Photos Back   Photo: 1 of 5  Next Provided by Steffani GilliganTommy "Mayport Fats" Jameson, who was captain of the private charter fishing boat Lisa Ann, stands next to a giant grouper he caught. MAYPORT - The death of a former recreational charter fishing boat captain this month reminded many people that the charter business is quickly fading from the historic fishing area. But some are working to add a new twist to the charter boat industry at Mayport - eco-friendly excursions on which people seek out interesting aspects of the environment instead of fish. Decades-old Jameson family photos show him at the docks with customers beaming with their hauls of fish caught from Jameson's vessel, the Lisa Ann. Those days are gone, with only a few "party boat" charter vessels still running out of Mayport. Gone is the vast fleet of charter boats that could be hired each day for a select few tourists or sportsmen. During recent worries over a cruise ship terminal coming to Mayport, some officials with the Mayport Waterfront Partnership argued that commercial fishing boats such as shrimpers and other seafood vessels should be provided space along the waterfront. A dock full of onlookers and outdoor aficionados would be an ideal return to the glory days of Mayport, Waterfront Partnership Chairman Gary Crumley said. But Crumley admitted increased regulation on fishing and the changing dynamic of Mayport may make it impossible to get charter fishing back to its former stature.

Crumley said he's investigating eco-friendly charter boat operations in other areas of the state that take tourists and other visitors on excursions to experience the environment instead of catching fish.
There's more research to do, but Crumley said eco-charters at a few locations in Florida's Panhandle already seem to be taking off. The stepdaughter of Tommy Jameson, Steffani Gilligan, said memories of the glory years remain fresh, no matter how many decades pass. During the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament in July, the Mayport Boat Ramp will reach full capacity. The Intracoastal Waterway Boat Ramp (Beach Blvd Boat Ramp) provides access to the Intracoastal waterways and serves the Southside and Beaches area.
Back   Photo: 2 of 5  Next Provided by Steffani GilliganAnglers proudly display their catch as admirers look on at the Mayport docks in May 1971. Back then, in those times, there weren't many boats that went out on the ocean," Russell said.
With him went a character from the charter boat fishing mecca that Mayport was when he was a captain for about two decades. Russell acknowledged that there doesn't seem to be any room for charter boats any more in Mayport.

There are a number of trailer parking spaces (75+) with additional overflow parking available. Back   Photo: 3 of 5  Next Provided by Steffani GilliganIn this September 1970 photo, Capt. Tommy Jameson and his crew and passengers aboard the Lisa Ann show off a shark they caught off the coast of Mayport. Because of the popularity of the Mayport Boat Ramp and the water conditions and crowds, inexperienced boaters may find this ramp a little intimidating. Back   Photo: 5 of 5  Next Provided by Rusty RussellSeveral anglers show off their catch after a day of fishing decades ago aboard a charter boat out of Mayport.

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