Featured angler will be picked at the end of each month. If you have someone that you feel is worthy or would like to nominate someone please email us and you could be the next Featured angler!
May Featured Angler
Angler – Mike Grispo
Kayak – Native Ultimate 12
Favorite Target Species – Redfish
Time Kayak Fishing – 4 years
Most memorable moment – I’d say my most memorable was when I saw a school of about 150 redfish out at Pineland once. It may have been even more they were just moving across a big flat cruising along. I saw a big wide wake coming out in the distance and it was red! I remember thinking what the hell is that?! They came and split around me and the top water lure I threw at them. I was dumbfounded. I’ll never forget that. I was in my Malibu stealth 12 at the time I was standing up poling, I just shook my head and kept going in my direction.
Personal Bio – Contrary to what people believe, I do work. I don’t fish every day. Lol. I’m a meat manager for Publix and have been cutting meat for almost 9 years. My dad was a fisherman in New York, we did a lot of off shore fishing on his boat. Fishing runs in my blood. It’s really my only hobby. I enjoy this forum, I have met a lot of great people on here and I especially like taking out rookies and getting them onto fish.
April Featured Angler
Angler- Preston Haytac
Kayak- Kaku Mahi 14’
Favorite Target Fish- I like to search for Snook and Tarpon in the summertime. There really is nothing like the pop of a big snook on your topwater or the acrobatics a Tarpon during the fight. In the winter time targeting tailing Redfish with soft plastics is my main objective.
Time Kayak Fishing- Somewhere around 9 years
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak? – I have too many great moments while kayak fishing, but a trip that stands out to me was the four day and three night circumnavigation of Pine Island with my good friends Nick Castillo, Joey Nicotra, and John Gargano. That 50+ mile trip provided a wealth of knowledge and memories that I often reflect on. The full story is on my website TemperateTides.com.
Personal Bio- I was born and raised in Cape Coral, Florida and after going to St. Andrews Catholic school and Bishop Verot High School I now attend the University of South Florida working at a double major in Business Administration and Political Science. Fishing for my started really early. My grandfather lives on a very active canal in Cape Coral so growing up I had the pleasure of catching snook, redfish, snapper, sheepshead, jack, and even the occasional tarpon off of his dock and on the boat. My Grandpa also had a tandem kayak that he and I would take out on occasion and go fish the mangroves. While I was in middle school my good friend Joey Nictora bought a pair of Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120’s and I quickly fell in love. Not long after I had my own Tarpon but in the 140 size and for the next seven years I spent my weekends and summer on the waters of Pine Island, Estero Bay, and Cape Coral. A year ago I was contacted by Kevin Hawkins the owner of Kaku Kayaks and had the honor of joining his Pro Staff team. Years of tournament fishing and running TemperateTides.com had finally helped me land a sponsor and it has been nothing but awesome. This past summer I finally picked up Fly Fishing and I can say that although i have a lot to learn still I’ve become proficient enough to at least have a shot at catching most of our Southwest Florida Gamefish. While at school I really enjoy writing for my website and for other online magazines as well as staying connected with my fellow kayak anglers through forums like this one and Facebook groups. Of all of the places where kayak anglers share their information I can honestly say that SWFKAA is the most honest, helpful, and respectful group of guys in our sport.
March Featured Angler
Angler – Nick Castillo
Brand of Kayak – Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140
Favorite Target Fish – Redfish and Tarpon excite me the most, especially when I am able to entice them to eat a well placed fly.
Time Kayak Fishing- 5 years
Most Memorable Moment on a Kayak – On Thanksgiving break from school I went kayaking with my close friends Joey Nicotra, Preston Haytac and Bryce Haytac launching from Pine Island. The morning was overcast, cold and incredibly windy. The tide was so low that we had to walk our kayaks in numerous locations. After three hours with only a few fish between the four of us, the wind finally let up, the tide changed, the sky cleared and the bite was on! We worked the area hard and by the end of the day all of us had caught our first grand slam. I was able to get the tarpon and snook on fly and fooled the trout and redfish on my favorite jerk shad. Through perseverance, we were able to fight through the initially difficult conditions and ended the day with great memories and a new accomplishment.
Personal Bio – I grew up in the Fort Myers area, where I was able to foster my passion for fishing and the marine environment. As a kid I would go to the Sanibel fishing pier and learn from other fisherman. My father and I would fish with family friends and take the occasional trip to the keys, where I developed my passion for flats fishing. When i was 12 we purchased a small bay boat and would spend the weekends exploring Pine Island Sound. I continued to fish on our boat with my father and with friends when I was old enough to pilot it myself. In high school I began kayak fishing with my classmate Joey Nicotra and since then I have been an avid kayak fisherman and fly fisherman. I am currently a student at Duke University pursuing a degree in Environment Science and Policy, with the hopes of returning to Florida to work on coastal conservation and management.
February Featured Angler
Angler – Joey Nicotra
Kayak – Feel Free Moken 12.5
Favorite target fish – Redfish and Tarpon
Time Kayak Fishing – 9+ years
Most Memorable Moment – Circumnavigating Pine Island by kayak with some of my best fishing buddies. We caught quality fish, challenged ourselves, and learned a lot about the areas that are out of reach on a typical day trip. Definitely one of the most rewarding accomplishments I have made.
Personal Bio – I am a marine biology and oceanography student at UNC – Wilmington in NC. I grew up fishing from my dock at home in Cape Coral and when I turned 12, I asked for a kayak to expand my fishing beyond dry land. Since then I have had a passion for kayak fishing and go out every chance I get when I come home to SW Florida. I am a co-founder of Temperate Tides blog and love sharing my kayak fishing experiences and knowledge I have gained over the years. I have recently picked up fly fishing and fly tying. As far as I’m concerned, there is no better felling than fooling a fish into eating a fly you make yourself!
January Featured Angler
Angler – Tyler Murray
Brand of Kayak – Ocean Kayak Trident 13
Favorite Target Fish – Redfish was my favorite while I was down in Florida. I enjoy catching northern pike back home. Favorite eating fish is walleye, I haven’t found another fish that I enjoy eating more then a good Wally’s fillet.
Time Kayak Fishing – 1 year
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak – My last day I fishing in Florida was a pretty good day. Within an hour I caught a personal best sea trout (25.5) and a PB redfish (29″ pictured above) all on the same chunk of bait.
Personal Bio – I am from Western Canada and have spent most of my years in either Alberta or Saskatchewan. I am a mechanical Engineer by trade and was taking some time off to enjoy life and travel. So I ended up fishing in Cape Coral for 10 weeks this winter. I first got hooked on fishing by going out with my grandfather and father as a child. Now I enjoy all aspects of fishing and this past year I decided to really broaden my fishing experiences by trying fly fishing, ice fishing and of course kayak fishing. Kayak fishing has been great and I plan on doing a lot more of it in the future. I also plan on returning to Cape Coral especially since my parents just bought a condo down there!
December Featured Angler
Angler -JP Corrigan
Brand of Kayak – Wilderness System Tarpon 160
Time Kayak Fishing- 3 years or so
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak – I vividly remember the time we (Steve & Estaban) went to help the HOW chapter up there with an event. Our mission was to experience a day fishing with the Vets and learn first hand what it takes to host an event. There was somewhat of a small turn out, but I fished with a gentleman named Jim. His claim to fame was, in spite of attending many of these events, he had never caught a fish at one. The several hours that spent on the water was an eye opener for me. It confirmed that I was doing the right thing by donating time and effort to help such a wonderful cause. It was most memorable because I was able to share stories and make new friends, that I otherwise never would have had the chance to meet.
Personal Bio – Grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Then moved to Jacksonville in the darkly 70’s. Spent time in New Orleans and Columbia, SC, then moved to SW Florida about 25 years ago. I am a true lover of the water, I have owned power boats, sail boats (captained a 72′ topsail schooner) and now a paddle boat. I love everyone, but sailing is my favorite. I truly subscribe to “there is nothing so grand as to be messing around in a boat”. I have been a member of Swfkaa for a couple years and have met some really stand up people. I like that the club mantra is ” it’s just fishing”. There are no secrets and I have learned a lot about fishing from the people I have met and hope to pass it on. I am a member of the HOW team and thru this organization I want to give back to all vets. I take that opportunity and this true cognition as a true honor!
November Featured Angler
Angler – Jeff Gabrick
Brand of Kayak – Hobie Pro Angler 14
Favorite Target Fish – Tarpon in yak, shark on beach
Time Kayak Fishing – 3+ years
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak – Night fishing in Estero Bay, caught a 35″ red and hooked into a shark and a dolphin all in one night. All three were hooked while using one Ladyfish. A lot of great times on the water, most enjoyable is meeting new fisherman and learning their techniques and trading stories!
Personal Bio – My background is in all aspects of the Golf Business, I have been in the industry for over 17 years. I have a 4 year old son (Atticus) that I enjoy teaching how to fish and spending time on the water. My favorite time is Shark fishing with good friends and the life long relationships that I have formed with the friends I go with. I feel extremely fortunate that I am blessed to be the leader of this great group and look forward to meeting and fishing with everyone.
October Featured Angler
Angler – PJ Stevko
Brand of kayak used – Jackson Cuda 12 Earth Camo
Favorite Target Fish – Snook
Time Kayak Fishing – 3 years
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak – When I first started out kayak fishing I got to spend a day fishing Estero Bay with professional fisherman Crazy Alberto Knie. That day I got my first inshore slam twice, caught my first slot redfish and jumped my first tarpon! To this day, it remain one of my best days kayak fishing ever.
Personal Bio – I’m a wild land firefighter for the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Not only am I a avid kayak fisherman, but I’m also into offshore and spearfishing. If it has to do with the water, I love to do it!
September Featured Angler
Angler – Erik Insko
Brand of Kayak Used – Hobie Mirage Sport and Heritage Redfish 14
Favorite Target Fish – I’ll reel in any fish foolish enough to bite the lure I am dragging through the water. But usually I hope it’s a Tarpon, Redfish or a snook.
Time Kayak Fishing – 1 year
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak – Watching my pops (old fib) roll my Hobie when he tried to get in it. He is a bigger guy and didn’t listen to my suggestion on how to get in.
Personal Bio – I don’t usually advocate for parents to share their addictions with their kids, but my dad shared his fishing addiction with me at an early age. I got to do a lot of catfish, salmon and walleye fishing on the Rock River, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie with him while I was growing up outside Rockford, Illinois. Now I am lucky enough to teach at FGCU, and I try to get out on the water as much as possible.
August Featured Angler
Angler – Jim Jurney (fishingdad)
Brand of Kayak Used – Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140
Favorite Fish – Jim loves all types of fishing, but if had to choose it would be redfish.
Time Kayak Fishing – 2 months, but he has been fishing out of a canoe for over three years.
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak – Jim states that his best memory kayak fishing is an epic battle with a 20 pound snook that kept trying to pull him into the mangroves because he didn’t have his anchor in. He adds that his best memory on the canoe was the battle with the bruiser that is pictured above. Jim fought this 65 pound Black Drum for an hour and a half on light tackle and was drug for over a mile, WOW!
Personal Bio – Jim grew up in Jacksonville doing a lot of fresh and salt water fishing. Having a Dad, Uncle and Grandfather that showed him the skills to become a very skilled fisherman. He was able to enjoy some unbelievable fishing experiences as a kid and feels grateful for being taught at such a young age. Outside of fishing, Jim supports his habit by working as a technical coating/estimator for a very successful painting, waterproofing and restoration company that services Marco Island all the way to Clearwater. Jim adds that he is about to be a “Proud Parent of a Marine” his middle son will be leaving for Paris Island soon. Jim is a proud father and can often be found fishing with his daughter. Jim has been a member for a short time, but has already become a valuable asset to the club.
July Featured Angler
Angler-Sean Sileno (Gatorsean)
Brand of Kayak Used – Perception Caster 12.5
Favorite Fish – Snook on the flats
Time Kayak Fishing – Less than a year
What was your most memorable moment on a Kayak – The first time I ever tried kayak fishing, also the first time out of Burnt Store Marina, I hooked a snook that was well over 20 pounds. It nearly spooled me, even though I was getting dragged and showed off by jumping a couple of times. I was overall impressed by its power and reminded me why snook are my favorite fish to target. Unfortunately, the snook wore thru the leader because I had to tighten my drag.
Personal Bio – Sean grew up in Punta Gorda and fished Charlotte Harbor as a kid, after a move to the Burnt Store Marina area with his parents, Sean has been fishing that area with great results. Outside of fishing, Sean attends the University of Florida and plans on attending medical school after graduating.
June Featured Angler
Angler – Bob Bramblet (BonitaBob)
Brand of Kayak Used – Hobie Pro Angler12
Favorite Fish to Target – Redfish
How long have you been kayak fishing? – I bought my first kayak almost 10 years ago. I have owned boats, but they never brought me closer to the fish like a kayak.
What was your most memorable moment on a kayak? – I have many, but probably the most memorable was the first time I camped in the 10k Islands via kayak. Taking limited supplies and water out to remote areas really makes you think about priorities.