In it for the Long Haul

By: Capt. Bruce Andersen

In the spring of 1994, I left my home on Long Island, New York, in a 20-year-old motorhome and headed south towards the Florida Keys. As a 19-year-old kid there was a lot I didn’t know, but I did know that I wanted to be a fisherman, and I wanted to try to make it in the sport fishing capital of the world, Islamorada, Florida. I had spent most of my teenage years mating on charter boats up in New York, and I always heard about the great fishing down in the Keys and wanted to see it for myself.
I rolled into the Keys in April 1994, which would be 30 years ago this month. I managed to make it as a fisherman here in the Keys and I’m happy to say that here I am 30 years later having shared my love for fishing with thousands of customers and friends. Looking back on my career as a charter captain, I have been reflecting on a lot of my longtime customers. Luckily, I recently had the opportunity to fish with several of my oldest customers over the last few weeks.
One trip that stood out was my customer John Henry from Ohio. John has been fishing with me for over 20 years and I still have a great picture of his daughter Jessica when she was just a young teenager with a tarpon she caught. She’s now all grown-up and has kids of her own and pretty soon they’ll be old enough to start coming out fishing with us too. I was able to take John, Jessica, and a few other members of the family out this week. We had a great day, catching a variety of species, including John’s first Florida Keys sailfish! The fact that John has been out with me dozens of times over multiple decades and can still catch something new is a great example of the amazing variety of fishing available to us in the Florida Keys. Over the years, John and his family have caught tarpon, tuna, mahi, king mackerel, mutton snapper, amberjack, and dozens of other species and even after all this time there are still new fish to catch and new experiences to be had.
Seeing multiple generations of the same family grow up right on your boat is one of the special parts of being in the charter business for so long. It’s the kind of thing that really makes you appreciate those longtime customers that hang in there with you through the years. I don’t think I’ve got another 30 years in me, but I’ve still got a lot of gas left in the tank and I’m looking forward to meeting even more families and showing them what fishing here in the Keys is all about. Call me and let’s go out fishing together!

You can reach Captain Bruce Andersen at Capt. Easy Charters,
MM 85, call 305.360.2120 or email at: