Florida Fishing Guides, Tarpon Fishing Charters in Florida


tarpon fishing guide Capt. Scott Hughes

cell (941) 628-4247
home (941) 575-2389

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Here's what some of my customers have had to say about fishing with me.

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Captain Scott Hughes has guided me, my father and my friends on numerous occasions.  I always recommend Scott as a guide to anyone I know.  In 2008 we fished 5 or 6 total days with Scott between May and August.  In July we fished for two days and hooked 19 tarpon and landed 9 of them over the course of two days.  This is impressive considering tarpon can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour to land.  Every time we have gone out with Scott our expectations were supremely exceeded!  You will notice that he never stops working to get you on fish!  When we first started fishing with Scott we were “tarpon virgins”…Scott did a tremendous job helping us develop our technique and angling abilities for these giant tarpon!  And you don’t develop skills without actually hooking up with tarpon and we did that through and through with Scott.  Whether you are new to tarpon fishing or a seasoned pro, Scott is your guy.  

 The boat that Scott uses for tarpon fishing is a perfect boat to go tarpon fishing on.  It has plenty of room and stability to make an all day trip very comfortable.  In fact, while at the marina, I was talking with another guide who was so envious of Scotts boat he called it the “cat’s meow”.  Enough said…

 I have also had the chance to go redfish and snook fishing with Scott, and just like the tarpon fishing, he works to make sure you succeed until the last minute!  

 If anyone would like a further 3rd party explanation of Scott’s abilities please feel free to email me at fhc03@hotmail.com.

-Fred Chandler

 Double hook up on tarpon in Charlotte Harbor 

Tarpon fishing in Charlotte Harbor near Punta Gorda


I have been fishing with Scott every year for more than 5 years. If you want to catch fish, esp. Tarpon, then you should book a trip with Scott.  My last trip the fishing was slow but we still caught 4 Tarpon and 1 Cobia.  Attached is a picture of a one of those fish.

Andrew Kolondra

Florida tarpon fishing charter

I've fished with charter captains in 5 states and at least a half dozen in Florida.  Capt. Hughes is by far the best.  He's not just a superb fisherman he's a true professional.  A good charter can't guarantee fish, it can guarantee an enjoyable trip with a knowledgeable captain who maximizes your opportunity to catch fish.  Scott knows the fish, knows the methods, and knows where each species is at on the day you fish.  He works tirelessly for the entire trip to make sure you have the best chance to catch fish.  Pair his professionalism & patience with top notch equipment & extensive local knowledge... it's an unbeatable fishing trip. 
Don't waste your vacation with bargain trips or forceful, inexperienced captains who promise the world and deliver a disappointment.  Take it from someone who's fished with enough captains to know.  Book with Capt. Hughes and have the trip of your life.
Feel free to call me for a first hand account of my charter experiences and I be glad to explain why Scott is your best bet.
Chris Kettler
Dorr, Michigan
616 681-2167

Chris Kettlers tarpon fishing charter

When you are picked up at the dock on a beautiful late May morning, on time and in a friendly fashion, with all "gear" ready to go....you know you're in for a good day. One expert cast of the net, just outside the bay and the live well is full of fresh, large threadfins. Tarpon was the target for Capt. Scott Hughes and myself.
Patience is always the key to any fishing success and Scott leads by example. What followed on that morning was a Red letter day as Scott located pods of large feeding Tarpon at the top end of Pine Island Sound, which resulted in a 4 for 4 hookup and release. They were big fish as well, with the biggest in the 200 pound range.
An unforgettable day with a first class guide, who I would recommend to anyone who is willing to listen and learn from a true expert.
Paul Voisin
A Brit living in Fort Myers




Having fished most of my life all over this continent, for almost every variety of fresh water fish, I became intrigued with the many stories I’ve heard and read about Tarpon fishing in Southwest Florida. Finally, this April I succumbed to those tales and went Tarpon fishing with Captain Scott Hughes.

Having fished with a few captains before, I was not totally surprised by Scott’s take charge attitude. He did all the normal things one would expect, but had an uncanny degree of attention to the small things. They are the things that let one catch, lose or even miss a tarpon, and they are not going to happen on his boat if he can possibly help it.

  After a few hours of drifting over secret sweet spots he knew of, and lowering or trimming the depth of the bait, the distance from the boat, the speed of the drift and countless other subtleties I probably missed, it was beginning to look like we may not strike a fish.

  After hours of Scott’s constant attention to winds, angles, rips, fish sightings and boils,  he suddenly decided we were among lots of Tarpon, put out more lines, changed depths. and distances of depths until all I could think was these were just obsessive wrinkles in this man’s psyche, and we would just have to listen and perform exactly as he asked until it was time to reel in and go home.

  Late that afternoon, well into our fifth hour of drifting, and ten dozens alterations of ways to do it, a Tarpon struck. Unknown to me, my two fishing partners had secretly decided that no matter which line the first fish struck, it would be my honor to take the rod and do my best with it.  (When and if you ever go Tarpon fishing, you will understand what a generous gift this was!)

Only seconds later, maybe milliseconds, the fish jumped, and in that furious, boiling, savage leap, all I ever knew about fishing changed forever. It was life altering! No fishing of any kind anywhere that I know of will ever match the power and fury of a Tarpon gone mad. Helpful instructions of my fishing buddies were silenced, and Scott stood by my side insisting on being the only instructor I was to have.

  I cannot tell anyone how long this fight lasted. I cannot tell anyone exactly how big the fish was. I cannot tell anyone how strained and sore my arms and chest became. I cannot tell anyone how many times I wondered how in the world any fish could sustain such power – and as it turned out – supremacy – for so long.  What happened was perhaps inevitable. No one scolded me. No one found any fault with what happened. The Tarpon was suddenly gone. As quickly as he came, he left.

  For reasons I don’t understand, I was not disappointed. I knew it would be released anyhow. I wished I had seen him just a bit closer at least once. I hoped we might even get a picture of him aside the boat before he was released. But none of that happened.

  What did happen instead was a completely new concept of game and sport fishing had been born, Yes, the trout and bass and pike and other fresh water fish I had pursued all my life would still be pursued. And so will the striped bass I love to chase. And so will other species I have been fortunate to fish. But…

  As I said above, a tarpon on the end of your line is life altering. You will not see fishing the same again, no matter how many decades of other fishing you have done.

  This is the experience of one fisherman, new to Tarpon, new to a captain who is as much a hunter as a fisherman, new to an experience this late in life that still has the power to change it.

  Do not say you were not warned!

  Jim Raymond

April, 2012



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