The Conservation Captain for March 2015 is Key Largo, Florida guide Capt. Dave Wyss
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ave has been a strong supporter of BTT since it’s inception and has currently been providing bonefish fin clip samples for BTT’s Bonefish Genetics Program.
For more information about Capt. Dave, go to his site.
Where do you guide and how long have you been guiding for?
DW: I fish at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL from November thru May. Then, I fish on the AuSable River in MI all summer. I started guiding when I was 15-years old on the AuSable . I have been guiding at the ORC for 35-years.
How did you become a fishing guide?
DW: My father and two of my uncles were fishing guides, so it was a family tradition! My father also guided on both the AuSable and at ORC.
How many days per year do you guide?
DW: I average 150 days or 275 charters. Lots of two trip days.
What species do most of your clients want to fish for? Why?
DW: Bonefish, tarpon and permit in the Keys. Brown trout and brookies in Michigan. They represent the most skill level.
Tell us about how the fishery used to be, compared to today.
DW: We used to have more bonefish with large schools working the oceanside shoreline. It was not uncommon to see five or six very large schools on a half-day charter!
In your opinion, what is the most important conservation issue facing the Keys fishery right now and what can be done to help fix it?
DW: Sea grass preservation. Mark all channels so boats will not run onto and damage the flats.
Despite some of the negative things happening to our fishery, why do you love it so much?
DW: I take great pleasure in chasing a wily adversary and bonefish, tarpon, and permit personify that! You must be at the top of your game at all times to prevail!!
Why do you support Bonefish and Tarpon Trust?
DW: I respect the work they do and appreciate the private sector involvement!
In your opinion, what is the most important work that BTT does and why?
DW: Genetics study and tracking of bonefish movement.
Why should a fisherman that doesn’t live in Florida or the Caribbean care about BTT?
DW: The more we know about our environment the better prepared we are to deal with all species.
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?
DW: I just love to fish. Whatever is the best option on any given day is what I am going to concentrate on. I love to fly fish. It is always my first option!
Tell us one of your favorite fishing stories.
DW: On a recent trip with a client I have fished with for over twenty-five years, we were tying to wait out a huge cloud bank so we could sight fish for some bonefish. After solving most of the problems of the world, boredom started to set in. Don cast out and instantly hooked up! After an hour and a half of constant action we totaled 17 Bonefish releases. I would much rather be lucky than good!!!
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