Get to Know Bo Johnson

Get to Know Bo Johnson

Episode 3 of JP DeRose Breaking Boundaries introduced viewers to Bo Johnson, the owner of Tenacity Guide Service in Pine Island, Florida. He’s won many shark, redfish, and tarpon tournaments over the years, and he serves as the perfect guide to teach JP how to apply his bass angling skills to a new species.

As an avid angler of the above species (and many more), Johnson has built a reputation as one of the best guides in Florida. His time on JP DeRose Breaking Boundaries taught him a valuable lesson: "I learned that no matter where an angler normally fishes and no matter what species he/she fishes for, if they're good at it, they can excel in any body of water."

Indeed, the bodies of water that Johnson fishes are, in his opinion, some of the best on earth.

"I believe we have one of the most diverse fisheries in the world," he says. "And if you come here to fish, whether it's your kids' first fishing trip, or you're an experienced angler, we have everything you need."

Johnson was kind enough to answer a few questions about some of his experiences as a fishing guide.

Tell us about how you got into guiding, and what advice would you offer to someone who wants to become a guide?

I began Gator Wrestling, Venomous Snake Shows, and Airboat Tours and had to have a Captain’s License. After that, it just seemed like the logical thing to do!

As for advice: everyone thinks this is a dream job until the dream becomes your job. For those of us who still think it is a dream, we have made the right career choice.

What species of fish do you primarily target, and what is your peak season?

We primarily target whatever a client wishes to catch. It seems that the majority of our trips are going after the bigger species - sharks, tarpon, goliath grouper, etc.

In southwest Florida, the fishing season happens to be year-round, with a few species more abundant at certain times of the year.

What is the story behind the biggest fish ever caught by one of your customers?

A client of ours contacted us to go shark fishing. We were drifting Boca Grande Pass with cut bait when a monster hit! An hour-long fight ensued and a huge 9-foot bull shark came to the surface. He was too big to put in the boat for pics, but we got some great shots of him in the water.

bo johnson shark
Photo courtesy of Tenacity Guide Service.

Who is the most famous celebrity/athlete that you have taken out fishing?

JJ Watt (NFL-Houston Texans), Kevin VanDam (Bassmasters Elite Series Pro), Travis Turner (T-Bone Outdoors /Bone Collector TV show), Tred Barta (Outdoors Industry Celebrity)

What should someone ask a guide who they are planning to book?

I think they should tell them what they want, then ask the guide’s opinion on what would provide them with the best trip they can get.

What’s on your ‘bucket list’ of fishing trips/experiences?

Catch peacock bass in S. America and bowhunt red stag in New Zealand.

See photos from Bo's episode of JP DeRose Breaking Boundaries here.

You can find out more about Tenacity Guide Service here.

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