The Entertainer is a Pensacola Beach fishing charter that lives up to its name.
The boat has been a mainstay in these waters for nearly 40 years. Owner Jerry Andrews thought he was ready to retire, but he loves fishing so much he purchased a smaller boat to run trips, while Captain Rusty Smith helms the larger Entertainer.
Licensed for 49 passengers, the 65-foot vessel offers both private charters and walk-ons. You can book anything from a two-hour sunset cruise to a three-day deep sea excursion.
Walk-on trips average 6 to 8 hours and are charged per person. At least two walk-on cruises are offered each week during the season, which runs from April to the first week of November.
Rusty says June is the busiest month, and by August the boat is less crowded – when the weather begins to cool off in anticipation of autumn.
They provide everything except food and drink, so pack a picnic lunch and bring a stocked cooler.
The Entertainer is a truly entertaining cruise, and you don’t have to be a seasoned angler to enjoy it. The top-of-the-line crew explains everything you need to know about your rods and reels, while also sharing local knowledge about Fort Pickens and the dolphins that are sure to follow the boat.
“When you go fishing, dolphins follow you around all day,” Rusty says. “It’s kind of like Sea World, except you get to take home fish to eat.”
Even children as young as two or three can get in on the action, according to Captain Rusty. The boat is very safe, with a railing all the way around. You can escape the heat to the fully enclosed and air-conditioned cabin.
“The Entertainer is the cleanest, most family-oriented charter fishing business in Pensacola,” he says. “We always catch fish, and we’re adamant about keeping a clean boat, nice bathrooms, good rods and reels and tackle.”
The deckhands are also top notch, unhooking your fish and helping you bait your line. At the end of the day, they clean and filet your catch. (Check with local restaurants to see if the chef will cook it for you!)
“We want everybody to come back,” he shares. “A lot of our customers fish who fish with us every year take their families on a dolphin cruise the next day. Then they decide, ‘Heck with the dolphin boat, we should just go with the Entertainer!”
Prepare to be entertained.
– Ashley Kahn Salley
Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels