MADEIRA BEACH – Boaters in search of fuel at John’s Pass will now have to go across the channel to the Treasure Island side.
Don’s Dock at John’s Pass, 215 Boardwalk Place E., a business founded in 1946, has moved its charter boat and refueling services to John’s Pass Marina.
Owner Don “Luke” Beggs III is leasing 32 boat slips and a fueling facility from Sid Rice, owner of Gators on the Pass. The initial lease is one year.
Beggs plans to lease half of the dock space he owns on the Madeira Beach side and use the remainder of the space for a bait and tackle shop and a charter fishing center. A shuttle service will take anglers over to charter fishing boats on the Treasure Island side.
“We’ll be set up better than Don’s Dock is now,” Beggs said. “It (the new facility) will have a Boca Raton feeling. It will be more of a local hangout where you can drop a line in the water and fish if you like.”
Beggs said demands by the city of Madeira Beach have caused him to make the move.
“We’ve been there 62 years and they want everything changed,” said Beggs. “Working with the city has been brutal. They want me to totally reconfigure it, tear it down and rebuild it.”
Beggs said he would need to upgrade fuel tanks by 2009 at a cost of about $250,000.
“I weighed all the options and obviously this was the best way to go,” he said. “I’m really excited to go over to Treasure Island. I’ve always wanted to have a charter boat center.”
Don’s Dock was opened shortly after the end of World War II by the late Don Beggs Sr. and has long been the link for fishermen seeking charter boat captains.