Old School Chartering By: Paul Presson

He is like a good majority of us, doing the nine to five grind to make a living. While sitting at work, he hears the whisper–Mother Nature telling him he should be on the water. For many with a young family, just making it through the work week is a challenge. Somehow, he fits both in, chartering canoe and kayak trips on weekends to share this wonderful experience with others.

As the sun begins to rise, the canoe is at the ready. He takes a moment to admire his 17-foot Coleman canoe outfitted with a Minn Kota 40-pound thrust trolling motor. The rear seat is a standard bench and the front (client) seat is a very comfortable chair with a back. Being a lover of bamboo, using it for the rod holders is a very cool feature.

Time to shove off–these are not your typical fishing grounds–this is Ozello. When the sun exposes the view, the magnificence of the wildlife, mangroves and spoil islands are breathtaking. Within minutes, he is on his first drift pattern. Trout are his absolute favorite target. The water depth of four to five feet with amazing clarity, healthy sea grass and endless potholes, makes this an area “target rich” for all inshore species.

After catching some trout, it is time to hit up the massive oyster beds for reds and snook. In no time, fish on–a beautiful rat red. As in any scouting trips, he ventures to new places to find that new “honey hole” for his clients. Another successful outing and the fishing day comes to an end.

Travis Roberts runs a unique operation, with his canoe being powered by a trolling motor. This means he has to have all of the charter fishing credentials. This is an advantage to his clients as they do not need a fishing license to go out on the canoe with him. Travis also charters kayak nature tours and fishing trips. For this, a client will need a fishing license.

Travis is a great guy, personable, safety conscious and he can put you on some fish. If you are looking for an incredible adventure on the Nature Coast, the company name is “Happy Place Adventures” and his contact number is 352-634-1923.

Thank you so much, Travis, for a great day on the water!