Posted on 6/28/2022
One of Destin’s favorite pirates has turned in his sea treasure for some fishing gear
For nine years, Captain Cliff Atwell played the part of Captain Cannonball aboard the Buccaneer pirate ship in Destin. This family-friendly pirate cruise is full of pirate training, hoisting the colors, firing cannons, searching for treasure, and more. And while Atwell thoroughly enjoyed his time as Captain Cannonball, he was ready to get back to his first love—fishing.
Having grown up on the Destin docks, it’s no surprise that Atwell has loved fishing since he was a boy. And even more so, he enjoys taking others out and seeing them have a fun fishing experience. Atwell’s career working aboard charter boats began when he was a teenager. He’s worked as a mate and captain, from his own boat to multi-passenger party boats. After all of his experiences, Atwell felt it was time to charter his own boat and begin working with smaller groups.
So, that’s exactly what he did!
Though he first spotted his dream boat in 2020, the boat was already under contract at that time. After searching for nearly two years and several boats not quite making the cut, Atwell discovered that the original boat was back on the market. Atwell purchased the six-passenger Pacemaker in Alabama earlier this year. He named the boat Reel Grace, referring to both his daughter’s middle name and the grace of God that has led him to where he is now. The Reel Grace is now docked at HarborWalk Marina, and Atwell offers fishing charters to small groups wanting to experience deep sea fishing in the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.
As a Destin native with over 35 years of experience, Atwell is the person you want to lead your deep sea fishing trip. He offers a variety of fishing charter options aboard the Reel Grace for families and individuals, and can accommodate up to six passengers. Depending on the season, you may catch Red Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Triggerfish, Mackerel, and other fish native to the Gulf.
With Atwell’s experience, he will tailor your fishing charter to fit your group, while making sure you experience the best of the coast. He will target what your group wants, but also likes to take you fishing for what he knows will be biting. In this way, Atwell can guarantee a memorable trip for your group. As he was quoted in the Destin Log, “I want to make sure they come back to the dock, and they had some fun, and they’ve had a rod and reel in their hand, and they’ve caught some fish.”
Trip lengths range from four to twelve hours. Shorter trips that introduce groups to the fun of fishing are his favorites, though!
Four-hour trips are great for beginners and families with children. On these trips, you are guaranteed a fun time out on the water, with an introductory fishing experience and plenty of chances to see dolphins along the way. The five-hour charters provide a little more time for anglers of various skill levels to enjoy their time on the waves. The six-hour trip is the most popular, granting passengers opportunities to explore different fishing styles. The eight(+) hour private deep sea fishing experience is better suited for more seasoned anglers, but anyone can book one of these longer trips. You can book four-, five-, and six-hour excursions online, but must call to schedule any trip longer than six hours.
No matter your skill level—beginner to seasoned sport fisher—you’re sure to enjoy your excursion! Throughout it all, Atwell remains grateful for his family and the people in his life that have helped him achieve his goals. Everything has fallen into place, and Atwell is excited to share this new adventure with locals and visitors to the Emerald Coast. To book your fishing charter aboard the Reel Grace, visit Atwell’s website or give them a call at 850-259-7869.