Mayor Gary Jarvis



Biographical Information

Captain Gary Jarvis is a veteran of the United State Air Force 1974  -1978 , legacy professional Destin fisherman, a restaurateur and well-known advocate for a sustainable and accessible Gulf of Mexico fishery. He has captained the Back Down 2 charter boat out of Destin Harbor for the last 40 years and owned one of only 210 federally dual-permitted fishing businesses that fish in both the charter for hire and commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Gary’s fishing experiences have taken him to Ft. Lauderdale; Key West; Cozumel, Mexico; Pinas Bay, Panama; and Marsh Harbor, Bahamas. Captain Jarvis was duly elected as the Mayor of the "Luckiest Fishing Village in the World " in March of 2018.  

He is also a partner in three restaurants in Destin – JackaCuda’s Seafood and Sushi, Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer, and East Pass Seafood and Oyster House with his middle son Tyler and partner Chris Ruyan and also partner in two restaurants in Sandestin Resorts, Baytown with  Slick Lips Seafood and Oysters and Sunset Bay Cafe' with his oldest son Bryce. In his spare time, he is an avid hunter and ice hockey player. Gary has been married to his wife, Pam, for 46 years. They have three sons (Bryce, Tyler and Trenton) and 8 grandchildren (Noah, Garrett, Jackson, Avery, Sawyer and Julianna, Presley and Griffin).

Council Appointments to Local & Regional Committees

  • Northwest Florida Military Sustainability Partnership - Primary Appointee
  • Okaloosa County League of Cities - Primary Appointee
  • Walton/Okaloosa/Santa Rosa Regional Utility Authority - Primary Appointee


  • Charter Fisherman's Association: Executive Director 2019 to Present
  • CFA Founding Member and Past President
  • Destin Charter Boat Association: Former President & Current Member
  • Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association: Member
  • Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
  • Ad Hoc Red Snapper Advisory Panel: 2009-2011
  • Data Collection Advisory Panel: 2009-2015
  • Ad Hoc Vessel Monitoring System Advisory Panel: 2009-2011
  • Reef Fish Advisory Panel: 2012-2014
  • King Mackerel Advisory Panel: 2012-Present
  • Ad Hoc Red Snapper Charter for-hire: 2014-2018
  • Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Alliance:  Current Member
  • Save Our Sector Fishery Management: Spokesperson


  • Best in Destin (Charter Captain), Destin Magazine, 2014
  • Best in Destin (Charter Captain), Emerald Coast Magazine, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • 2020 Florida League of Cities Resilience Award as Mayor of Destin
  • 2021 Destin Chamber Businessperson of the Month, February 


Brookville High School 1974

United States Air Force Primary & Missile Electronics School 1975

Business Administration: Troy State University; 1977