By Debbie Flessner
Sarasota native Dawson Day says he has been fishing since he could walk.
The son of Siesta Key Fitness Center owner Bruce Day, he may have grown up in a gym, but his heart was always on the water. That’s why, when he got his Captains’ License at the age of 18, he immediately began working for a fishing charter boat company. After four years, he was ready to start his own business.
In November, he founded CATCH Sarasota Fishing Charters.
“When I was working for the other company, I ran boats of all different sizes, both inshore and offshore,” he said. “A lot of what I do is also ‘Captain for Hire,’ for other people’s boats, when they want to hire someone with experience.”
Day already had the knowledge of the business and the license, he just needed to buy his own boat. He found the perfect vessel in a beautiful 22′ Pathfinder Tournament Edition, with a powerful 225 horsepower, Yamaha 4-stroke motor. Equipped with a Power Pole, Trolling Motor, Jack Plate, and T-Top.
Though he can legally fit up to six passengers on his new charter fishing boat, Day says it is a more comfortable trip with four. He provides all of his customers with top-of-the-line fishing gear, from St. Croix Rods to Shimano Reels, and, of course, his expertise.
“The nice thing about going fishing with me, is you step on the boat, you go fishing and you step off the boat.”
What that means is that after passengers meet Captain Day at Bay Island Park or the 10th Street Boat Ramp, their “work” for the day is done. He will take them out from four to eight hours on his boat, to all of the most rewarding fishing spots in the area. CATCH provides a cooler full of cold drinks and all the bait and gear needed for the day.
Best of all, the conclusion of the trip will be worry-free.
“It’s my job to make sure we have all the tools necessary for you to have a productive day of fishing.”
Day’s first child was born in September, and he says that momentous occasion inspired him to venture out on his own with his fishing business. Having always had a soft spot for children, he says he finds his experiences out on the water with them some of the most rewarding.
“I especially like to take kids out fishing,” Day said. “Seeing them catch the ‘fish of a lifetime’ and smile and have a good time is what it’s all about.”
Day especially enjoys imparting his knowledge of fishing the area waters with people he takes out on his boat, and says he continues to learn every day, each time he puts his boat in the water.
Day said that eventually, he plans to perhaps add a few more boats and build a CATCH fleet, but for now, he is more than happy with what he has.
For Day, taking as many people as possible out fishing and making sure they catch a lot of fish and have fun is as good as it gets.
“Growing up, I always had the thought of owning my own business,” he said. “I decided a long time ago that I wanted to do something that just made me happy.”
CATCH Sarasota Fishing Charters rates are as follows: $110/hour for 4 to 6 hours and $100 for 8 hours. Included in the price are: water, cooler w/ice, fishing license, tackle and bait, first aid kit and safety gear, as well as fish cleaning and bagging at the end of the trip. Recommended to bring: hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, food/snacks. *Seasonal Tarpon trips and fly fishing trips are also available, call for pricing.
For more information, or to book a charter with Captain Dawson Day, visit the website at www.catchsarasota.com or call 941-586-0204.