Warren Girle has been a Longboat resident for 37 years. He came here from Australia at 19 to be a tennis pro at The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort. He was also the Cedars Tennis Resort tennis pro for 24 years and has been a charter boat captain and fishing guide for 16 years. He thoroughly enjoys both sports, and they keep him on an even keel: Tennis is active exercise and fishing is relaxing.
What got you interested in fishing?
When I was about 4 or 5, my dad and I would pitch a tent on the riverbank and spend our time fishing. I still remember many things he taught me.
What fishing competitions have you entered, and how did you place?
I have entered a lot and have won several. In 1980 I won a shark tournament with a 764-pound dusky shark caught off Longboat Key. It was a world record. In 1999, Jules Rauch and I were “Anglers of the Year” in a redfish tournament sponsored by the Inshore Fishing Association. In 1994 to 1995 I was “Angler of the Year” in Bass Anglers Society of Sarasota tournament.
What kind of fishing gear do you use?
Always Daiwa rods and reels.
Where is your favorite Longboat Key fishing spot? Why?
It is the north end of Longboat Key. There is little boat traffic, and it is a great area for redfish, speckled trout and pompano.
What is your all-time favorite fishing memory?
It happened about 12 years ago. My wife, Kathy, and I were fishing off the coast of Costa Rica, and she caught a 110-pound sailfish. I pulled in one less than 100. I didn’t take her picture, and she has never let me forget it.
What is the most beautiful place you have ever fished?
It has to be the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is tropical and similar to Longboat Key. I last fished there five years ago.
Do you catch and release? Do you keep them and cook them? Have you a favorite fish and recipe?
I release about 98%. I occasionally keep a pompano, because Kathy makes a great baked recipe for it.
If you could go fishing with any person, dead or alive, who would that be?
It would be my father. I’d love to show him what I have learned about fishing and would want to show him the fishing areas here in the States.