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Captain Tom grew up in Michigan, graduating from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Mt Clemens, and then on to Ferris State University for Marketing and Advertising. After college, he enlisted into the US Army and became a combat medic stationed in Vilsek, Germany. After his tour ended in 1993, he came back to Michigan and enrolled in Macomb Community College to study nursing, and worked at St John’s Hospital in the Emergency Department for 2 years. 

During this time, as a reward for doing some landscaping for his parents, he was given a fishing trip with local fishing captain Billy Wright in Leland, MI. They quickly became friends and shared their mutual love of fishing and the water. Captain Billy knew a captain that needed help, and made an introduction to Captain Steve Otterbein on The Sea Dog. In the off season Tom was a builder, and worked for the Leelanau Twp. Fire & Rescue Department.



As the next season was about to start again, he got a call from Captain Billy, with an invitation to be his first mate. The next spring, when Captain Billy bought his new boat, Tom bought the old one so he could charter under his Captain’s License and use the world of information he had obtained from his captain mentors and his many years of fishing experience growing up on the waters of Lake St. Clair.

Captain Tom and his wife Jennifer, a nurse practitioner, had been coming to Ft Myers for several years to visit her parents during the winter, and both had fallen in love with this area. In 2014 the opportunities here for healthcare professionals was great for Jennifer, plus the kids were at an age where if they were going to make a move the time was right. The clincher was that the fishing season was year around. So they made the move and settled in.

Captain Tom has spent a lot of time on the water and talking to the other captains and local fishing enthusiasts before coming here, but now that he can spend 12 months a year on the water, he has certainly expanded his knowledge of the area. He knows where the fish are and how to get them into the boat. He also knows where you can find dolphin, manatee, and all those “secret” places that even most of the locals have never seen if you want to see the real backwaters or find great shells. He also loves taking people out for sunset cruises or day trips, so he really is an all-around resource for anyone who loves the water.

Captain Tom’s wife Jennifer is now a cardiology nurse practitioner at Lee Memorial. They have 3 children; a daughter who is 23 and 2 boys aged 5 and 9. In their free time, they love anything they can do outdoors as a family, including going to the beach, riding bicycles, hiking, and of course, fishing. 

Carter's Fishing Charters
Lee County Florida


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