For the last twenty years Capt. Butch Rickey has been one of the area's top full time native fishing guides fishing the Islands. His knowledge of the local waters, years of experience fishing the Islands, specialized fishing kayaks, and strong work ethic, combine to give you a kayak fishing experience you'll never forget.
A changing world which has brought us a poor economy and high unemployment resulting in less discretionary income for the last several years has now been further exacerbated by a mass exodus from southwest Florida in reaction to the mainstream media hype over the BP oil spill. The changing economics are forcing a change in the way I do business. I firmly believe that the guide business in southwest Florida is undergoing changes that may be permanent. When the smoke clears the only guides left standing will be the part-time corps that is made up primarily of our brave fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and EMTs, as well as pensioners. They don't HAVE to make a profit to stay in business. The day of the full-time guide who only guides from his flats boat are all but over. There are just too many folks who have had to tighten their belts out there, and there's more tightening to come.
Back in the late 90's I had a kayak fleet. Kayak fishing is so much fun! But, I think I was ahead of the curve. Kayak fishing was just coming on the scene, and did not have wide acceptance. There weren't a lot of options. People with back issues and not in good physical condition would likely not even consider kayak fishing. But, as with computers, cars, and most things we use today, kayak technology has advanced greatly over the last ten years or so. Todays kayaks are more stable, dryer, more maneuverable, and can be fitted with a wide array of options like trolling motors, outriggers, pontoons, fish finders, baitwells, leaning posts, etc. If you can think of it, it's probably out there.
Today, kayak fishing has gained wide acceptance as a fun, inexpensive, and even most efficient way to stalk shallow water fish with stealth in comfort, and are a great alternative to wade and powerboat fishing. Two of the greatest advantages are that it's highly mobile, and half the cost of a tradition guided trip from a flats boat. If there's an area you want to explore and fish between Estero Bay and Tampa Bay, we can easily go there and have a blast. So, for all these reasons, the yak is bak at BarHopp'R. I hope your sense of adventure will lead you to try a day of kayak fishing on the kayak of your choice on your next visit to southwest Florida.
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