My name is Captain Dave Irwin. I am a fourth generation Florida Keys resident and fisherman. My ancestors homesteaded a place which is now known as the Everglades National Park. They hunted, fished, and lived off of the land. They built the first buildings in Flamingo. My great great grandfather Steve Roberts was one of the first settlers in Flamingo. My great great Uncle Coleman Irwin had the only house with running water in Flamingo which was used a as a ranger station until 1960 when Hurricane Donna finally destroyed it. These people are now known as “Gladesmen”. In 1947 the Everglades National Park was established and at that time the “Gladesmen” were no longer allowed to live off of the land, so they re-established residency in the Keys where they could continue to fish for a living. My dad is still a charter captain to this day. Many of my relatives are still commercial and charter fishing the Keys waters today, including myself. Being a Florida Keys fishing guide is the most rewarding job a person could have.
I enjoy fishing the pristine waters of the Florida Keys from Marathon, the Middle and Lower Keys, Key West, and the Marquesas. The islands and backcountry hold many species of fish. Such species are Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish, Redfish, Trout, Pompano, Snook, Grouper, Snapper, Mackerel, Barracuda, Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Sharks, and Cobia. Most of these species can be caught year round. Sometimes of the year are better than others for certain species. Never the less, fishing is normally good year round. I chose to guide the backcountry for this reason. Its shear beauty can be breathtaking and I never get tired of being there and sharing it with others. I am looking forward to sharing a backcountry adventure with you.
"Fishing isn’t just a way to make a living for me; it’s a way of life."