|A Little About the Captain
I am a fourth generation native Floridian. I’ve
fished, hunted, and run around the woods and
waters of the state for my entire life. The Florida
I remember from my youth was very different from
the state we live in today, and even then, was far
different from the way my dad knew it in his youth.
My family always had at least two fishing boats
for different purposes and I spent many a day
aboard them all, but fishing in my early years was
more often about standing on sand than standing
on a deck. Whether it was bass fishing in strip
ponds and marshes, walking jetties, or wading
coastal estuaries, I was fishing on my feet and
learning as I went. It gave me a far more intimate
perspective and a closer opportunity to learn and
observe than I ever would have found from a boat.
It’s the best way to learn to fish shallow water. I
still find myself studying things and trying creative
ways to improve results all the time. It’s a cool
little thrill to notice another minor detail that puts
the final piece of a puzzle together in your head
for figuring out a spot or explaining a fish’s
behavior. Finding a new trick or method is one
thing. Seeing a fish doing something different is
always exciting. But, figuring out why is the
challenge, and much more important. That’s when
it can be applied elsewhere in some fashion.
I have since fished all over both coasts of the
central and southern parts of the state, most
locations long enough to learn them well and fish
them with dependable success whenever I return.
I'm very happy in the waters I now consider home. I
have fished the Sarasota/Bradenton area for
many years and I have found an inshore fishery to
rival that of the old stomping grounds I grew up
around for sheer numbers and reliable variety of
fish. In all of the time spent fishing different areas,
I’ve learned that what works for fish on the east
coast will work for the same fish on the west coast
and vice versa. Fish are fish, and their habits are
largely the same. All one needs is some
adaptability and accommodation of differences in
the lay of the water or the bottom compositions.
Today, fishing is better than it ever was in my
youth for a number of species; seatrout, redfish,
and snook among them. But, I credit those lean
years for educating me in a way I’d have never
learned with more plentiful stocks. Personally, I am
as happy sitting on a rockpile catching snapper
with my kids as I am tied to a snook on fly in the
mangroves or jumping a tarpon off the beach, but
everyone is different and the variety of tastes and
preferences keeps my days fun and varied. Since
the net ban, fishing has improved in almost every
way. Still, there are major conservation and
habitat challenges to be addressed and we do our
best to meet them and act responsibly.
I was privileged to grow up in Florida in the way
that I did and I still embrace that heritage and
everything it taught me. I take great pleasure in
introducing or returning people to the Florida I
know and love. It is still present in the wildlife and
fish we encounter every trip on the water here. I
live close to a paradise, and I do my part to keep it
one, even as everything continues to change
|A fly rod, mangroves, clear water, a few snook like
this 30" fighter and a good friend to share it with . . . it
doesn't get any better!
|A nice 26" trout, delightfully more common than in the past.
|Dinner plate sized spadefish like this rare double are usually
very difficult to feed when sightfishing, but the bulldogging
fight is worth the effort. Both of these were released.
|Empty summer time beaches are for snook fishing! Smaller
fish are more common, but patience and proper presentation
have their rewards with fish like this 40" cow.