Full Circle

FULL CIRCLE

Present Owner-Operator of Genung’s Fish Camp Returns to His Roots; Has Lifelong Ties to the Area

A Long History:

Adam Morley smiles softly as he looks out across the Matanzas River and reminisces about his early connections with Genung’s Fish Camp. “I grew up just over there across the river. My brother and I would ride our bicycles over the Highway 206 bridge to come here and buy bait.” As Adam got older, he made leaders in a shop on the property in exchange for store credit.

That would have been when the original owners, Jack and Mary Jane Genung, still operated the fish camp they first established in 1948. After the Genungs died in the mid to late 1990s, the camp was taken over by a series of commercial operators. Adam, then in his late teens, stuck around and was hired to provide local fishing background that the new owners lacked. He got his Captain’s license and started his guiding career here, running sunset fishing charters and kayak tours.

Back to Basics:

Adam and his wife Janine took over in November 2017 after hurricanes flooded the property two years in a row. The youngest-ever operator of the camp has a deep appreciation for its history, so intertwined with his own memories. His primary focus now is on fishing. He is concentrating on expanding the inshore bait and tackle shop, offering both live and frozen bait and general marine supplies.  And people are responding. Thirty percent of their new business comes from social media, but plenty of old-timers have returned as well.

Adam is a staunch advocate for fishermen’s rights; not just to fish, but to have clean water to fish in. The small marina on the property is the home of “The Litter Gitter,” a pontoon boat specially modified for water borne trash cleanup. The number one thing Adam finds on these trash pickup trips? Plastic bags. That’s why he installed an icemaker on the premises. He sells ice by the 12-pound bucket, conveniently dumped directly into your cooler – and eliminating the possibility of plastic ice bags ending up in the river. Also, Genungs’ bait shrimp is food-grade quality and is wrapped “old-school style” in butcher paper (not plastic!)

Looking Forward

Adam’s vision, in true Old Florida style, is to build a fish camp that is centered around fishing but is more than a simple bait and tackle shop offering kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, rentals, and tours.  At Genungs, Adam is more interested in building relationships and awareness than selling products. He sees the location as a family-friendly community hub. Along with his tenant the Riverkeeper they hope to maintain some local traditions. Adam and Janine host live music events and sunset celebrations where people can bring their own chairs and just sit on the dock and enjoy the unspoiled view that hasn’t changed much since the place was established back in 1948. Their vision is to preserve this majestic fish camp legacy for their young son Elon to enjoy and embrace for many generations in the future. Gengung’s Fish Camp is a must-see “Old Florida style” destination located at 291 Cubbedge Rd., St. Augustine, FL (near A1A and Hwy 206 at Crescent Beach.) Call 904-907-5742 or visit www.genungsfishcamp.comfor details.

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