"Finding a career path was a journey that eventually lead to what my father had inspired deep within myself from my earliest years", explained Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides.
Detailing nearly fifty years on Florida's east coast adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon, it's sister waterways bordered by barrier island dunes, mainland woods and the Atlantic Ocean crediting his father's earliest visions of raising a family as a career military officer and avid outdoors-man. "My parents followed the passion of my father as he led them to Florida during the 50's where he met and married my mother whom lived in a the small city of Oakland, west of Orlando while he was stationed at McCoy Air Force Base. They were whisked around for several years and eventually concluded their military transfers on Florida's east coast after West Palm Beach, four years of Panama's Canal Zone and bookending it with a tour in Vietnam. My dad always had his hand in fishing and diving when stationed near the ocean and managed to find time to get his family involved."
"Dad was a business man and never encouraged me to follow the outdoor passion he'd kindled in his son, whether it was intentional or not he'd fanned the flames by traveling the state of Florida, the Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America in pursuit of diving and fishing escapades. From my earliest memories, he pulled our boat to the Florida Keys staying at the Tropical Winds Resort in Islamorada in the 1960's and early 70's. Those days of snorkeling Hens & Chicken, Alligator Reef and fishing The Hump were an extraordinary inspiration in my pre-teen childhood. I still remember being left out of fishing trips because I was too young for dad's offshore fishing excursions in the Florida Keys where dad's wisdom was not always perceived well and being left at the resort did NOT settle well with this youngster, especially when older sister was spared and brought back stories and spoils from their daily adventures."
Richard's inspiration from his parents would not stop in the Florida Keys and would continue as his father would escort his son to the Bahamas, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Montserrat, Turks & Caicos Islands and even Jamaica where they stayed on a coffee farm in the Blue Mountains and rode tractors through the coffee plantation. "Dad even took us to Honduras and the Bay Islands off it's Caribbean coast during the height of the Sandinista war in pursuit of better fishing and diving. Dad's involvement and love of the ocean & family went hand-in-hand with every vacation he borne us on."
During the following decade, Richard would continue his passion for fishing and surfing on Mexico's west coast looking for waves each summer during his college years. "The years after high school I spent soul searching as the reality of life's provisions was cast upon me and my traveling was limited to what I was to provide for myself. I managed to arrange travel for college students while I worked at a West Palm Beach dive shop and this allowed me to travel to Cozumel, Mexico several times of the year and make a little money to boot. During the remainder of the year I worked to save for my annual Mexico surfing adventures which often last several weeks until I ran out of money and narrowly missed rush week at Palm Beach Atlantic College. Needless to say, Dad had inspired my appetite for travel in the Caribbean and abroad and I quickly learned how to feed that passion as a young man and moved back to the Space Coast after college where I continued my passion for fishing and traveling."
"Life is full of coarse changes and my first attempts at business were met with turbulence in the 80's as I muddled through selling Real Estate and spending frequent days turning to the sea. The call of the outdoors was more than I could bear as a young man and prospecting for sales leads often gave in to a day of fishing or the next big swell. It was obvious that work was conflicting with my passion for the outdoors but when I finally gave in it was obvious that I'd found a compass heading that would steer me permanently toward Charter fishing allowing me to reconcile my passion with provision." explains Richard
Passion is what Captain Richard shows when it comes to his fishing and life experiences..."From the time my anglers board our boats I'm reminded about many fishing and outdoors experiences I've had and try to relate them to the anglers on my boat. An experience where customers catch fish is one thing, but immersing them in an outdoor experience while they stretch a line is another."
Captain Gina is qualified in every aspect to take people on fishing charters, but this mother of two and wife of renowned charter Captain Richard Bradley, chooses to take friends and family on her fishing outings only.
Gina is a Coast Guard Merchant Marine Captain and lives in Cocoa Beach on Florida's Space Coast. Living near Daytona Beach and Orlando, Gina loves to fish, run and spend time with her family in the outdoors. Her favorite fish to catch is tarpon in the hot summer sun off Cape Canaveral and Brevard County, but inshore fishing in a canoe for tailing redfish in the Banana River's NMZ is a close second.
When Gina's not fishing, she's the booking agent for Lagooner Fishing Guides and helps several of her charter fishing captain friends with referrals. "The best part of helping my fishing charter buddies is spending an occassional day on the boat with them." Explains Gina. "Taking a day of fishing with friends! There's nothing like it and I can't get enough of it!"
More and more women are getting into fishing and it's not surprising to see a few that like to actually take the initiative and go out on their own or take friends with them. Gina is one of those unique anglers that loves the water and the outdoors and finds fun introducing her friends to a great day in the Florida sunshine.
Central Florida has so many unique opportunities for a woman that likes to fish and have fun. Mosquito Lagoon, Sebastian Inlet, the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River are just a few of the inshore places for a girl to get lost in a remote inshore waterway. Of course taking a day of nearshore and offshore fishing in the Atlantic Ocean is great too. Whether it's offshore fishing for cobia and king mackerel, inshore fishing for redfish and sea trout or nearshore for monster snook and tarpon you'll find Captain Gina ready and willing to take on the great outdoors and pull in another big one.
Sunday February 25, 2018
Florida East Coast Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing Captains
Inshore Lagoon and Deep Sea Fishing Guides
Upon contacting Lagooner Guide Services, you'll hear the pleasant voice of Captain Gina and know there is a warm helpful smile assisting you with your outdoor endeavors. Her husband, Captain Richard admits, "Without Gina, I'd be on the phone half the day setting up trips rather than focusing on the moment with my anglers." This husband and wife team have been working together for over 20 years making Lagooner Fishing Guides one of the premier outdoor activities in Florida.
Captain Richard's native knowledge of Florida Fishing and it's diverse species of gamefish allows him to share a life-time of knowledge and experience with his anglers. While attending Palm Beach Atlantic College in South Florida, Captain Richard excelled in marine biology and oceanography studies building on his natural fishing and outdoor abilities. Returning home to Cocoa Beach and starting a fishing charter business was as natural as breathing for this native Floridian.
Both Captain Richard and Gina are United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officers skilled in boatmanship. Captain Richard is our premier fishing guide while Captain Gina is the supply and chief petty officer responsible for schedulig trips and communications. Richard & Gina work in tandem to assure you and your party a quality fishing excusion that runs smooth and safely.
If you're interested in finding out more about Lagooner Fishing Guides, please fill out the form below and we'll contact you and send some information promptly.
Florida Charter Captain Requirements
In this time of change in the world economy, we've seen our share of new wannabe charter fishing guides popping up every few weeks. It seems that every local and semi local fire fighter or part-time professional wants to earn enough money to make their boat payment or spend their extra time fishing while using non-suspecting tourist to fund their endeavors.
Legitimate Charter Captains must maintain several things to make them legal and compliant on Florida waterways and ocean. Below are the minimal legal requirements to operate a Charter Fishing Company in the State of Florida.
A Business Occupational License
Coast Guard Captain's License (OUPV or better)
FWC Charter Boat Fishing License and Stamps
Liability/Property Insurance (at least $1 million)
NOAA Fish License(s) (if in ocean)
TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Card)
After 9-11 this is a required homeland security badge that must be in a charter captain's possession at all times while working on the waterways.
Proper Marine Vessel Safety Equipment
Commercial Vessel Registration
All water vessels & trailers must be registered commercially by the state of Florida.
Proper Permits for Restricted Waterways
Are you fishing on restricted waters? Better make sure your Fishing Guide is properly permitted.
CPR & First Aid (up-to-date)
Must have CPR annually and First Aid bi-annually
All Coast Guard Captains must belong to a random drug testing organization and must submit regularly to their requirements.
Before you get on the boat with your next charter, ask: Are you a full-time Charter Captain and do you have the proper and legal requirements for running a charter fishing business?
Published by: Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides©
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