Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 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 46 of 83 | 47 Josh Collins, an avid fisherman and young father of four, started his business, Pensacola Saltwater Guides (PSG), when he was inspired by his own daughter. While working at a local hot spot, he met a lot of travelers and tourists seeking charter services. He noticed that although they wanted to go fishing, sometimes they had limitations that prohibited them from going out on a boat: an elderly man who feared falling, parents with small children, a young couple who suffered terrible seasickness. It then occurred to him that his own daughter, who had juvenile arthritis, was unable to go offshore because being on a boat, in anything but perfectly calm seas, could prove dangerous for her. Josh couldn't bear the thought that she, and others, might not experience the joy of fishing because they were shore bound, and from that, his business was born. Land-based guides certainly aren't unusual if you're fly fishing in Idaho or tarpon fishing in the Bahamas, but along the Gulf Coast of Florida, where charters are on charter boats, they're unheard of. So, what exactly is this land-based charter/shore-based guide? I wanted to find out. I met with Josh and he told me that aside from accommodating those who are unable or uncomfortable going out in a boat, they cater to those who prefer a land-based experience because of cost factors: solo anglers who prefer a solitary experience and don't want to pay for a boat; newbies who want to "test the waters" before committing to purchasing gear; experienced anglers who want to fish locally without having to purchase equipment that they wouldn't use "back home." And it's not just tourists. PSG caters to locals who want to go shark fishing from the beach at night and those who want to learn to wade fish or gig flounder. They even offer fishing birthday parties for up to 10 anglers. A fishing birthday party? Brilliant! I decided to hire Josh and PSG for my granddaughter's upcoming 6th birthday party and get more first-hand insight. Josh arrived early in the morning to set up the beach for the birthday anglers. By the time I made it down, he had a tent and table set up, 10 rods in rod holders waiting to be baited and a cooler with refreshments, ready to go. When the kids arrived, he gathered them around for a quick lesson, then patiently showed them how to rig the bait for pompano and what to do when they got a bite. The kids absolutely reveled in it and the parents loved the idea that their kids were outside, in nature, and learning something new. It was one of the best birthday parties we've ever had. I must admit that when I first heard of this new shore-based fishing charter, I was a bit skeptical. But the tide has turned. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." I say, "Find a way to give a person a chance to fish, and you'll change their life." And Josh has done just that. For more information on Pensacola Saltwater Guides, visit: or Left: Josh's daughter Madison with her first mangrove snapper. Right: Showing birthday guests how to put bait on a hook.

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