Captain Mary A. Fink
Southwest Florida summers are hot and steamy and a perfect time to enjoy fishing with family and friends. The experience doesn’t have to be all about the fish either. The quiet, scenic mystique of the area’s Ten Thousand Islands is about so much more than that! Manatee and dolphin sightings are likely, and the peaceful beaches found along some of the keys provide excellent shelling and swimming opportunities. It’s very possible that you may not see another person on the island you choose to explore!
The best advice I can give to you is to hire a guide to take you out in a comfortable, well-equipped boat into the vast mangrove maze of the Ten Thousand Islands area to enjoy a safe and relaxing day of fishing and exploring. The benefits of hiring a guide are numerous. Your guide will provide your fishing license, tackle, bait, lunch, bottled water and knowledge of the area as well as fishing expertise. Essentially, this means that your only responsibility is to show up at the dock at departure time. The inshore areas of the islands can be challenging to navigate both due to thenumerous shallow areas found there as well as the fact that one island looks like the next which can lead to confusion if unfamiliar with the area. However, the area’s unique beauty and countless forms of wildlife are abundant due to the natural habitat created by these islands. So, a day in the islands is, in fact, a real adventure!
Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, the likelihood of going home at the end of the day with a cooler full of nice fresh fish is a good bet. The inshore areas are rich with countless inshore species, such as snook, red fish, snapper, sea trout, pompano, flounder, mackerel and more. Your guide will take you to proven “hot spots” where the fishing is good even when environmental conditions may not be ideal. Another added benefit to choosing a guide is the fact that your catch will be prepared to your liking and placed on ice prior to your journey home.
The best fishing guides anticipate customers’ needs and plan ahead ensuring a great experience is enjoyed by all. By planning your trip with a group limited to 2-4 people, your trip willbe more economical and enjoyable as the real relaxation found in the islands will inspire meaningful conversations, camaraderie, excitement and many memories to be cherished in the future. Although our area beaches are among the most beautiful anywhere, our islands provide a wonderful mystique of their own and are explored by only a few.
Take advantage of the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge where the fishing is outstanding, the scenery mesmerizing and the wildlife abundant. Hire a guide today and depart from the Port of the Islands Marina located on the Tamiami Trail about half way between Marco Island and Everglades City. It’s so much more than just fishing!
Captain Mary specializes in fishing the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands. She holds a “six pack” captains license and has a knack for finding fish. A passionate angler possessing over 35 years of extensive experience in both backcountry and offshore fishing, Mary offers fishing expeditions through her Island Girls Charters company. When fishing with Captain Mary, you will be exposed to a variety of successful techniques including cast and retrieve, drift fishing, bottom fishing and sight fishing. Visit www.islandgirlscharters.com to learn about fishing with Capt. Mary, or reach her at 239-571-294