What does a typical day at fishing camp look like?
A typical camp day begins with campers sitting at their assigned team table (3 or 4 camper per team). Each camper must apply sunscreen and hydrate. Once all the teams are ready, they are led to the dock where the captains and boats are waiting. After the captain’s instruction, each team will step onto the boat, secure gear and head out! The daily fishing trip is 4-hrs. All boats return after the trip for lunch at the marina. After lunch, a professional in the marine industry (FWC Officer, marine biologist, USCG Officer, Tampa Fire Patrol, etc.) will lead a clinic relating to their role on the water. On some days, instead of an outside speaker, one of the camp’s captains will stay and lead a seminar in cast netting, knot tying or target casting. Each camp day is concluded with a slide show of all the fish caught that day with a brief discussion on fishing tactics implemented, species caught and bait used.
What ages does the camp accommodate?
The camp focuses on campers 8 to 15 years old. However, we have fished with anglers as young as 6 and as old as 16. Depending on the camper and camp style, we may be able to accommodate these ages. See below for typical ages by camp style.
Inshore day camp – 8 to 14 years old
Offshore day camp – 10 to 15 years old
Scuba day camp – 10 to 15 years old
Overnight camp – 9 to 15 years old
Can I request my camper fish with his/her friends?
Of course! That’s what it’s all about. There is a portion of the registration form where parents can request their camper’s fishing buddies. Remember in the inshore camps, boats are limited to 3 or 4 campers.
Can I request my camper rooms with his friends during the overnight camps?
Yes! Rooms are limited to two campers and in some cases three. Make your requests on the registration form.
Will my camper catch fish?
Yes! This is a fishing camp like none other! Our professional and experienced staff of captains work extremely hard to put every single camper on fish. Additionally, the amount of time campers get on the water (over 20 hours of guided fishing per week!) adds to the success rate of all our young anglers.
How are the captains vetted?
The camp utilizes top professional fishing guides who exemplify sportsmanship and safety on and off the water. Each captain specializes in fishing with children and families. In addition to being great fisherman, they are even better teachers. Each guide has a minimum 20 years experience and run their own full-time charter business outside of the camp. All the staff and captains are background checked and participate in a drug testing consortium. For more information on specific captains please visit our staff page!
What is inshore fishing?
Inshore fishing is a style of saltwater fishing which targets fish species that live near shore or in shallow water. Inshore fishing usually utilizes small bay boats (19-24 ft) that can handle choppy water, but also float in shallow water. Species pursued during inshore fishing include snook, redfish, trout, sharks, tarpon, mackerel, flounder, ladyfish, jacks and cobia. During the Inshore Fishing Camps, the camp is divided into teams of 4 campers who fish with a professional captain on the captain’s bay boat. From the marina, the ride to fishing spots is usually less than 10 minutes and always close to shore.
What is offshore fishing?
Offshore fishing is a style of saltwater fishing which targets fish species that live far off the shore in deep water or near the surface (pelagics). Offshore fishing usually requires larger boats that can handle rough seas. There is no need float in shallow water so these boats are built completely different than inshore vessels. Species pursued offshore include grouper, snapper, barracuda, mackerel, permit and sharks. During the Offshore Fishing Camps, the camp fishes all together on a large professional offshore vessel with a captain and mate. From the marina, the ride to fishing spots is usually 30 minutes to an hour. Sea sickness can be an issue, however, so we strongly recommend each camper take one Dramamine tablet each morning. This will insure no one gets sick on the boat.
What are the times for each camp?
The Inshore Day Camps in Tampa run 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday.
The Offshore Day Camps run 8am to 2pm, Monday through Friday.
The Scuba Camps run 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.
The Overnight Camps begin on Sunday at 2pm and end on Saturday at 11am.
Can I drop off my camper early or pick my camper up late?
Yes, a counselor will be at the marina early and can stay late as well. If you need to drop off or pick up earlier or later that is fine, just let us know in advance.
Can my camper keep his/her catch?
During the Inshore Fishing Camps it is strictly catch and release fishing, or better said, photo-release fishing. Each fish is photographed with the angler before being safely released. During the Offshore Fishing Camps, if a catch is legal to keep we harvest that fish. All kept fish during offshore fishing are filleted and bagged for campers to take home daily. The last night of each Overnight Fishing Camp includes a hook and cook! Otherwise the overnight camp is photo-release.
Can girls sign up for fishing camp?
Yes, of course! In fact, girls typically out-fish the boys! In the event a restroom is needed while fishing the captain will take the boat to the nearest marina or waterside restaurant. They are never too far when fishing in the bay. There is a restroom on the offshore boats.
Can I fish with my camper?
Unfortunately no. This is a kids only fishing camp! We do offer private trips which utilizes our staff of professional captains.
Do campers wear life-jackets?
Yes and no. By law campers are not required to wear life jackets while fishing. In some areas, they are required to wear them while the vessel is underway. Regardless of the requirements, each captain has properly fitting life jackets for all campers readily available on the boat.
What is the camp’s cancellation policy?
A refundable deposit is required at time of registration to secure a camper’s spot. That deposit is refundable up until 30-days prior to that camper’s camp start date. Refunds inside 30-days cannot be honored. If there is an outstanding circumstance, please contact the camp.
Can you accommodate campers with special needs?
We have successfully fished with campers with special needs, however, additional planning and sometimes additional costs come into play. Please contact the camp to discuss the possibilities!
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