Capt. Hubbard speaks to History Bytes crowd about fishing through the years

■ BY SUE ERWIN Capt. Van Hubbard remembers when catching fish in Boca Grande was pretty easy to do back in the day – albeit not nearly as comfortable as it is with today’s modern amenities. Hubbard is a local guide who has fished Florida waters from the Big Bend to Key West for more than […]

29 boats, two days, 113 tarpon: Blaze takes win in WR2018

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – It was raining silver in Boca Grande Pass on Thursday and Friday, May 17 and 18, during the two-day 2018 World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament, according to Tournament Director Wesley Locke. The first day of fishing, though a bit stormy, brought the ‘poons out from hiding, and boy, they were chewing. There […]

Beautiful and deadly: The sharks that swim in our waters, the people who love them and the people who fish them (A series in three parts)

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – This is the first in a three-part series about the sharks that swim in our waters, especially during tarpon season. This first part will be from a science perspective, the second part will pertain to the shark fishermen who come to our island and the third part will discuss in-depth what types […]

Fishing families take the stage, islanders in front of the camera and behind in ‘Mullet and Mangroves’

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – On Thursday, May 3 a new documentary on barrier island life had its debut on local television stations, and it featured several familiar faces and places. But don’t worry – if you missed it, then you will get a chance to see it again. “Mullet and Mangroves: The Pioneer Fishing Families of […]

2018 Pro Tennis Exhibition Series Starts January 31

■ BY JEN FIERS The 2018 Pro Tennis Exhibition Series will be held each Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Boca Grande Club from January 31st through March 14th. The first of the exhibitions will be the first Men’s Semifinal match on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. among Boca Bay Pass Club’s Director of […]

2017 Gulf recreational red snapper state season opens weekends beginning May 6

■ STAFF REPORT The 78-day 2017 recreational red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico state waters opens Saturdays and Sundays in May starting May 6. On May 27, the season will open daily through July 9. The season will also reopen for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day. This […]

There are lots of legends in Boca Grande Pass

I have fished and observed many tournaments over the years and have seen this for myself. I have fished with Capt. Babe Darna and his first mate (and son) Scooter many times, and caught my first tarpon with them. If you listened to them, you would catch a tarpon. Period. Same with Capt. Sandy Melvin. That guy will keep you hopping in the quest to catch a tarpon, snook, redfish, whatever it is you’re angling for. Think you’re going to enjoy a cup of coffee while getting your line wet with Capt. Sandy? Wrong. You’re working it, and he’s showing you how every second. Every fish I just named – and more – I caught with Sandy Melvin. (Walking the dog on the backwater is almost as good as tarpon fishing, believe me.) But the weirdest thing I ever saw was Capt. Willie Mills call dibs on third place in a tournament almost before the first fish was caught. I’m going to tell a tale on him real quick, and I hope he doesn’t take me to task for it because, honestly, he’s a little scary.

It’s time again for Whidden’s Back Bay: Get your team together

Gasparilla Island Maritime Museum wraps up the Boca Grande winter season April 11 and 12 with the Whidden’s Back Bay Tournament. The weekend kicks off at Whidden’s Marina on Saturday, April 11, with the Captain’s Party and Boca Grande’s first-ever Comfort Food Cook-Off. Beginning at 5 p.m. this event showcases island cooks and their finest […]

Are you ready to catch’em up?

BY MARCY SHORTUSE AND LEW HASTINGS – It’s springtime in Boca Grande and that means tarpon season is rapidly approaching. Two traditional events have been planned by the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as a third event held by Gasparilla Outfitters and Boca Grande Charities, Inc that is rapidly becoming a tradition. The […]

Looking for a boat trip? Captiva Cruises has what you’re looking for

Captiva Cruises and our fine Florida State Park Rangers from the Gasparilla Island Administrative Office will present “Legends of Cayo Costa Cruise Program,” and a sunset picnic supper on Saturday, March 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. Passengers will enjoy a narrated tour through Pine Island Sound with commentary on the historic fish houses, history […]