APOLLO BEACH, Fla. — There are schools of fish, and then there’s going to school to learn about fish. For one Apollo Beach charter captain, he’s going to make sure every trip out on the boat is a learning experience.
When you go fishing with Captain Mike Murphy, you aren’t just going to hook a snook, you’re also going to reel in an education.
“I want them to understand why they are catching the fish and why Tampa Bay is such an incredible resource,” said Murphy, captain of Fish This Inshore Charters.
Murphy learned how to cast a line from his grandfather when he was 4-years-old.
“Being a fishing captain isn’t just a business, it’s actually a passion,” said Murphy.
Before he was a captain, he was a student. He graduated from USF with a degree in environmental biology.
“By taking clients out, and expressing to them what we see in our environment and how they can do different things at home, it’s incredibly instrumental,” said Murphy.
Despite all his knowledge, there are some challenges too tough to navigate, like bad weather or a pandemic.
“150,160 charters a year to probably down to 70, 75 last year, we didn’t get any bailouts,” said Murphy.
However, this captain stayed on course, as fishermen and women are coming back. Marisa and Tim Haney celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary aboard Fish This.
“Mike is great he’s a wealth of knowledge,” said Tim.
“He makes you feel comfortable, you can talk to him, and he does everything so I don’t have to touch the fish if I don’t want to,” said Marisa.
Murphy said his favorite part is watching his clients' facial expressions after netting a big one. Many of them become hooked for life.
“Those are the things that kind of make your heart flutter and that’s why I do it,” said Murphy.
For more information go to fishthisinshorecharters.com.