Hook ‘em and Cook ’em

June 30, 2016 | Tampa Downtown | Food

By Greg Jasso | Photography by Gabriel Burgos

Passengers and Crew
Anglers:
Shawna Wiggs, Group Publisher
Jillian Baco, Senior Art Director
Aubreigh Roth, Advertising Consultant
Scott Tennant, Senior Art Director

Captain:
Oliver O’Riordan, Tampa Fishing Charters

Photographer:
Gabriel Burgos, TAMPA Downtown Magazine

While walking along the Riverwalk a few weeks back, I noticed a group of people coming out of the backside of the Marriott Waterside Hotel. “The boat is right down here on the left,” shouted a man in shorts to the group. “We’ll be out on the water fishing in less than 15 minutes.”

Curious, I decided to do some research once I got back our Harbour Island office. I wanted to know if local fishing guides were now regularly docking their boats on the Riverwalk and picking up downtown visitors for fishing trips in the Bay. The answer: yes.

My research led me to TripAdvisor’s top-ranked fishing guide, Tampa Fishing Charters. Confirming what I saw earlier that day, their guides do indeed regularly use downtown Tampa as their launching point for fishing trips. So we contacted owner Captain Oliver and scheduled a trip for our team here at the magazine. To enhance the experience even more, we contacted Café Dufrain, the restaurant across the street from our office. We asked if they would prepare the fish we caught for dinner that same night. Or as Captain Oliver described it, “Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em.”

This is the type of outdoor-adventure-meets luxury experience you might expect if you’re staying at the beach. But downtown? Not until very recently has there been a market for it.

We documented our downtown fishing charter experience. And as you’ll see, this is the type of uniquely Tampa experience whose time has, finally, come.

GET FISHING WITH CAPTAIN OLIVER O’RIORDAN
Tampa Fishing Charters, Inc.
tampafishingcharters.com
813.245.4738

DOWNTOWN RESTAURANTS THAT WILL COOK YOUR CATCH
Café Dufrain, cafedufrain.com
CENA, cena-channelside.com
Malio’s Prime Steakhouse, maliosprime.com
Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar, tomaspain.com