Capt. Tom McLaughlin
Full-time Commercial Fisherman and Charter Captain
Cape Haze, Florida
Captain Tom was born with salt water coursing through his veins. After moving to South Florida in 1986 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, he spent every spare moment chasing snook, tarpon, sharks, sailfish and a myriad of offshore species from Palm Beach to the Keys. With over 20 years of saltwater fishing experience, he has what it takes to get you on to the fish of a lifetime. The use of cutting-edge technology, top-of-the-line equipment, diverse fishing techniques, a youthful willingness to try new things, and a strong commitment to lifelong learning as an angler and captain all combine to make Capt. Tom McLaughlin truly the next generation of Southwest Florida fishing guide.
“I believe a good Captain must wear many hats” he says.
“That of the patient teacher, die-hard tournament fisherman, weekend warrior, amicable tour guide, the friend on the water, and sometimes even a shoulder to lean on. It’s important to know when, and how much, to interject yourself into your clients’ experience, and when to just be a quiet observer. That’s something many in my line of work forget. This is not just a job about catching fish, it’s about providing a service that allows people to create memories they will take with them no matter where they go in life.”
“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Capt. Tom also feels very strongly about providing the experience that you want, not what makes him look the best back at the dock.
“It is important to remember that this is my clients’ experience, and they are the boss as far as I am concerned. If you want to catch tarpon from sun up to sun down, I’ll put you on tarpon from sun up to sun d
own. If you want to head offshore in search of a cooler full of delicious grouper, snapper, tuna or wahoo, I can certainly accommodate that as well. But at the last minute if you decide you want to have a really unforgettable day on the water, maybe a morning of great fishing, then head back to the dock and pick up the family for an afternoon cruise down the beach, throw in some sea-side dining perhaps, well, your captain should always be able to accommodate. I expect the unexpected, and I am always trying to make sure that people step off my boat with a big smile. My adaptability is what I think sets me apart. All the good guides can put you on great fishing. However, I can do the same and I’ll bet you have more fun doing it!”
During the Fall through Spring season he also operates Another Keeper Seafood, the only fisherman direct, environmentally friendly, and sustainable seafood company in the eastern Gulf. “Commercial fishing is something I have fallen in love with over the last few years. It’s sad to see such a storied existence such as that of the rod and reel commercial fisherman die off due the stranglehold the fish houses, brokers, wholesalers, and importers have put on these hard working, seafaring folks. When you try to catch, land, and sell your own fish it’s an uphill battle at every turn, but when you really have a love for the ocean and choose to make a living fishing you somehow find the perseverance to work through it. After a few years of work we were able to start creating a sustainable old-world or ‘artisan style’ fishing company that can operate in today’s world. So far it has been a great success!”
Capt. Tom McLaughlin currently resides in Cape Haze FL. Situated on spectacular Lemon Bay and just minutes north of Boca Grande Pass. He is a full-time, year-round fishing guide, commercial fisherman, husband and father. He can usually be found at the helm of his custom built thirty-two fool Sabalo sportfish plying the waters of Southwest Florida in search of bigger fish and even better spots, even on his days off. He is also a master scuba diver, free diver, and spear fisherman. His favorite meal after a long day on the water is a grouper sandwich and a cold beer and he’ll be sure to share one with you upon request.