By Marcy Shortuse, from Boca Beacon archives
Inset story by Tim Seibert
One of the most memorable events of fishing in Boca Grande Pass isn’t necessarily seeing
your tarpon jump or a fabulous sunset. For many, it was the first time they saw a full drift
of old inboard tarpon boats making a drift with the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse in the
background. There’s something about these old-fashioned, wide-bodied boats that suggest an earlier
time, and a romantic notion of days past.
Most locals can see them as little more than a dot on the horizon. The majesty of the Casuarina,
Sitarah and Miss Sarah, the shorter, squattier Seahawk, the Morgan boats and many more call to
anglers once they’ve sat in the chair, smelled the diesel and felt the sun on their back as they hold
the rod across their lap.
Some island residents are more into pleasure boating, but the old wooden boats are still very
popular in that venue as well. It’s a treat to see The Hank leisurely cruising down the Boca Grande
Bayou, looking as if Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey will emerge from the cabin at any
moment. There’s a lot of history in boat-building around here, and we thought we should share
some of our favorites with you.
July/August 2018 GASPARILLA ISLAND 47