BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Here’s a riddle for you: What is something that local fishing captains get a whole lot of, other than fish, when they’re out on the water? The answer is, questions.
They get questions about what types of fish their client might catch, and at what times of year, why they use the types of boats that they use for different types of fishing, what types of bait to use and why … all kinds of things.
Capt. Tommy Locke, an island resident and very popular fishing guide, realized he could help his fellow captains out with that, and he has created a series of discussions called “Coffee with Captains.”
Locke’s brainchild bull sessions will begin on Saturday, Feb. 15 in the upstairs area at Scarpa’s Coastal, at 8 a.m.
“This will be a series of casual gatherings over coffee to discuss topics that matter to anglers, captains and conservationists,” Locke said. “The first week’s conversation will be all about seasonal fishing, and how anglers engage the fish.”
Other discussion topics will include what’s happening with our water, angling techniques, handling fish, boat etiquette and protecting our fishery.
Locke started guiding out of Homosassa in the early 1980s for world-record tarpon on fly. He specializes as a teaching guide – from beginner levels to master – to help anglers reach the ultimate challenge of taking big tarpon on IGFA-class tippet.
He has fished throughout the Keys and across the state of Florida, but he now primarily fishes year-round in the waters around Boca Grande.
Locke is an advocate for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Captains for Clean Water, and BullSugar, working with biologists to preserve the fishery and ensure the health of our delicate marine ecosystem.
If you are interested in taking part in the “Coffee with Captains” series, stop by Scarpa’s Coastal on Saturday at 8 a.m.