Mote Research Charters

Not Just Another Day on the Water

Mote Research Charters aren't just any Southwest Florida fishing experience: We fish for unique species while supporting scientific research and conservation. Offered by Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, these charters provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anglers to help gather data for ongoing research studies.

Special research permits allow us and our clients the opportunity to interact with species in a way that other charters can't.

Anglers help measure, weigh and tag species, gather data and, in some cases, help collect DNA samples or gather information for photo identification projects.

Targeted Species:

  • Large coastal sharks
  • Spotted eagle rays
  • Snook
  • Permit
  • Goliath grouper
  • Snapper
  • Tarpon
  • Amberjack

Make your reservation now:
  • Call Capt. Dean Dougherty,
    941-388-4441, ext. 358

Choose your Mote Research Charter:

  • Shark Research: Tag and release large coastal sharks
  • Spotted Eagle Ray Project: Photographic identification and tagging and release of spotted eagle rays.
  • Fisheries Research: Fish for tarpon, goliath grouper, snapper, snook, permit and amberjack while helping scientists to learn more about species, migration patterns and restocking methods.
For Non-Anglers:

  • We also offer special Coastal Observation Tours for clients interested in a personalized, guided tour of our marine environment. View and learn about our local marine animals while enjoying the ride in a 28-foot tower boat. See dolphins, manatees, sharks, rays and seabirds.

  • Full Day: $800 (5 person maximum)
  • Half Day: $500 (3 person maximum)
  • Large Groups: Full Day, $2,200 (10 person maximum)
  • Coastal Observation Tours: $125 per hour (2 hour minimum; 3 person maximum)  

Please note:

  • Charters are conducted in nearshore and coastal waters of Sarasota and Manatee counties and operate from Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, 34236.
  • Trips may be cancelled or curtailed at any time due to unsafe boating conditions or weather. All guests/clients agree to indemnify and hold harmless all staff, volunteers and members of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, including all directors and/or officers.
  • Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium operates all Research Charters and Coastal Observation Tours in accordance with all state and federal laws and permits. 
  • All fishing is catch and release.

Other ways to support Mote:
  • Donate your boat, truck, car or RV today. For more information or to discuss a donation, please call Dean Dougherty at (941) 374-0102 or Peter Hull at (941) 302-4989.
  • Make a donation to research right now. Click here to donate.
About Us

Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, we incorporate public outreach as a key part of our mission. Mote is an independent nonprofit organization and has seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages.

Calendar of Events Aquarium > Education > Volunteers >
Thursday 24