Secret Spot Charters, Flats Fishing in Islamorada, FL

The Story of Captain Ted, Islamorada fishing guide

Sometimes truth really is more novel than fiction. In the story of Captain Ted Wilson, the truth is about resolve and dedication, as would be applied to his professional guiding career. You see, before Captain Ted would accept one penny from an angler for a fishing trip, he pledged to fish every single day for two years. And, as painful as it could be at times, especially with his captain's license in hand, Wilson held to his convictions.

Over 15 years later, Captain Ted is recognized as one of the finest backcountry fishing guides in the Keys.

Born and raised in Cocoa, Florida, Wilson attended the University of North Carolina-Ashville, where he played soccer and earned an associates degree. Wilson was quickly drawn back to his Florida roots and finished his college career at the University of Florida, majoring in zoology in 1993.

Secret Spot Charters, Flats Fishing in Islamorada, FL
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Captain Ted with wife Shirley

Two days after graduation, Wilson moved to Islamorada, fully intending to become a full-time professional backcountry guide.  It was then he made his pledge. Wilson took a job at H.T. Chittum & Co., selling clothing and fine fishing tackle. Hal Chittum, an extraordinary guide himself, was one of a handful of people who helped Wilson launch his fishing career.

“I learned so much about the backcountry from Hal, I could never thank him enough,” said Captain Ted. “Another man who I learned from was Dick Pope, Jr., who held several world records and pioneered many fishing tournaments in the Keys. He's a fantastic fly fisherman! Being from Florida , I have been catching redfish, snook and trout for as long as I can remember. As a youngster I would fish from the pier, in the Indian River as my mother always felt that was a safe haven. She also told me to do in life whatever would make me happy and believe me, I'm happy now! Thanks Mom!"

Captain Ted has competed in numerous tournaments including Cheeca Redbone, The George Bush Invitational Bonefish Tournament, World Bonefish Invitationals, Gold Cup Tarpon Fly Tournament, Golden Fly Tarpon Tournaments and many more. Wilson has been featured in ESPN Outdoors winning the Great Outdoor Games for fly-fishing, ESPN2's Subaru American Outback as well as in Florida Sportsman and Power Motor Yacht Magazine.

Captain Ted with two-year-old daughter Ali Beth

Now fishing out of Bud n'Marys Marina, Wilson enjoys the incredible variety of people he gets to bring onboard and introduce to the wonders of fishing the Florida Keys. No one enjoys exploring the Islamorada fishing grounds more than Ted's wife Shirley, who he married in 2005, and his daughter Ali Beth (born July 2007.)

“I have found morning and early evening trips to be very productive,” said Wilson. “Tarpon, snook and bonefish usually bite great early and late in the day. Besides that, anglers generally love the awesome sunrises and sunsets and the absence of other boats. I love relating to other people and many of my anglers have turned to good friends from all over the world.”

In addition to fishing, Wilson is an avid hunter. If he is not on the water in the Florida Keys, chances are you can find him several hours north in Moore Haven, Florida, running his airboat across the marsh of Lake Okeechobee hunting ducks, gators and frogs.

Watch video of Captain Ted helping his daughter Ali Beth catch her first snapper. Watch video here>>


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Captain Ted Wilson
Secret Spot Charters/All-Tackle Backcountry Fishing Charters
Bud n' Mary's Marina, MM 79.9
Islamorada, FL 33036
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