Capt. Chris is a 4th generation native of Key West, yes born and raised here in Key West. Chris has been on the waters of Key West all his life. He started commercial fishing stone crab when he was 12 years old. Chris had 50 stone crab traps that he used to pull by hand every few days after school. From there he spent many weekends commercial fishing with his friend Alex. Together they caught and sold lots of Snapper, Grouper, and King Mackerel. After high school Chris got his Captains license at 19 years old and started his light tackle charter business in 2000. Capt. Chris has been featured on ESPN, magazine articles, and has won numerous fishing tournaments in Key West. He is the only guide to ever win the Key West Shell Classic back to back 2005 /2006. Captain Chris has a long list of repeat clients that fish with him every year.
Before becoming a full time charter captain, Damon Santelli was a commercial fisherman in Key West for 10 years. Making a living catching fish with rod and reel has given Damon experience which cannot be matched. He has caught Snapper and Grouper in the summer and spring, and then puts 1250 lbs of king fish in the boat almost every day throughout the winter months. Giving up a full time office position to pursue his passion of a life on the water has proven to be a great decision 15 years ago. Damon has great patience and a calm demeanor to help guide you to a great fishing trip for your family and friends. With many commercial fishing records such as 1232 lbs of yellow tail snapper caught in one day, Damon’s trip is not one to miss! Please come join Fish Key West Florida and Damon for a fishing trip of a lifetime.
Our Valuable Team Members
Capt. Grant Laswell grew up fishing in his Kentucky home and after a stint in the armed forces, during which he served as a cavalry scout in the Army’s 19th Delta for four years, Grant decided to join his family in 2010 who had moved to Key West during his deployment. As soon as Capt. Grant arrived in Key West, he rekindled his passion for fishing. If there’s one thing Grant truly loves to do on a daily basis, it is fishing. Capt. Grant has become one of the most personable charter captains in Key West. Capt. Grant has quickly become a very high in demand captain for the Fish Key West Florida team. When you spend a day on the water with Captain Grant, you will come home knowing a few things about him like that he is an expert fisherman, and he is an absolute pleasure to fish with. Come spend a day on the water with Captain Grant, hear some of his famous jokes, and you will find yourself coming back year after year.
Capt. Cory Shepardson is like fishing with a friend. He will have you laughing and enjoying yourself from the moment you step on his boat. Captain Cory has been fishing the surrounding waters of Key West for over 15 years, knowing exactly where to go for all kinds of excursions and all varieties of fish species. He has a strong and dedicated clientele that have discovered the perks of fishing in Key West with such an experienced and friendly charter captain. Captain Cory is known as one of the best TARPON captains in Key West. He literally catches hundreds of Tarpon every year for his customers. After a day on the water with Captain Cory you will want to come back year after year to fish with him.
Capt. Nick Diorio has been fishing professionally in Key West for the past 14 years. Capt. Nick is a bottom fishing specialist. For years Nick was the Captain of the famous Florida Fish Finder. The Fish Finder was a 105′ 3 – 4 day excursion head boat that bottom fished the Dry Tortugas and surrounding areas. Capt. Nick now runs the Coolcast 36′ which is the largest boat in the Fish Key West Florida fleet. Along with bottom fishing Nick is very good offshore and has incredible eye sight that allows him to see birds and fish that no one else on the boat can see. From monster Mahi Mahi to Wahoo Capt. Nick has caught them all. Capt. Nick has become an excellent inshore Tarpon guide as well. Nick has a knack to capture some of the biggest Tarpon caught year after year. Fish with Capt. Nick and experience a day you won’t soon forget.
Capt. Colin is young and aggressive with a fish-anywhere attitude. At 33 years old Colin runs the Outcast which is the hybrid boat in the Fish Key West Florida fleet. Capt. Colin is an expert fly fisherman who grew up fishing in the Northeast. Colin has guided in Alaska and has now made Key West his permanent home for the past few years. Capt. Colin is an incredible inshore Tarpon Guide. I would say that Colin has probably spent more time in the world famous Key West Harbor the past 4 years than any guide in Key West. With one trip, two trips, and at times three trips a day, you will see Capt. Colin and his clients catching Tarpon. Capt. Colin and the Outcast is no stranger to fishing the reef as well. The Outcast has had more Snappers in its fish box over the years than any other boat at Charter Boat Row. This is due to the fact that it’s the only boat at Charter Boat Row with an unlimited south Atlantic Snapper / Grouper permit. The Outcast is quite simply a fish catching machine. You would have a difficult time finding any Captain who loves fishing more than Colin. He is the type of guy that will be fishing with friends on his day off. From novice to expert come join Capt. Colin for a day on the water that will last in your memories for years to come.
Capt. Derek Dipaolo has been fishing professionally in Key West for the past 10 years. Capt. Derek is a reef fishing specialist. For years Derek spent most of his time commercial fishing the reef for Yellow Tail Snapper and Grouper. With many days of all different types of conditions he had to produce Snapper and Grouper for the many markets and restaurants waiting for his fresh catch each day. Capt. Derek has also spent plenty of time offshore catching Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna and Sailfish as he worked for several years in South Florida on a sport fish boat. Wanting to be a well rounded fisherman Derek spent some time in the Outer Banks of North Carolina deep dropping on a 40ft commercial boat learning how to catch the wide variety of delicious fish that are in the deep ranging from 600 to 1000 feet of water. From reef fishing to offshore, deep dropping or Sword fishing Capt. Derek can flat out put you on any type of fishing we offer here in Key West. Capt. Derek now runs our newest boat the Coolwater II out of the beautiful Hyatt resort at 601 front street on the water in downtown Key West.