The Back Story

Fishing is supposed to be enjoyed, not endured.

So you may be wondering how the Top 5 came to be.  Scott Carvin is the man behind the idea. Here’s his story.

Top 5 Fishing Charter Guides
Several years ago Scott and a friend hired a captain to fish the waters of south St. Pete for the morning. Their captain was late and when he got there the boat was dirty from the previous days or possibly week’s charters. Their confidence was lacking as the captain struggled to secure bait with them on the boat. Scott felt as if he was just chewing up their time. Once the bait was caught they were taken into an area to try and catch redfish, waiting over an hour and a half for a bite was not what they had hoped for. The captain was grumpy and constantly complained about everything; they felt as if he was making excuses.  Finally they were taken to a spot and caught tiny trout from about 30 minutes before being ushered in and off the boat. They paid the captain and were very irritated when the captain counted the cash and asked about a tip. That was the last time they hired a captain, and all but quit fishing.

Tampa SEOA few years later Scott was invited with a friend to go on another charter, he was along for the ride and figured why not give it one more shot. The captain they hired was Capt. Tim Whitfield of Swift Fishing Charters.  They were quickly introduced to violent strikes and hard runs that snook make when hooked. As the bite diminished Capt. Tim was on the phone talking to a captain he works with Jay Plastic, asking about his bite and got an invite to come out and catch some Spanish mackerel, it was instant success with mackerel coming over the gunnels for the next hour. Once the bite slowed Capt. Tim was entertaining and included them in what he was thinking for the next move told some jokes and had a genuinely good time while working. After the trip the fish were cleaned and bagged at the marina. Scott said they handed Tim some cash and he didn’t even count it or know we had a hundred dollar tip. A text was received an hour later thanking the guys for the generous tip and pics followed.

On his ride back to Bradenton Scott had an idea. Scott owns seoservices.expert builds websites and runs seo services for clients. The idea: Pick the best 5 fishing charter guides in Tampa Bay based on personality, fishing ability, and work ethic.  Captains that will work hard to create long lasting fond memories of fish caught and good times had while fishing with family and friends. Captains that will work as hosts, stewards of the waterways and will always put the client first, even if it means saying the bite is horrible and not take the trip just to make the money.  Scott is doing this in hopes it will prevent anyone from negative experience like he had the first time out.

Scott got Jays number from Tim, he wanted to personally thank Jay for the part he played in making their trip the best trip ever! Scott knew nearly instantly that Jay was going to be a perfect fit. A positive attitude goes a long way. They talked for an hour just about the industry and charters, where business comes from; during Jays interview they were picking each other’s brain.

About a month later it was Christmas and Scott had family in town and called Tim, it was decided that 2 boats would be needed to accommodate the entire family. He wanted Capt. Jay (since he gave them a heads up on the mackerel) to help them but he was booked. So Tim had his son Jake run the second boat and Scott went with Jake because his young son was on Jakes boat. He was impressed with Jake, despite his young age he could tell Jake had been doing this his entire life and had more than enough experience. He also liked that Jake was good with the kids and the adults, was extremely personable and entertaining while the bite was slow. This was Jakes interview.

Scott met Capt. Wes Burns after a day’s fishing with Capt. Tim. They were having lunch at Hula Bay after a trip and Wes came to meet Scott. Wes nor Tim had no idea it was an interview, sitting at a table and having a beer and shooting the breeze. Scott realized Wes would be a good fit. He had 4 guys in mind and needed a 5th.

Several phone calls were made to guys showing interest in booking trips and none were returned within a day, except one. Capt. Justin Lofaro. He called back within minutes and as they chatted and Scott began looking at his website, personal and professional social media and getting a feel for who he was as a guide. Scott hired Justin and found him to be exactly what the group needed. Scott felt Justin had a grasp on Tampa Bay even though his roots are in Homosassa. They caught plenty of fish Justin worked hard, had a clean boat and good equipment.

Scott called each Captain and asked questions to each about the other 4. He set a meeting with the group, and presented his idea, and the mission statement/slogan of the group. Fishing is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.