water before hearing that horn again and pulling back up for another 20 minutes of travel. So for the $90 cost, we may have actually fished 30 minutes. And don’t get me started on COVID 19 social distancing because there was absolutely none. Everybody on the boat was packed like sardines. I really hope Captain Anderson rethinks packing their boats as they did the one on July 11th among the other things mentioned. Being money hungry in the time we are currently living in sadly says a lot about the business’ owners/management. For a business that has a five star restaurant, I really hope something is done because the deep fishing trip I took was a 1-star dollar store ride that should only be taken if your wanting to ride a big boat in the ocean for a view not for fishing.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from CaptAndersonsMarina, Marketing Director at Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours
Responded Jul 28, 2020
Deep Sea Fishing or Bottom Fishing is not Bass fishing where you stay in the same area for a long while to hopefully catch ‘the big one’ as it swims by; Bottom fishing is not trolling where you cruise around with your line out 25-50 yards to hopefully, catch the eye of a pelagic fish-one that travels. Deep Sea fishing has its own traits. In deep sea fishing, there are reefs on the bottom where different species live, some are natural bottom(rock or coral), some artificial reefs that have been placed by mostly private charter and headboat owners at their own expense or fishing agencies to enhance the fishery for anglers and keep it growing. Bottom fishing is known for either moving at a fast pace of ‘catching’ or knowing when the fish are not going to bite, and moving on to another spot. Bottom fishing is affected by tides or current, by moon phases, and many other naturally-occurring phenomena, besides whether the fish are hungry or not. For the last 2 weeks or so, bottom fishing has not been what we have come to expect, which is a lot of ‘catching’ and little time to rest. Changes in weather patterns for this time of year have altered the wind directions and strength, as well as stronger than usual storms, and strong currents many times moving opposite directions from the wind. (According to weather forecasters, we are going to see the normal weather patterns return over the next couple of weeks, even today.) In this industry, due to strict fishing regulations (what you can and cannot keep), catches are limited. The most prized fish in NW FL is usually the Red Snapper. During the Red Snapper season which is 62 days long, the headboats and charter boats across the Gulf Coast depend on making their profit for the year, employing hundreds who will be able to store up paychecks and tips for slimmer days. Thankfully, Red Snapper season falls at the same time most folks are visiting NW FL on vacation. The rest of the fishing season, or shoulder seasons in the spring and fall, these boats operate on very low profit levels with 25-30% of their allowed fishing capacities. So, when they are operating now, with higher fishing capacities, even though not ‘full capacity’ due to COVID either keeping some folks away, and/or complying with COVID guidelines, they are trying to make a profit that will sustain themselves and their employees through the winter. It is not greed, it is survival. Most of the boat owners in Bay County are still working through expenses and recovery from Hurricane Michael. Some don’t believe that is true, but it is very true. Back to bottom fishing… Experienced captains, for whom we are blessed to have here at Capt. Anderson’s Marina, know in bottom fishing if the fish do not bite immediately, they usually don’t bite much at all. That is why they may stay over a spot for 5-10 minutes and move on if there are not a lot of bites, in hopes of finding fish that will bite. They have mapped out ahead of time several spots to fish that have been lucrative before, so they can move from spot to spot. If the planned area is not what it should be, they will move to another area altogether which may be just the right place for you to catch that big one you are after… and it may not. Our Captains want you to catch your limits every time they take you out and they will stop on areas of fish that should make that happen. But there are some things beyond their control; they are counting on you to understand that. The strong currents, as I mentioner earlier, are one of those things that are beyond their control. When they put you over a fishing spot with strong currents-and they will usually either be strong all day or night, or not- they work to keep you over that spot without getting your lines tangled. When the wind is a factor, it makes it even harder. Does this mean it is impossible to catch fish? Not necessarily. But it does mean it is more difficult for the captain to keep you over a spot; it is more difficult for you, the angler, to keep from letting your line get tangled with your neighbors’. Does this happen all the time? No. Do you know in advance that it will be this way? No. It is nature; naturally-occurring phenomena. Does it mean you’ll never catch fish when this occurs? No. It will just make it more challenging. Then why try? Because we want to give you the opportunity when you have the time. Families have been fishing with us since 1935. It is important to us that we teach children, as well as first-time adults how to fish for bottom fish. The shorter trips, 5 hour and 6 hour, are perfect for this. They give you the chance to learn as you go, and generally speaking, the fish closer-in run smaller, so they are usually easier to catch. As the saying goes, the longer the trip, the deeper the water, the larger the fish. So, as folks have learned to love this type of fishing, they usually graduate to the longer trips, and some who can afford it, go on to the private charter boats. Even when you have the opportunity to catch that big one and it wasn’t ‘your day’… Have you seen a sunrise or a sunset over the water, from 8-20 miles out in the Gulf lately? Do you need a break from the every-day news alerts? Have you seen a harvest moon with only your fellow passengers out in the Gulf? Is it time to take a break from your media devices? Is it time to show your family what nature is all about? Have you seen a pod of Dolphins playing in their natural habitat, or a turtle swimming by? Have you witnessed a flying fish? Have you breathed fresh clean air with no pollutants in it? Have you shown your family a breathtaking experience that they cannot have unless they are out in the Gulf or on an ocean? We hope that you come to understand, that even though our goal is to help you bring back as many fish as you could ask for, and we promise to do our best to make that happen, the real ‘catch’ for all of us is the experience of nature, no matter what it deals us, God’s creation is amazing! Also, if you paid for an 8 Hour long trip and left the dock at 4pm, then that puts you back at the dock at Midnight. Your email confirmation told you it departed at 4pm. It sounds like you thought you paid for a 10 hour trip. However you paid for 8 hours, leaving at 4pm back at Midnight, not 2am.
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Donald wrote a review Jul 2020
1 contribution
The boat was clean and the crew were nice but there werent enough of them. My friend and i were overlooked as they were prepping things...no one knew who had us. The young man we tipped to help us was very nice. We had to bait our own hooks and they seemed to move to a new area every 5 minutes so there was a lot of pull up drop down which got really tiring. A few snapper were caught but really not a lot of fish. Despite covid theyre not limiting anyone...theyre still loading the boats to full capacity. There were a lot of lines tangled because of this. We saw a lot of dolphins which was nice. If you dont care how many fish you catch its a nice cruise.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from CaptAndersonsMarina, marketing director at Capt. Anderson's Marina - Fishing & Cruising Tours
Responded Jul 13, 2020
We're sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your fishing trip. Our Captains go to areas where they've caught fish before and they show up on their fish finder equipment. 95% of the time if there's no bite in 5 minutes, they're not biting even though they show up on the equipment. So the Captain moves on hoping fish are hungry. There's no guarantee that the fish are hungry. We just know if there's no bite in 5-10 minutes then we need to move the boat. It would be easier for the Captain to sit there and soak your bait but believe it or not every captain at the Marina wants you to have the best fishing experience, which is why they move.
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