Bill Dance has a fisherman's acclaim of fame and is a household name among passionate anglers. He is the host of a long-running fishing show called Bill Dance Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel and the new Bill Dance Saltwater program which is broadcasted on the Sportsman's Channel. He was in Destin right after Labor Day to film for one of his shows.
Dance was raised in Lynchburg, Tennessee where he first started pursuing medicine like his Father and Grandfather who were both doctors. In the early 1960s, he witnessed a horrible motorcycle accident that changed his life forever. This close brush with death made him understand the saying that "Life is short," and he started to embrace his passion for fishing. He started to compete in Bass Tournaments and soon begun to accumulate multiple National Bass Fishing Titles. In 1968 a fishing lure manufacturer chose him to sponsor their product, and he started the Bill Dance Outdoors T.V. program which was broadcasted on A.B.C. in Memphis. The program about fishing techniques centered mostly on catching Largemouth and Smallmouth Black Bass fish. His successful fishing experience and big personable "down-home" engaging Tennessee personality made the series very popular. Celebrities like Terry Bradshaw, Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis, and Hank Williams, Jr. made guest appearances. Today it has over 18,000,000 viewers nationwide. Dance now lives south of Memphis in Collierville, Tennessee where he oversees his two shows, his own books, a magazine, funny T.V. Blooper Videos that went viral, fishing seminars, and tackle endorsements.
A big part of his success is his bigger than life personality. Carlton Veirs who has handled Bill Dance's appearances and endorsements for almost 40 years describes him as "the biggest people person" he has ever known and said "Bill's never met a stranger, whether it's at some rural dock or a big outdoor show in Las Vegas. It's genuine. He likes people and people like him." Dance is known for wearing his lucky University of Tennessee cap for over four decades along with a pair of sunglasses.
He has now become the most famous fisherman of our times. Besides the two shows, popular YouTube Videos and a large Facebook presence, he has garnered a fantastic amount of awards. These include 23 National Bass Fishing Titles, four Angler of the Year Awards from Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), a National Freshwater Hall of Fame and an International Game Fish Hall of Fame Award.
Bill Dance has been coming to Destin for many years to enjoy fishing for fun and became friends with local Captain Josh Nelson about 12 years ago. They became founding members of a mutual admiration society, and Dance helped Captain Nelson start Out-Cast Fishing Charters seven years ago. Nelson says Dance is "top-notch, the best you'll know" and "he's as good as they come."
Dance is equally enamored with Destin calling it a "saltwater playground." He also said, "You've got tremendous in-shore fishing as well as offshore fishing, so Destin is a great place to be." He went on to say, "It's a great place to bring your family just to come and have a good time." (Of course, all of our Ocean Reef Resorts guests would agree!)
Dance recently started the new Bill Dance Saltwater show where he pairs his vast angler knowledge with the expertise of partners who target the catch of different types of fish. This time he brought his film crew to Destin to partner with Captain Nelson to go after Redfish, which are running this time of the year. They are usually spotted spawning at Destin's East Pass as well as the Mid Bay Bridge on Choctawhatchee Bay.
The last time he was here they caught a couple of Redfish that weighed 40 pounds and were also 40 inches in length. The minimum allowed to keep for a single catch is nothing less than 27 pounds and 18 inches in length for important conservation purposes. Dance famously follows a "Catch and Release" practice, so the two 40 pounders were released to spawn another day! This angler adventure will be aired at a date to be set in the near future and shown in two episodes which should be fun. Captain Nelson said that with Dance, "There's never a dull moment. He's a trip on the water!"
Those who have tried this wonderful sport have a truly memorable sea adventure, but many absolutely fall in love with it and go fishing on every visit. The exciting launch from the dock on a boat, the scent of salty sea air as you enter the open waters and the fantastic beauty of emerald green waters against the crystal blue skies is only a prelude to the fun time to be had. Once the first strike occurs, this hearty sport begins!
Destin has long been known as being the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village," and this thriving enterprise has been going on for over 150 years. The 100-fathom curve is only ten miles offshore giving Destin the closest and fastest access to deep water fishing on the entire Gulf of Mexico. Nature abounds with a cornucopia of Amber Jack, Cobia, Flounder, Grouper, King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Pompano, Red Fish, Sea Trout, Sheep Head, Snapper, Spanish Mackerel, Scamp, Tarpon and Trigger Fish. The season for most of these runs from spring through autumn although some are available year-round. Trophy fish include the classic Swordfish, large fan-finned Sailfish, and the cobalt colored Blue Marlin.
Ocean Reef Resorts guests receive complimentary discounts for In-shore and offshore fishing adventures. Dockside watersports provides a 10% discount for 21' Century Center Console boat rentals with 150hp motors and holds six passengers. Destin Inshore Guides and Southern Renegade Charters offer 15% discounts 2, 4 and 8 hours inshore fishing trips as well as eco-sunset tours and customized excursions.
Make plans now to experience a fun trip down to the beach and try experiencing some amazing angling adventures. Who knows? You might meet Bill Dance while you're here! Our Ocean Reef Resorts website is easy to navigate with detailed descriptions of our Destin vacation rentals, vivid images of properties, satellite locations of each and seasonal rates.
Have a 'reel' good time!