Charter boats are continuing on with their packed summer schedules despite the sharp rise in diesel prices.

Last Friday afternoon, a gallon of diesel at the Destin harbor cost $4.21.

Kay Biggers, manager of the Destin Fisherman’s Co-Op, said that prices were even higher the week before.

“It went down a bit and now it’s creeping back up. Fuel prices affect everybody. They have to pay it and we have to pay it. We’ve still been busy, though,” said Biggers.

Oz, first mate of the Destin Princess charter boat, talked about fuel prices while filleting a pile of red snapper.

“Prices are high, but it doesn’t affect anything. This boat holds 1,500 gallons. We usually get about 800 gallons, so every five days we spend about $2,400. It’s a big boat.”

On the neighboring dock, charter boat fishing parties were taking photos with their catch. A group of tourists from boat “Game On” stood smiling in front of a line of red snapper.

Towards the end of the dock, deckhand Kirk Marshall of the "Sweet William III" and Craig “Groovy” Davis talked about diesel prices as Davis gassed up his charter, “Into the Blue.”

“It’s not affecting us right now,” said Marshall. “The regulations affect our fishing more than anything else.”

Davis nodded.

“You just have to go a little slower when it goes up to compensate. My boat holds 800 gallons so it (usually) costs close to $2,400 every time we fuel up,” Davis said.

Marshall added that two charter trips per day equals about 150 gallons of diesel, noting that captains make sure to fuel up before each trip in case they’re out on the water for longer than usual.

“We just had a 10-gallon-an-hour average on our last trip. We only use our speed if we need to,” Davis said.

For Marshall and Davis, it’s not about the fuel prices, but more about promoting tourism in the area.

“We want to keep people safe, have them catch fish, and make sure they have fun.”