Gasparilla Outfitters


When you travel to a sportfishing destination, the last thing you need to worry about is your guide.

At Gasparilla Outfitters™ we like to travel and fish in other places too, so we completely understand your needs.

The guides we work with are independent contractors and simply among the best, most experienced, and dependable fishermen in the area. All of them are true professionals. If you know a captain on the list below that you would like to fish with, please request their service when you call and we will make every effort to “hook” you up.

Boat "Boca Blue" Pass Tarpon Fishing

Our Staff

Capt. Sandy Melvin

Capt. Sandy Melvin has been a full time professional fisherman in the waters surrounding Boca Grande since 1987.

In 1993,  he founded Boca Grande’s original Outfitters shop, Gasparilla Outfitters, along with his wife Robin and partner Judy Davis as a companion shop with Special Effects.

He specializes in Traditional Tarpon fishing in the Pass during season from his 24′ custom Morgan, “Boca Blue” and is a multiple time tarpon tournament winner.

He also guides in the Backcountry out of his 17′ Maverick Mirage with live & artificial bait, and flies for Snook, Redfish, and Speckled Trout.

Robin MelvinRobin Melvin’s love of travel is second only to her love of shopping. Special Effects for Women is the outlet where she gets to show off all the neat and fun home decorative items, gifts, and handcrafted jewelry she finds working with artists from around the country.

When she travels, Africa is a favorite, she likes to wear clothing that is stylish and comfortable, but before an item makes it into her luggage, everything has to be functional too. When you take a leisurely look around Special Effects, you will see a little of Robin’s personality in very corner.

Melina ChaplinMelina Chaplin is usually the first smiling face you meet when you stop in Gasparilla Outfitters & Special Effects and the friendly voice you often get on the other end of the phone.

As shop manager, she keeps tabs on all the day to day operations, from stocking the latest resort fashions for women, to booking your guide for the family tarpon fishing trip. She also accompanies Robin on buying trips to the retail markets and art shows, helping to find just the right look or the perfect gift.

Born in Fort Myers, she is a life long Southwest Florida resident and comes from a family with a distinguished history of commercial fishing Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor. In fact her son, two brothers and several cousins are now among the areas best guides.

She lives just off the island in South Gulf Cove with her husband John and spends her days off entertaining her grandchildren.

Affiliated Guides

Capt. Butch BarnhillButch is a long time local commercial fisherman and guide. He specializes in live bait backcountry fishing for snook, redfish, and speckled trout out of his 22ft Aquasport shallow draft bay boat.

Capt. Warren BarnhillCapt.  Warren Barnhill specializes in backcountry fishing for Snook, Redfish and Trout along with beach and harbor Tarpon fishing in season out of his 24′ Pro-line bay boat..

Capt. Mark BectonCapt. Mark Becton specializes in fly fishing the backcountry for Snook, Redfish and Speckled Trout. During Tarpon season he likes to sight fish for them in the Harbor and along the beaches with both flies and live bait out of his custom built flats skiff.


Capt. Jesse Bye specializes in fly fishing and live bait for Snook, Redfish and Speckled Trout in the backcountry. He also chases Tarpon around in season in the Harbor and along the beaches.

He fishes two boats, a 24′  TCraft  bay/nearshore and a 19′ Shoalwater skiff for the skinny backcounty waters.

Capt. Dave ChathamCapt. Dave Chatham was born and raised in the surrounding waters of Boca Grande. He specializes in live bait backcountry fishing for Snook, Redfish and Speckled trout. He also live bait Tarpon fishes the Pass in season and along the beaches and in the Harbor.

He has  a 22′ Pathfinder bay boat and a  31′ Morgan Pass boat.

Blake specializes in traditional Boca Grande Pass tarpon fishing out of his custom 24′ Morgan “Outta Line”. He also has a 24′ T-craft that he uses for the Backcountry snook, redfish and trout fishing.

Matt specializes in traditional Boca Grande Pass Tarpon fishing out of his 34′ Knight Bros. custom Pass boat, and his 25′ Parker for offshore fishing.

Capt. Frank DavisCapt. Frank Davis was born in Florida and grew up fishing the waters surrounding Boca Grande. He specializes in Pass Tarpon fishing aboard his custom 24′ Morgan “Native” from May through August. The remainder of the year he targets snook, redfish and Speckled Trout in the backcountry in his 21′ Lake & Bay flats skiff. He is experienced in both live bait and fly fishing.

You can reach Frank at:  941-270-1364

Capt. Roger GibsonRoger fishes out of  his 24′ Avenger bay boat for snook, redfish, trout, and tarpon in season. He also like to venture into the nearshore waters for permit and king mackerel when available.

Capt. Todd GilbertTodd specializes in Snook, Redfish, Trout and Tarpon. His boat is a 24′ Ranger bay boat.

Travis specializes in Traditional Boca Grande Pass Tarpon fishing aboard his 24′ Morgan “Family Tradition” and Live Bait Backcountry fishing with a 24′ Avenger for Snook, Redfish, and Trout.

Roger fishes for snook, redfish and trout in the Backcountry out of a 21′ Lake & Bay flats boat.

He also live bait tarpon fishes in the harbor and along the beaches in season.

Capt. Wayne JoinerWayne is a lifelong guide and multiple time tarpon tournament winner specializing in traditional Pass tarpon fishing out of his 24’ Morgan “Hey, Momma”

He also has a 24’ Morgan bay boat for backcountry fishing for Snook, Redfish, Trout and Charlotte Harbor fishing for Spanish Mackerel and shark.

Capt. Mark Liberman specializes in live bait Pass Tarpon fishing out of his custom built  26′ Storter “Phil-Jack”. He also fishes with live bait and flies in the backcountry for Snook, Redfish, Speckled Trout and Tarpon from his 21′ Yellowfin flats boat.

Patrick fishes out of a 24′ Privateer bay boat and he specializes in snook, redfish, trout and year round and beach/harbor tarpon fishing in season.

Capt. Waylon MillsCapt. Waylon Mills is a 4th generation local fisherman that specializes in traditional live bait Pass Tarpon fishing in season from his custom built 24′ Morgan, “Blaze”. He is a multiple time tarpon tournament winner.

He also likes to fish the nearshore wrecks and hard bottom areas for Permit, King Mackeral, Cobia and Spanish Mackeral out of his 24′ Morgan set up for offshore  fishing, “Cracker”.

Capt. Lew Morgan specializes in fly fishing for Tarpon during season along the beaches, the passes, and in the Harbor. The remainder of the year he likes to live bait and fly fish for snook, redfish, and Speckled Trout in the backcountry.

His boat is a 20′ Lake and Bay Flats skiff.

Capt. Eddie PotterCapt. Eddie Potter specializes in backcountry live bait and fly fishing for Snook, Redfish and Speckled Trout. He also likes to target the nearshore Gulf opportunities for King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Permit and Cobia when the weather and seasons allow. During Tarpon season he chases them along the beaches and in the Harbor with both live bait and flies. 

His boats are a 22′ Pathfinder bay boat, and a 20′ Shallow Sport for the skinny stuff.

Marty specializes in Nearshore and Backcountry Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, and Trout on his 24′ Avenger.

Capt. Jeff Watkins Sr. has been fishing the waters surrounding Boca Grande for over 35 years.

He specializes in offshore/deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico where he targets Grouper, Snapper, Cobia, Amberjack, and many more offshore species.

He also runs backcountry/inshore trips targeting Redfish, Snook, and Trout.

His boats are a 2021 28′ Parker CC for offshore trips and a 2009 18′ Shallow Sport for the backcountry/inshore trips.

Captain Will specializes in back country fishing with artificial and live bait out of his 24′ shallowsport flats boat.

We work closely with the local fishing guide community to best serve the interest of our clients. Some have large offshore boats, some have small skiffs. Some specialize in fly fishing, while others prefer to use live bait or artificial baits.

Whatever your preference, from a relaxing day entertaining the kids, to stalking a line class world record, give us a call. All you need to do is communicate what type of trip you would like to do and we will do the rest. We will match you with the best and experienced local guide that will suit your needs.