The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 10 No. 34 - May 26, 2010

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Fishing with Captain Randall Fowler

From the May 19, 2010 Issue
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Annie Flanagan with one of many nice trout she
landed while fishing with Captain Randall Fowler.

I grew up fishing with Captain Randall Fowler, or, more correctly, he grew up fishing with me. I remember clearly running across Sarasota Bay into a strong northwest chop in (father) Randy Fowler's tri-hull skiff. It was a cold, blustery day with young Randall huddled on one side of the console and his sister Elizabeth on the other. We would fish in the worst weather, and it's amazing that fishing would one day be such a big part of Randall's life. I would like to take some credit for the fish finding abilities that Fowler has developed, but the truth is he's become a better angler than me.

Over the years, we stayed in touch as he grew up, married and had two children of his own. When he started a charter business I fished with him a number of times and he never failed to deliver. Not only can he find fish, but he also has that "boat-side manner" that keeps clients coming back.

A couple of weeks ago I chartered Fowler for a half day to take some business associates fishing, and, as usual, he made the details easy for me. We agreed on a time, and he had a live well full of frisky shiners when we met him at the dock. Our first stop was on a grass flat along the edges of Tampa Bay where Fowler had been finding some big trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. It took a couple of moves to get on just the right area of grass, but when we did, the action was hot and heavy. Annie Flanagan was the first to connect on a fat trout of about 18inches and soon followed up with a Spanish mackerel and another trout. Pat Lapham was a bit behind Flanagan most of the day, but soon he was hooked up to a nice trout too. For the better part of two hours, both caught large trout and an occasional Spanish mackerel. The bluefish didn't materialize, but the action was non-stop until we decided to move in an attempt to find redfish. We tried several spots and did manage to find a nice school of reds, but were unable to coax them to bite. We finished the day with plenty of fish for everyone to take a fresh meal home to their family. To book a charter with Fowler call him at 941-238-8925.

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