Guy Harvey Magazine

SPR 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 59 of 83

60 | CA: As the youngest guide out of Bud n' Mary's, you've got some big shoes to fill. What's your story? MV: I never planned to be a guide. I've been coming down here since I was three. My family was in Ft. Lauderdale. My dad had a flats boat in Islamorada when I was a kid and we'd come down and take it tarpon fishing, seeing the backcountry and all the life, and then I was hooked. When I was a teenager, I mated on the Redfish as a second mate— it was my first job—and then I knew I loved this way of life. It's challenging to be the young guy here, but I got it. CA: How does a young guide earn respect in a demanding place like Islamorada? MV: I've found that respect is given when it is earned. Guys have been here for decades building their name. I do my best to not get cocky or boast about anything. I basically just talk to people with ultimate respect. Slowly, over time, the local guides warmed up to me. And that's a main thing— always listen. I always sat at the dock and listened to what the captains were talking about. I can't stress that enough. I had to put in my time, and still do, and I learn every day. CA: If you could give some advice to young guides, what would it be? MV: When you are on the water, study your surroundings. Adjust to your conditions. Don't fish the fish, fish the conditions. You also have to know what kind of guide you want to be. Do you want to be a pole fisherman? A sight fisherman? Offshore guy? You have to be well-grounded. [Also] open your mind to a new way of thinking. Always have a backup plan. Listen to the seasoned guides telling you what to do, where to Captain Mike Venezia, at 24 years old, is the youngest captain in the famed Florida Keys fishing fleet out of Bud n' Mary's marina in Islamorada. He's known by the pink boat at Boned Up Charters. Don't confuse youth with inexperience, though, because Mike knows his game, and he's knowledgeable, ambitious and motivated. Mike Venezia BY NICK HONACHEFSKY Young Gun

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