My Story

My passion for fishing began along the coast of North Carolina. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t have a fishing rod in my hand. My parents have pictures of me fishing before I could remember fishing. This love for the outdoors led me to pursue an education in environmental studies which included a semester at UC Santa Barbara studying coastal land use. I became a fishing guide because I love to share the experience of the outdoors with people. Spending an average of 250 days on the water allows me to share a wealth of knowledge I’ve gained over a lifetime of outdoor pursuits.

One of the reasons I love guiding out of Southwest Florida is that it’s one of the last Lewis and Clarke type locations. In a thousand lifetimes you could never see every piece of water in the Everglades. With the Ten Thousand Islands to the south, Estero and Pine Island to the north, the constantly changing dynamic of nature in this area is constant state of flux. It forces professional guides to never settle for an average day.

Even when I’m not on the water I’m fishing in one way or another tying jigs or tying flies or networking with the fishing community. My personal quest to find the latest in fishing tackle, boats and manufacturing has also resulted in many productive relationships with some of the industry’s most respected manufacturers. With more than 2500 days on the water over the past ten years, I often find myself searching for tackle that doesn’t exist yet. This quest has led me to create my own. Currently I build custom rods and tackle for my charter clients.

I’m happy with a good day on the water, but I constantly strive for a great day on the water. I look forward to heading out soon with you.

My Story
My Story

Quick Facts About Capt. Kevin Merritt

Orvis-endorsed backcountry fly fishing instructor since 1999
USCG Master Licensed Captain
Noted national speaker on fishing, fishing destinations and the fishing industry
Four-time Inshore Tournament of Champions qualifying guide
Credited with two IGFA world record catches on fly tackle
Frequent competitor in local and national level tournaments
Author of travel articles on fishing, the fishing industry and fishing destinations
Frequently featured on local and national television and radio shows
Head instructor of Naples Ving Tsun Kung Fu Charter School