Welcome to the Florida Guides Association

Below is the latest news related to the Florida Guides Association and other topics related to fishing and boating in the state of Florida.  Check back here often to stay up-to-date with the latest.  You can support us and our mission to protect the Florida fisheries by becoming a member.

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Ever wonder what a fishing guide does on his day off? 

Most of them go fishing. That is going to sound a bit weird to some; especially non-anglers, but charter captains understand it perfectly well. In the first place, it is not sheer accident that some anglers become fishing guides. The choice relates to that great advice given by employment gurus or maybe high school counselors. It went something like, “Find a job you love.” 

It didn’t take a psychological test or a career counselor to convince fishing guides what they want to do as employment. In fact, no one told them they should do it, they just knew it. Well, that is not exactly true, because some of the guides I know had friends that recognized their passion and skills and probably told them they should be guides. The point being, it is no accident that most guides, especially good ones, become charter captains. They have it in their DNA to be on the water showing other people how to catch fish. 

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How pros catch crappie in a high-tech world

Anglers love gadgets. Crappie anglers take it to the extreme. Call it a hobby, a recreational pursuit, or a passion, but pro crappie anglers want every advantage they can muster when they go chasing crappie. 

Take Dan Dannenmueller and his fishing partner Garrett Steele for example. Dan’s crappie fishing team was named Angler Team of the year in both 2011 and 2012 by Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail. Each morning they leave the ramp in search of crappie, armed to the teeth with fish catching tools. “The biggest breakthrough in crappie fishing is technology and equipment,” says Dannenmueller. “Anglers are starting to see more dedication out of the industry as businesses design things for the crappie fisherman.” 

Crappie Now

Dannenmueller (right) and Steele (left) at a recent Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Event

Fixed to the bow of Dan’s boat is a Minn Kota trolling motor equipped with i-Pilot Link. The trolling motor communicates with the Humminbird electronics mounted onboard. “The Minn Kota i-Pilot Link communicates with my Humminbird to take me, or keep me, where I want to be,” says Dannenmueller.  “I use the i-Pilot Link to save the track I’m fishing and if it is successful I go right back and fish it again. It’s called reverse tracking.” 

Since crappie often stage at certain depths and follow bottom contours, fishing the correct depth will be highly rewarding to anglers. Once they find the depth they want, Dannenmueller and Steele use the i-Pilot Link to follow the contour lines on their Lake Master maps. “This feature allows us to spend more time fishing the productive areas,” says Steele. 

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 Each year the Outdoor Expo & Boat Show in Tampa is the annual meeting place for the FGA. It is a gathering of members, sponsors and recreational anglers. Here are a few photos from the show. 

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Jim Estes, Deputy Director, Division of Marine Fisheries Management at FWC received the Phil Chapman Conservation Award from Capt. Pat Kelly. 

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The Florida Guides Association held their annual meeting Sunday March 2 at the News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo and Boat Show in Tampa. 

President Pat Kelly was re-elected as president, but gave notice that it would be his last year. The organization will be searching for a replacement in the coming year.

Senior VP, Capt. Troy Sapp, East VP, Capt. Vic Tison and West VP, Capt. Dave Markett all stepped down this year and were replaced in the election. All three were presented plaques of appreciation for their service to FGA.

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Back Row: Capt. Troy Sapp, Capt. Dave Markett, Capt. Pat Kelly, Capt. Gary Colecchio, Capt. Danny Guarilno. Front Row: Capt. Danny Barrow, Capt. Charlie Phillips.

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Corporate Members

We would like to thank all our corporate members for sponsoring the FGA.  Learn more about how you could become a corporate member :

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