The Salt Strong Story

By: Joseph Simonds on November 18, 2014
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salt strong story

Two Brothers… One Mission: To Help The World Catch More Fish In Less Time, While Creating Memories and Experiences That Matter”

So What The Heck is Salt Strong?

It all started with a vision in a hotel room in Chicago back in 2013 as the “Simonds like Diamonds” brothers (aka The Salt Strong Bros), decided that they would find a way to sell their existing business and invest everything into a dream of “creating the strongest fishing apparel and gear, helping the world catch more fish through fishing tips, all while creating and sharing experiences that matter”

Fast-forward to today, the dream and the Salt Strong story is a reality…

Joe and Luke Simonds have decided to sell their company in the financial services industry to focus solely on Salt Strong, they won’t accept anything but success with their vision, and they are incredibly excited to give the gift of being out on the water, of creating unforgettable memories, of uniting and bonding families, and of catching fish (and more of them) to as many people across the world as they can reach.

The Salt Strong Mission:

  • To help you, your kids, and your family catch more fish
  • To provide only the Strongest Fishing Apparel and Gear for Strong Anglers
  • To disrupt how fishing entertainment is consumed in America by showing you only the very best viral fishing videos, the best fishing tips, and the best fishing shows all in one place
  • Share incredible fishing stories, pictures, and videos in the Salt Strong Membership Community
  • To teach as many people as we can about the joy of fishing, as we truly believe people that know how to fish are happier, more fulfilled, and can pass on this important right of passage to their kids and grandkids
  • To give back to our community
  • Make you smile and enjoy every minute of it along the way
  • Create memories and experiences that matter

A Personal Message From The Salt Strong Bros

Joe & Luke Simonds

salt strong story

The Salt Strong bros with a huge Tarpon on the beach of Boca Grande

Not only do we give all of our own personal fishing tips, tricks, and how-to’s, but we will also be teaming up with some of the biggest and best fishing experts and fishing guides to teach you their best fishing “know how” as well.

And as you will come to see, we also like to have a ton of FUN, so expect to be entertained, and expect to leave our site with a smile on your face.

We are also very passionate about teaching as many people as we can reach about fishing as we truly believe that fishing is one of the most important gifts that anyone can give someone.

In our humble opinion, people that fish are happier, more well-rounded, and more appreciative of the ocean and the ocean’s beautiful inhabitants. We also believe that America needs MORE Tackle Boxes and Less Xboxes… and we intend on doing everything in our power to alter this shift…

We are also big believers in giving back, and we honor the men and women that serve our country and provide our safety and freedom by donating and raising awareness for numerous non-profit groups that serve the veterans and wounded warriors.

We all tend to forget that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to freely roam the waters and enjoy a day of fishing if these brave men and women weren’t out there fighting for our freedom and safety.

The other group that we will be raising awareness, personally donating to, and raising money for is The Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation, as our youngest brother Daniel has been confined to a wheelchair his entire life as he was born with Cerebral Palsy.

If you have never met someone with cerebral palsy, I highly encourage you to do it, as they are some of the purest and loving people God ever created.

the salt strong story

Our little bro Dan “The Man” Simonds with my oldest daughter Shauna

Who are Joe & Luke Simonds?

If you are wondering who in the heck we are, my brother Luke and I grew up in Florida, and spent most of our lives on the water fishing.

From tarpon, redfish, and snook fishing around Boca Grande, spending endless nights on Little Gasparilla Island fishing til our fingers bled, off-shore fishing off of Daytona Beach every summer, annual fishing trips to Marco Island with family and friends, catching boatloads of bass in central Florida where we went to high school (Winter Haven High shout-out), maxing out on lobster and dolphin in the Florida Keys every year, and even winning some money in fishing tournaments alongside the full time pros in Melbourne Beach, FL (that was 100% Luke by the way).

the salt strong story

Luke with a Nice Trout in a Fishing Tournament near Sebastian Inlet

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Luke and his fishing partner Nic Turner winning a SLAM

Long story short, fishing has been our passion, and many of our happiest and most memorable moments were had out on a boat.

Being on the boat and catching fish means a time where emails don’t matter, where there were no cubicles, no bosses, and no dress codes.

It is a time where none of the negative news in the media matters. A time that could care less if the stock market is up or down.

Being out on a boat fishing is almost as if time slowed down and all that mattered was enjoying the moment, instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind of today’s society.

To us, just the simple act of being out on a boat is the ultimate in relaxation, in freedom…yet still staying competitive by trying to catch as many fish as possible.

And for those of you that have ever had the thrill of catching any type of fish, you know that it is a thrill that is tough to explain to non-fishing folks.

Whether it is a monster trophy fish, or an under slot “small guy”, the adrenaline that hits you every time you have that “hit” on your line, is something that just never gets old.

And we hope to recreate those same kind of unforgettable experiences for as many kids, families, and friends as we can.

the salt strong story

Luke with two nice reds wearing his “No Bananas on Board” shirt

But Life Got In The Way…

You ever have something that you are so passionate about, and believed in so much, but for some reason or another you had to make sacrifices due to “life getting in the way?”

Well we were no different. At least I (Joe) wasn’t.

As Luke and I grew older, I moved to Atlanta, got married, then moved to Austin, Texas, then moved to Houston, started a family, worked like crazy, moved back to Atlanta, and only hit the water to go fishing a handful of times per year.

The only great news to this was that the company I was working for at the time had amazing trips all over the world (that I qualified for), and I was able to fish places like Cabo, Hawaii, Tahiti, Nevis/St. Kits, and many more.

the salt strong story

Joe Simonds and his 125lb striped marlin off the coast of Cabo, Mexico

But the normal, easy “day” trips that I could do while living in Florida were long gone (that tends to happen when you live in a city like Atlanta where the closest body of salt water is 4-5 hours away).

Luke was fortunate enough to stay very close to the water down here in Florida, but he had a corporate office job that kept him from being out on the water except for the weekends, and after work hours during the summer.

The Gasparilla Island Party

(that just won’t seem to go away)

Back in the year 2000 (when the world was supposed to end with “Y2k”), my brother and I were in desperate need of a good fishing trip. So we decided to take a week-long fishing trip on Little Gasparilla Island (with just two of our great friends Justin Bentley and Chris Fuller) that would end up becoming an ongoing tradition attended by people all over the world.

After about the 2nd day of doing nothing but fishing, drinking, diving, and smoking cigars, the four of us looked at each other and said this trip would be a whole lot cooler if there were girls.

So in year 2 we invited the first females.

And by year 5, we had over 50 people coming to our party from all over Florida, Atlanta, Chicago, and even California.

By year 7, we hit 75 Gasparilla Island partiers, and we knew that we had to make a change.

(If you have never been to Little Gasparilla Island, it can only be accessed by boat, so every piece of luggage, Publix run, late night pick-ups from people flying in late, trash drop-off, and every errand you can imagine requires someone driving the boat…rain or shine. Needless to say, it was usually either my brother Luke or I that had to do the driving and this got old really quickly when we were trying to fish).

In 2008, we moved the party over to Big Gasparilla Island, aka Boca Grande. Not having to pick up or drop off someone every hour was worth every penny in the higher cost of renting the homes.

It also meant that the party could expand, and that we could utilize a never before used Gasparilla party tactic – dressing up and hitting a local bar.

south beach boca grande

Joe, Richard, Val, Marley, and Loren dressed up at South Beach (Boca Grande)

I can only imagine the first year that 40 of us strolled into Boca Grande’s “South Beach Bar & Grill” dressed up in costumes and ready to dance our butts off, that the locals, visitors, and even The Boca Bande were wondering if they showed up the wrong night.

Our crew took over the dance floor, partied with the locals, and sang with The Boca Bande as if it was our first time drinking.

Today, the party still lives on and will be hitting its 15th year of awesomeness. Through hurricanes, kids, and cancer, the Gasparilla Island trip keeps on ticking…

And although this annual trip has provided its fair share of fulfilling my fixation to be on or near the water, it is still nowhere close to our dream of being on the water every week.

Note: We have now had visitors to the annual party from Florida, Texas, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Switzerland, New York, and England. And we had our first female “High 5” member (Kelly McDermott from Chicago) breaking the “Men’s Club” barrier for the first time. It was certainly bigger news than the first woman to join Augusta National…

One member (my best friend Doug Heslep) has made 13 out of the 14 annual events. The only event he missed was the first annual, but he has been as consistent as prune juice ever since.

Also, if you make it to 5 Gasparilla Island trips, you officially become a “High 5” member and receive your own custom “High 5 Jacket” to confirm just how elite and awesome you are.

the salt strong story

Joe, Kristin Hubbard, and Luke flaunting their “High 5” Jackets

The Next Chapter

Fast forward to the last few years, I started my own company and Luke left his corporate job in Melbourne, FL to join me.

We made some great money, made great friends, and had some incredible clients in the financial services industry. In fact, we downright had fun growing this business and working with some great people.

But we still felt as if something was missing.

We were our own bosses (which is great), but we still weren’t doing the one thing that we knew we were more passionate about than anything else…fishing and being out on the water.

We were working our tails off, but still weren’t out on the water even close to as much as we had imagined when we started our financial marketing company.

Needless to say, we weren’t 100% happy and content with this setup…

Our dream was to be able to fish whenever and however we chose…and we were nowhere close to being in that kind of position.

So we actually sold off our old company (it was official on Dec 31st, 2014) to pursue happiness and our passions.

That’s right, everything we had built and worked so hard for (not to mention our main source of income), we sold to follow our passion and dream of helping the world catch more fish.

The dream has evolved into Salt Strong

On January 1st, 2015 officially goes live after a ton of preparation and planning behind the scenes.

Luke and I are so excited to share all of our stories, how-to’s, fishing tips, pictures, and videos with you, and we also can’t wait to bring you some amazing courses from some of the world’s most skilled anglers going forward.

This site is just as much for the seasoned weekend fishing warrior as it is for the first time fisherman or fisherwoman, all the way up to the best fishing experts in the world.

And this site (and the company Salt Strong, LLC) is 100% owned and run by Luke and I, two ordinary, but incredibly passionate fishermen.

Another thing that we think you will love about the Salt Strong site is the fact that you won’t see banner ads, screaming loud sponsorship logos, and ads flying all over the screen when you are on our site.

This is 100% about becoming better at fishing without any of the obnoxious advertising fluff.

And if you are curious as to how we make money, it is by anglers like you buying our Salt Strong apparel and gear, along with some of our private fishing courses.

We know that everyone can learn something on this site, and we aim to empower you to become better angler, and to help you create amazing memories and experiences with your loved ones out on the water.

So just imagine how good it will feel to catch more fish every time you hit the water, imagine how rewarding it will be to never have to return to the dock or the marina empty handed, imagine how much more time you will have to enjoy with family and friends when you don’t have to waste time searching for bait or your target fish in the wrong areas, imagine how good it will be to not have to embellish fishing stories, and imagine the stories and unforgettable memories that you can create with your loved ones in the near future.

That is our goal for all of you with this site.

salt strong story

The Salt Strong Bros out on Luke’s Maverick

If you made it this far, here is what you must do next

Step 1

Click Here to become a FREE Salt Strong Member.

The Salt Strong Membership also gives you full access to some of our very best video tutorials including how to tie the best of the best fishing knots, how to scout out the best fishing holes in any area, and even how to successfully compete in tournaments against live-baiters while using just a handful of specific artificial lures.


Step 2

Click Here to claim your Salt Strong Pro-Vinyl decals (while supplies last)

Enjoy the site.

And let us know how we can help you get Salt Strong.

High Five!

Joe & Luke Simonds (like Diamonds)

joe and luke simonds

Luke and Joe Simonds circa 1982

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Ira Cohen
2 years ago

Great MOGAN Luke!

Sarah Talbert
4 years ago

I’m absolutely loving everything I’m reading about you guys! Love the family atmosphere and out on the water! Reminds me so much of our family.

Hugo Pena
4 years ago

What a great story. I envy you guys. Salt water fishing is one of my great passions & will be posting some pics in the near term. I am in the Houston area so I am not far from the coast. Look forward to many new great stores & pictures.

Jennifer Fulford
4 years ago

Hey Lukes & Joe! I just now read your entire story and I have to say I absolutely love it!! My husband and I grew up in Palmetto and now live in Winter Haven (job move)! Had no idea you guys were from here! We have fished all our lives and try to make it back to the saltwater whenever we can! I do love the chain here, although bass is not our forte! Lol Please let me know when the details for the Boca trip is! Sounds like great fun!! Wish you guys the best of luck in all you do! Jennifer Fulford

Brett Laws
4 years ago

Luke & Joe, what an awesome story. It’s a great thing to be able to do what you love. In my younger days, I had aspirations of being a professional bass fisherman but like you guys, life got in the way. Making a living, maintaining a home, marriage, etc. have certainly got in the way of me pursuing my dreams and my fishing. I’m usually only able to go fishing a couple times a month but now after reading y’all’s story, I’m going to figure out how to make my dream a reality or at least be able to fish weekly. The company I currently work for is based out of the Bradenton / Palmetto area and I travel there from NC every couple of months, I would love to meet and talk to you guys sometime soon. Thanks for a great website and all the awesome fishing videos.

4 years ago

Hey Luke, What a great story of you guys. I will definitely be watching your site and hope to be entering some pix. I’m not a Facebook user( and won’t be) but I seem to get by without telling everyone on the planet what I’m eating for breakfast.Marco Island is my favorite spot in the world. In 1976 I moved from DelRay Beach over to Isles of Capri to rent a room while I was running a business in Naples.I will never forget the first time I drove over the Jolly Bridge and started to explore Marco Island. Then I found “STAN’S idle hour” May STAN R.I.P. After a couple of years I moved back over to West Palm,Ft.Lauderdale, and back to DelRay.I to had to grow up so off to the business world. Till I retired 1st. time, and moved down to Goodland,Fl. in 1993 and fished the Marco and 10,000 Islands.I’ll leave the rest of the story for another time.I’m planning a fishing back country or Flats trip the end of this month for about a week. Any suggestions,Capt.s, and hot Locations tune me in. I’m living in Mid-Atlantic Coast now. Thanks Again for what you are doing for FISHING AND KIDS all over

Luke Simonds
4 years ago
Reply to  JACK

Hey Jack, thanks so much for making time to leave a nice comment! I look forward to seeing your Strong Angler submissions come in soon… and yes, it is completely fine that you don’t have a Facebook account for our tournament and for posting daily breakfast meals:)

How cool to see that you’ve spent so much quality time down in Marco! It sure is an awesome place. I’ve stayed in Goodland several times and really enjoy it too (tons of good snook and redfish down there).

As you surely know, the points of the outer islands and bars of the 10,000 islands often hold great fish throughout the year… I often run along the outside looking for the areas with the most feeding birds to help find the most fish (let the feathered pros point out the best areas). Best of luck on your upcoming trip!

Ed Colvin
5 years ago

Best of luck Joe!… Maybe contribute a clip from Belize waters this Feb.

Mel Crissey
5 years ago

My very best to you guys. I have joined and look forward to frequently visiting the site. I have already learned the FG knot. I live in San Antonio, TX and fish on the coast at Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, inshore, offshore and the vast flats in the areas.

Luke Simonds
5 years ago
Reply to  Mel Crissey

Hey Mel, we’re thrilled that you joined and found a great knot from our strongest knots contest. We’ll of course keep you posted if we find any better ones.

5 years ago

Would be 14 of 14 if invited year 1 or I guess if I could fish

Carolina Jantac
Carolina Jantac
5 years ago

Truly inspiring! Congrats to both of you for making your dreams a reality. Will spread the word here in the Tampa Bay Area. 

Luke Simonds
5 years ago

Thanks for the nice comment and for sharing with others in the area!