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To catch a fish, you gotta think like one--come fly fish with Captain Shane in Boca Grande, Florida

To catch a fish, you gotta think like one--come fly fish with Captain Shane in Boca Grande, Florida

"When I got here, I bought a boat… several boats... and all I did was chase Tarpon. I fished every day for two and a half years. I would find Tarpon and just sit and watch them and what they did, watch the different ways they would roll and all the crazy places they would be, the different baits they would eat and I learned their patterns. I started thinking like a Tarpon!"

Our Dream Sporting Trips writer asked Captain Shane Smetak to tell us more about how he came to be such a successful fisherman. His passion for fishing will inspire you.

 

Dream Sporting Trips

How did you get into this business? What made you decide to become a fishing guide?

Captain Shane Smetak, Fly Fish Boca

I started fishing in Florida even before I lived here full time. I would go out and catch Snook and Jacks--I thought that was the best thing ever! A family member and I went on a charter with a guide out of Fort Myers to catch Tarpon. I knew what a Tarpon was; I had seen them in magazines and heard about them from the local baitshops, but I never thought I would catch one.

So we go on this charter and I hooked a Tarpon that was about 100 lbs. From that moment on, my life changed! I went back home and all I could think about was Tarpon. All I talked about was Tarpon. So I kept coming down every summer and going Tarpon fishing.

I finally decided to move to Florida and pursue my passion for Tarpon. When I got here, I bought a boat… several boats... and all I did was chase Tarpon. I fished every day for two and a half years. I would find Tarpon and just sit and watch them and what they did, watch the different ways they would roll and all the crazy places they would be, the different baits they would eat and I learned their patterns. I started thinking like a Tarpon!

I ended up opening a bait and tackle shop and so many people would come in and ask me to take them out fishing, but I didn't have my captain's license at the time. I finally thought to myself... I need to go get my captain's license, so I did. I ended up selling my shop and have been a guide ever since.

Dream Sporting Trips

Where do you take your clients to fish?

Captain Shane Smetak, Fly Fish Boca

I go where the fish are! Fish move around and they're not always in the same spot. I take my clients many different places--Charlotte Harbor, Lemon Bay, Pine Island, Gasparilla, Boca Grande, Venice and Sarasota.

Dream Sporting Trips

What is your favorite fish to catch? What fish do you primarily fish for?  

Captain Shane Smetak, Fly Fish Boca 

Well, if you read this far, you know I am a Tarpon addict! Tarpon amaze me, a 2 lb. Tarpon does the exact same thing that a 100 lb. Tarpon does. Every Tarpon I catch feels like my first one and I enjoy seeing other people experience the same excitement.

I also enjoy catching Redfish. It's an awesome sight to come across a school of tailing Redfish and putting a fly in front of them and watch them go after that fly in six inches of water! I fish for Tarpon, Snook and Redfish.

Dream Sporting Trips

Is there a particularly exciting fishing adventure you'd care to share with our readers?

Captain Shane Smetak, Fly Fish Boca

Every fishing trip is some kind of adventure! Once I had some clients out for a Tarpon trip and it was late in the year. The fish were still here but kind of scattered around and we were having a tough time finding them. We were sitting off of Manasota Key in Englewood just waiting, and in the far distance, I kept seeing silver flashes coming out of the water and I thought they were Kingfish. I told my clients, let’s go over there.

We got over there and it was all Tarpon--the most Tarpon I have ever seen! There were three big schools of Threadfins balled up and they were having a feeding frenzy! We jumped 17 fish and got five to the boat! Just the sight of all those Tarpon was worth the trip alone, but getting to jump so many fish was priceless!

Dream Sporting Trips

What is the most commonly asked question you get from potential clients?

Captain Shane Smetak, Fly Fish Boca

The most common question I get is, "How many fish are we going to catch on our trip and do you think the weather will be good when we are there?"

Dream Sporting Trips

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Captain Shane Smetak, Fly Fish Boca

bonefish-tarpon-trust.jpgI am very passionate about what I do and I am big into conservation. I'm a Conservation Captain for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.

I do both fly and spin trips. My preferred method is fly fishing. I tie all my own flies and also sell them to various fly shops in the area.

My equipment is all top notch and is well taken care of. My boat is the same way; I keep a boat for a couple years then I purchase a new one. I fish out of a Dragonfly Grand Slam 17. It is a poling skiff and it can handle the waters of Charlotte Harbor and the beaches for Tarpon, then the shallow flats. This will be my last year in this boat, then I am having a Hell's Bay Marquesa built in the winter.

If you would like to book a trip or just ask questions, my phone is always on or you can email me. Thanks for reading.

[contact information below]

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All flies are hand tied by Captain Shane 
and are proven fish catchers!

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Who's ready to catch some fish?

For more information Captain Shane's charter fishing trips, his custom hand-tied flies, or details about how to get in touch with him, visit this link. Who knows? Maybe he'll teach you how to think like a fish, too!

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