TCPalm: Captains For Clean Water fund pays idle fishing guides to clean waterways during COVID

August 27, 2020

Journalist: Ed Killer
August 27th, 2020


When 2020 began, it was a good time to be a fishing guide in Florida.

Tourist season was well underway. Seasonal residents were enjoying being in warm weather and away from snowdrifts and sleet. Bookings from visitors flowed in by phone, Facebook and email. Many Sunshine State guides were as busy as they wanted to be.

As we turned the calendar from February to March, all indicators pointed to a robust spring of fishing for popular inshore targets such as redfish, trout, snook and tarpon. Guides had planned six- and seven-day workweeks through March and April and into May.

Make hay while the sun shines, as the saying goes.

Uncharted waters

We all know what happened next. An insidious virus took hold of North America.

Just as the continent was thawing out of winter and headed into spring, life as we knew it seemingly stopped. Everyone shifted priorities to figure out how to live in uncertain times. Meanwhile, the economy bottomed out — unless, of course, one was in the face mask, hand sanitizer or toilet paper business.