The Conservation Captain for July 2015 is Capt. Wes Bedell out of Naples, Florida. Capt. Wes has been incredibly active for BTT, tagging numerous permit for the Project Permit program
Click here for more info on about and to book a trip Capt. Wes Bedell . . .
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust: Where do you guide and how long have you been guiding for?
Wes Bedell: I have been a guide in Naples, Florida for 16 years now.
BTT: How did you become a fishing guide?
WB: I have had a passion for fishing since I was 13 years old so when I realized that I could make it a career, it was a no-brainer. To love what you do is a dream job!
BTT: How many days per year do you guide?
WB: About 200, but when I’m not working I am out with my son who also wants to be a fishing guide.
BTT: What species do most of your clients want to fish for? Why?
WB: I would say my most requested species is Permit. The beauty and mystery of this fish just makes for an epic charter, and of course the scream of the drag and the fight that you get from a Permit just seals the entire experience.
BTT: Tell us about how your fishery used to be, compared to today.
WB: There has been a steady decline in the number of fish compared to 5 years ago. In my fishery I haven’t really seen a decline in numbers of fish but the numbers of anglers that are pursuing them has tripled.
BTT: In your opinion, what is the most important conservation issue facing your fishery right now and what can be done to help fix it?
WB: I think that if we could get the Permit on the game fish / sport fish list and make 0 bag limit for these fish could make a huge difference.
BTT: Despite some of the negative things happening to the fishery, why do you love it so much?
WB: It is in my blood, I will always support our fisheries. For me fishing is not just my job it is a way of life.
BTT: Why do you support Bonefish and Tarpon Trust?
WB: There is so much to know about the habits of Permit. I’m excited to have one of my tags called in to see where it’s been. Bonefish and Tarpon Trust provide that. It’s all about preserving this beautiful fishery. The more we know the better we are to sustain it.
BTT: In your opinion, what is the most important work that BTT does and why?
WB: BTT has stepped up to protect our game fish. Without their work in conservation efforts I think the fish we love would be in trouble.
BTT: Why should a fisherman that doesn’t live in Florida or the Caribbean care about BTT?
WB: My northern clients come down to fish with me & can’t wait to help me tag Permit. They want to help sustain the fishery. I get all of my anglers involved.
BTT: You have the day off. What species are you going to fish for, where are you going to find them, and what are you going to use to catch them?
WB: Mostly Permit. I usually go anywhere from 2 to 20 miles offshore to find them. I like a good fight, so I use the lightest tackle possible and for bait I use blue and pass crabs.
BTT: Tell us one of your favorite fishing stories.
WB: I find the best fishing stories are the ones that haven’t been told yet.
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