My World - Billy Clyde Alstrom

By Beau Denton Photography by Brian Braum December 1, 2011

Charter captain Billy Clyde AlstromHow did you become a fishing guide? I’ve been fishing from Siesta Key to Tampa Bay since I could hold a pole. My mom and dad claim that my first word was “fish.” As soon as I turned 18 I got my captain’s license.

How’s business? During season, I’ll have a whole week booked up and double on some days. I’m on the water seven days a week. Whoever I take fishing normally comes back—a lot of my clients this year were people I took last year. I do commercial mullet and stone crab fishing as well.

What do you usually catch? Redfish, snook and trout. And tarpon fishing was amazing this year. That’s the silver king—they pull harder and test you more. We live in the fishing capital of the world.

Your favorite spot? Right in the middle of Sarasota Bay. You’ve got old-school Cortez and all the big condominiums at the beach. The water’s beautiful everywhere, and the fishing is great.

Any close calls? The first time I took out one of my regular clients, I saw a really big goliath grouper by the bridge. I dropped down a live barracuda for bait and hooked it, and it wrapped me up in the piling. When I went to get my line unwrapped, I ended up getting pulled off the boat and stuck on the piling. I kept hold of my reel, but I lost my hat. My client says that was the most exciting trip he’s ever taken.

What if it rains? The worst-looking days are the best, because nobody’s on the water scaring the fish. Everything is still, and it cools you off. Nighttime fishing is another thing I enjoy. During the day I fish for more numbers of fish, and at night I go for quality.

What keeps you coming back? Knowing that your next cast could be the biggest fish of your life. When I’m on the water, I’m happy. Naturally high. I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink—I turned 21 this year, and I went fishing for my birthday.

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