Guide recommendation

The CEO of my company has asked me to look for a guide for Boca Grande in early May for 4 or 5 guys. Not familiar with the area as I flats fish on the east coast. Any help would be great.
Thanks in advance.


  • LGILGI Posts: 348 Officer
    Are you thinking Tarpon or flats?
  • designated_hitterdesignated_hitter Posts: 837 Officer
    He wants to catch Tarpon.
  • LGILGI Posts: 348 Officer
    My first choice would be Capt. Rhett Morris (941) 505-8481. Most good tarpon guides book months in advance, so if you want a good guide you need to call asap. If you are flexible on dates let him tell you the best fishing day and time he has open.
  • DubbleDeeDubbleDee Posts: 39 Greenhorn
    Had a great couple of days with Capt. Greg Devault a few years back. I am not sure what he will have available but you can check.

    Spending time on LGI! "The difference between living and LIVING WELL!"
  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Posts: 2,116 Captain
    Several comletely different types of fishing down there. Beach fishing, pass fishing with live bait, pass fishing with the jig, back water fishing with live bait. Lots of opportunities. I love the pass but it is not for everyone. Lots of boats in a small area. If you want to do the pass, I would HIGHLY recommend you do a weekday. Weekends are infiltrated with PTTS tournaments and not a good time to be there. Not sure about 4 or 5 guys on a boat down there. Most of the boats are smaller, 20-25' bay type boats. 4-5 guys + captain + possibly a mate is a little much. You can also only have 3 lines in the water at a time. Might consider 2 charters.... The best time to be there is a couple days before and after a full or new moon. Tides are bigger and crabs will flush and if the fish are cooperating, it is a sight to behold.

    A buddy of mine is new to charter fishing this year but is a great guy and has put in 1000's of hours in the pass and surrounding areas and will bust his back side for you. His name is Captain Bobby Woodard. [email protected] He would work hard for you. He would pretty much do whatever kind of fishing you wanted, beach, pass, jig, live bait.

    There are a ton of good captains down there though. Rob McCue, Dave Markett, Jeff Hagaman to name a few. All three are excellent captains in the pass.

    You can also go the traditional style of fishing. The above captains will all fish live bait and jigs but the traditional boca grande captains generally drive bigger inboard boats and drift live baits. I am more familiar with the captains from the west central area that fish the pass down there than the traditional guides so I will let someone else chime in on some suggestions there. Tarponator on the forum might have some names and recommendations because I know he has chartered guys down there. The main group of traditional tarpon fisherman is the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association. Captain Scott Hughes and Captain Andy Boyette are on this forum a lot on this topic and would be good options as well. They are not in big drift boats like some of the BGFGA nor do I even know if they are associated with the BGFGA but they could get you on the tarpon with live bait via beach, pass, harbor, etc...

    Then you can go the beach route or up in the harbor. My boat is not a stealthy boat so I don't do much beach fishing so again, will let someone else give you recommendations if you want to go that route.

    I would seriously consider Captain Bobby. He is a great guy and will bend over backwards to give you and your crew a great experience.

    Tight Lines
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • Capt. Scott HughesCapt. Scott Hughes Posts: 317 Officer
    If I were to go on a tarpon charter with anyone other than myself, i would want to go with Capt. Mark Bennet or Capt. Ed Walker.

    I doubt that either of them would take more than 4 people. If you have 5 people then you probalby should hire a large drift boat and go with Capt. Mark Futch or Capt. Charlie Coleman.
  • GitchaPullGitchaPull Posts: 345 Officer
    All above mentioned are real pro's.
    Wouldnt forget about this guy though. Tarpon or 20lb snook, he'll put you on em...

    Capt Danny Latham
  • Joey ButtonsJoey Buttons Posts: 11,849 AG
    GitchaPull wrote: »
    All above mentioned are real pro's.
    Wouldnt forget about this guy though. Tarpon or 20lb snook, he'll put you on em...

    Capt Danny Latham

    ^^^ This is true
    FSU is the best football team of all time!
  • Joey ButtonsJoey Buttons Posts: 11,849 AG
    LGI wrote: »
    My first choice would be Capt. Rhett Morris (941) 505-8481. Most good tarpon guides book months in advance, so if you want a good guide you need to call asap. If you are flexible on dates let him tell you the best fishing day and time he has open.

    So is this ^^^^
    FSU is the best football team of all time!
  • ChasinPoonChasinPoon Posts: 85 Deckhand
    Paul (Captain Bly) thanks for the kind words! Designated_hitter, as Paul said I am new to charter fishing this year but certainly not new to tarpon fishing. Also as Paul said I will bust my rear for your group all day long! All of the names mentioned here are superb captains, some of which I know personally and some only from fishing next to them for the past 10 years or so, you really can't wrong with any of them! If you have any questions please feel free to email me at the address Paul listed and I'd be happy to assist you in any way even if it is helping you find another captain to suit your needs.
    Fly 'Em High Charters
    Capt. Bobby Woodard
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 12,799 AG
    All of the recommendations above were good ones, IMO.
    However, and as Paul indicated, your first decision is what type of fishing you want to do. Most captains fall into one of three categories.
    1) Traditional live bait captains like Futch or Coleman. Their large boats make taking five anglers possible on a single boat. They will likely take you out during a hill tide event (new/full moon) during the afternoon, or after dark.
    2) Jigging boats. Like McCue/Hagaman/Markett. I'm not a fan of this style of fishing, personally, but those three are solid guides, and they often do other types of fishing outside the few hours in the morning when they jig.
    3) Beach/Backbay fishermen who fish primarily live bait. Like Rhett Morris, Ed Walker, Mark Bennett or even Greg Penix (one not mentioned, but on the same level, IMO). Again, finding one that can handle your party in one boat will be a challenge. However, there is one captain whose boat is capable of handling 5 anglers. That's Phil Dugger. He uses a boat similar to the live bait boats (a 25' Morgan), but it's set up with a tower and he primarily fishes the beach. I've fished with Phil for the past 17 years, and he will absolutely put you on fish, is a very laid back and nice guy. Phil can be reached at 941-626-1084 or at .
    Good luck in your decision...Mike
  • designated_hitterdesignated_hitter Posts: 837 Officer
    I appreciate all of the info, I have passed it on.
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,114 Captain
    Yep you just need to decide how you wnt to fish. I don't jig but am friends with a lot of them and all the ones listed are good (though Penix and i have had our differences) but if I were you I would try to do a traditional style as they can take five guys and it is a much more relaxing way to do it and the good ones will always generally catch fish on a hill tide (which is what I would suggest you do). Futch and the Coleman's ar both close family friends and will put you on fish, as are/will Waylon and Willie. I know it is crazy I'm friends with jiggers and live baiters, which is why I have laid off those threads!
  • Novice anglerNovice angler Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    My brothers and I have fished with Captain Tom MacLaughlin and had good success.
Sign In or Register to comment.