Stories of early island fishing guides (Part I of II)

SUBMITTED BY THE BOCA GRANDE HISTORICAL SOCIETY – Local guides have been taking guests fishing since the late 19th century. Among the early guides was Phalo Padilla, born in 1888, who was a guide at Useppa and took his clients out in his one-cylinder motorboat. He was also a commercial fisherman, catching and selling mullet.  […]

First tournament win for Capt. McBride; Sitarah wins Red Gill

BY MARCY SHORTUSE- One lone tarpon made it to the boat in the 5th annual Red Gill  Invitational Tarpon Tournament held on Saturday, June 20, and one has to wonder if the team on the winning boat didn’t have a little help from a higher power. Capt. Chase McBride took his team of anglers that […]

Team Dorado takes first in Ladies Howl, Jill Marie close behind

BY MARCY SHORTUSE- The sharks took more than their fair share of a taste of the action in the 12th annual Ladies Night Out Howl at the Moon Tarpon Tournament on Saturday, June 13, but Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. The toothy ones had it out for the silver kings, who took off to […]

Red Gill on for this weekend

STAFF REPORT- This Saturday, June 20, the rescheduled Red Gill Tarpon Tournament will be held in the Pass from 5 to 8 p.m. The registration fee is $600 per boat, and each boat receives five t-shirts as part of the entry fee.  Call or text William Woodroffe at (813) 310-1609 to make arrangements, or call […]

Tarpon tug-of-war: My first fight with the feisty silver king

BY OLIVIA CAMERON- Reeling in a tarpon is a rite of passage in the town of Boca Grande. As a Florida native, I spent most of my time soaking up the sun and getting saltwater in my eyes. However, I was always lousy at fishing. Even a minnow wouldn’t touch my hook with a ten-foot […]

Bahamas reopen for fishing, Gasparilla Island boat traffic still heavy

BY OLIVIA CAMERON- Just 50 miles from the east coast of Florida rest the western islands of The Bahamas, an archipelagic state that has consistently thrived off of tourism and fishing until the pandemic created a domino effect on the economy and public safety.  According to USA Today, over 590,000 boaters frequented The Bahamas during […]

‘Win Big’ Waylon Mills takes first in Howl at the Moon

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Capt. Waylon Mills once again showed them all how it’s done in the 16th annual Howl at the Moon Invitational Tarpon Tournament, held last Saturday, May 16. Mills and his team, that included anglers Jake Poepl, Tony Scully and Chad Vandergriff, took first place with seven tarpon released, including a double-header […]

‘World’s Richest’ canceled due to Coronavirus

STAFF REPORT – The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce met on Wednesday, April 15 and made the difficult decision that they would cancel the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament for 2020. In a statement issued Wednesday by the Chamber Board of Directors said, “In these unique times, as we are all being impacted by the global […]

Ladies Day canceled, World’s Richest fate to be determined: Local fishing captains suffer dire losses but message remains unchanged – go fishing

Executive Order 20-91, Section 3 “Essential Activities states: “For purposes of this Order and the conduct it limits, “essential activities” means and encompasses the following: Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship; and participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or […]

Fishing ABCs, nature walks and kayaking free this month through CHEC

To the Editor: Learn the “ABC’s of Fishing” with Capt. Doug Rhees at 10 a.m. on October 16 at Bayshore Live Oak Park, 23157 Bayshore Road, Pt. Charlotte. Capt. Doug is a USCG 100-Ton Master Captain who has been fishing Charlotte Harbor for decades, and he will explore the basics of fishing, including bait, location […]