I'm a "snowbird" from Pennsylvania...started going fishing with Capt. Dave in 2008. always have a great time. He usually puts you on the fish. My buddy & I try to go with Dave once a week during the winter months. We have caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Snapper and a few other species. Have caught some really big fish and even made the newspaper one time. Dave is also a nice guy. I'm honored to fish with him and will as long as the Good Lord allows.
Paul Rotter & Jim Thorpe
Captain Dave is quite the character and Fisherman. I met him over a year ago and have fished with Captain Dave at least a dozen times. My first trip was with my wife and two Grandchildren, Jenna and Talon both 11 years old. We had moved around a little with just a few fish on and then we hit the Parrot Tree Island and everything went nuts. My granddaughter kept hauling Snook after Snook. They were all huge and she was evening lipping them and helping remove the hook. Talon was catching some but not as many because he was too impatient. Finally he settled down and he started catching both Redfish and Snook. In an hour I would bet we had caught 20 plus HUGE fish. All of a sudden two Dolphins started closing in on us on the flat. Fish started jumping and all Hell broke out. Fish were everywhere. The Dolphins pushed all the fish on the flat towards us. Needless to say our hooks were the last thing they wanted. I bet we saw 300 to 500 fish go under and around the boat. Had it not been for the Dolphins we would have worn ourselves out. What a trip and what a memory for Jenna and Talon. The kids keep asking when are we going out with Captain Dave again.
If you go with Captain Dave you have to ask about the special Green Beads that I have discovered and gotten from an old Indian Wise Man in the Everglades. Captain Dave has shook his head as he has watched how I repeatedly out fished my fishing buddies when we are out with him. We use the same rods and reels, same hooks and same bait, but I have THE GREEN BEAD. These are special and magical and Capt Dave cannot figure out how they work.
One day after a long day of fishing captain Dave said you want to go catch an Alligator. Wow, was that a rush. Dave and his buddy had Alligator licenses and off we went. 5 hours later we had a beautiful 7 ft Alligator for the wall.
Extreme Makeover Home Builder
Captain Dave Stephens is the best. I have fished with Captain Dave for 12 winters and have never been disappointed. Dave knows the rivers, the harbor, and Charlotte Bay to the point he doesn't need the GPS. He is a true pro and his specialty would be snook. Can't wait for our next trip!
Punta Gorda, Florida
I have been fishing with Captain Dave for many years now and return every spring to head out for a needed break from life. The group of guys that I fish with have been out with captains in Florida and all over the US, but continue to make fishing with Captain Dave a year after year tradition. This year (2013) we caught: Snook, Snapper, Redfish, Trout, Jacks, Bonita, Cobia and of course Tarpon! Fishing on the boat with Dave is what you should expect with a top level guide; you Catch fish (a ton!), see the harbor and a few of Dave's hot spots, and of course you will HAVE FUN! Dave is a true professional and I feel lucky to have met him.
After years of fishing with Captain Dave, I have found him to always be able to put you in position to catch fish. His knowledge of the Charlotte Harbor area and the multiple species of fish, truly puts him at the top of an elite group of fishing guides nationwide. We look forward to booking with him year after year.
Lane A. Canfield
It's been my pleasure to fish with Capt. Dave Stephens for the last 13 years. Through those years Capt. Dave has consistently put us on the fish; snook, reds, trout, snapper, sheepshead, jew fish and tarpon just to name a few. We have fished all over Charlotte Harbor, PGI and up the Peace River. In my mind there is no more knowledgeable and expert guide in Charlotte Harbor than Capt. Dave.
During our time together it has been a thrill of mine to bring along family, friends and co-workers who have never experienced fishing on the salt flats or just being on a boat in the harbor or gulf. I cannot remember a trip where we didn't catch fish and did not have a fantastic time.
From the novice to the hardcore fisherman, Capt. Dave is professional and accommodating. Capt. Dave gets my highest recommendation and through the years I am happy to have gone from being a good client to a great friend.
I have been on a dozen or more trips with Captain Dave over the last year. Captain Dave's knowledge of the local waterways and fish are unmatched. Each trip has been an adventure to remember. I have yet to come home empty handed. Thank you Captain Dave!!!!!
I have fished the flats with Captain Dave Stephens for the past 3 years. Always an adventure from snook, redfish and speckled trout, Dave always gets you on the fish. He is very professional, a people person and a great guide. I caught my largest snook and redfish with Dave.
I have been fishing with Captain Dave for 12 years now. Every trip was a memorable trip. The nice thing about fishing with Dave is, it is not a 9 to 5 job. He works on a completely flexible schedule, whether it's the best time for his clients or fishing the best tides. He also has the equipment to fish for anything that swims. If one species doesn't want to play you can fish for a variety of others. The inshore grand slam has blessed me a couple of times. One thing is for sure he will get your rod bent over and the drag screaming. My last trip down I was able to take my kids out fishing. We had a boat full of 4 to 17 year old girls. The little one played in the bait well while the others did a lot of screaming and smiling. They are used to the pan fish and walleyes we catch at home. I don't think they had a clue how hard these fish were going to fight. Hats off to Dave on that day. I don't think I even fished, but I will never forget that afternoon. After fishing with Dave as much as I have, I consider him more of a friend than my guide. He only spent a few hours with my kids and they already feel the same way. I just can't say enough about this guy. Not only will he put you on the fish, but he is the guy you want to fish with. I love the outdoors and my vacations are always planned around them. Fishing in southwest Florida unbelievable. I will continue to go there every year. You can bet before my plane tickets are booked I give Captain Dave a call to make sure he has some open dates.
I've been fishing with Dave quite a few years now. Notice I say "fishing with Dave" not "using", "hiring", "taking charters with" Dave. That's because it always feels more like going fishing with a buddy more than a commercial relationship. And I'm not talking about going out once or twice a year. It's more like 10 to 15 times a year!
Dave's trips aren't the typical wysiwyg deals either. By the way wysiwyg means "what you see is what you get". You know one of those trips where you call the guide, set a date and time, show up at the dock and go where he wants and does what he wants, how he wants. With this guy each trip starts with a discussion on what you expect, options available and when you want to start.
And the partnership doesn't end there! Once on the water he is always open changing plans and trying something different. I can't count the number of times we have started out targeting a specific species or locale, then changing halfway through the day and doing something else.
Just remember this is, after all, fishing not catching. Some days will be better than others. But Dave's been fishing Charlotte bay since childhood so he definitely knows the water and all the spots. And should you not catch anything (which I've never experienced) he has a "No catch, No pay" policy.
Take my advice and make Dave you Go To fishing guide for Charlotte Bay and area.
P.S. - I have to mention it's not just Dave. His wife, Rachel, is an integral part of the BackBayXtremes team as well!
I have fished the Florida Gulf my entire life and have caught a variety of fish over the years. The first time out with Capt. Dave we were put on the infamous "Triple Tail", the fish that most anglers know of but have never caught in their many years of fishing. When Snook season comes around and the Snook are in the harbor, Dave has taken me to areas where I have never seen Snook so big in my entire life. He has photos to prove the size of the monsters he puts his clients on. In all of the time spent with Dave on the water I will credit him in his vast knowledge of catching Red Fish; there is not one place in the harbor a Red Fish can hide when Dave in pursuit of one. For first time anglers, Dave comes highly recommended. My girlfriend had never touched a pole in her life, so I took her out for day and she had a blast, there was not one second that went by that she didn't have assistance with casting, baiting or removing a fish from her line. We did a fish count throughout the day and she out fished everyone on the boat, and she caught the biggest Snook as well! I would never charter anyone else except for Capt. Dave, its a great time for experienced anglers, beginners and families; you will have not one regret of your choice when you dock at the marina at the end of the day.
Fishing with Captain Dave Stephens is a joy..., pure and simple. A joy that is exciting beyond description. His long time experience fishing Charlotte Harbor has led to an innate knowledge of knowing where to take his clients and where not to take his clients. My family, my associates and I have fished with Captain Dave for several years. Dave is always well-prepared, is always efficient both on and off his boat, is always diligent in his duties and most importantly, always has a strategy specific to his clients of the day as well as the conditions of the day.
I have caught multiple hundreds of fish with Captain Dave including both a snook and a redfish that were of substantial enough size to be featured in local publications. On a half day charter with my Son, Dave Stephens went beyond any expectations I could have dreamed of. Dave continued his unwavering stalking maneuvers until he put the two of us into a proverbial "honey hole" where we caught dozens of snook and redfish cast after cast after cast. After more than an hour had passed beyond our half day charter, my Son and I doubled on redfish and doubled on snook on two successive casts. I looked at Dave and said, "it won't get any better than that, this is a good way to end it."
If you want to catch fish in Charlotte Harbor, by all means, get with Captain Dave Stephens. You will not be disappointed.
I became a resident of Punta Gorda Isles about 13 years ago and was lucky enough to meet Captain Dave Stephens when he was guiding out of Fishermens Village. I decided to book him for a charter and I soon learned that he was a born and raised resident of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor area and an avid fisherman since childhood. Captain Dave knows the waters around us better than most as it has been his playground for his entire life. I am primarily a live bait fisherman and Dave always had the livewell full of whitebait for use to chum with and fish. We always caught our share of snook, redfish and trout every time we went out together. Sometimes it became ridiculous when we began catching snook and trout on every cast for and hour or more. It was more than I could ever imagine doing on my own.
Throughout the years I have consistently fished with Captain Dave and have always found him to be a genial, good natured fishing guide, always willing to help with baiting hooks, casting help when needed, attentive to all needs and just an all around fun guide to fish with. He loves his work and he loves Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River and the bounty that it gives us residents and he is an excellent shepherd of the natural resources it provides.
I've been fishing with captain Dave since 2007 he's a top notch professional, I've tried other guides and they just don't have the skills it takes for a great day of fishing. He is willing to share knowledge of the water we fish and also is a great instructor for the once in a blue moon fisherman like my brother who now looks forward to fishing with Captain Dave every year...lots of laughs and lots of fish.
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