Olin Marler Charters started as just a weekend venture

Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 05:11 PM.

“There haven’t been too many days where we’ve had to cancel a trip due to the lack of participation this summer,” Fisher said. “We’ve had a really good summer with the boats. They’ve been really full.”

Probably the biggest change Marler has seen in his business over the years has been more regulations.

When he started fishing, there weren’t many rules, and anglers caught what they wanted. Nowadays, some fisheries remain closed for most of the year, bag limits are constantly shrinking and size limits for fish can be very restrictive.

Because of his health, Marler ran his last trip about two years ago.

“He doesn’t miss the fishing because of the regulations,” Donna Marler said. “How do you tell a customer, ‘No, throw that back because it’s a quarter of an inch too short. Nope, throw that one back because it’s too long.’ It frustrates your customers and that frustrates him. He likes to go to enjoy fishing and relax and not worry about if it’s a quarter of an inch too short or too long.

“He really pulled away from the fishing, but he really enjoyed the dolphin cruises and talking to people,” she added.

One of Marler’s goals has been to write a book about the early days in Destin and his life as a charter captain. Since his illness, the family has hired a writer who meets with him regularly to tell his story.

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