BIG Fish. BIG Heart. BIG Fishing Captain [With Capt. Mike Anderson]


I think the main goal as fishermen is to be able to catch fish. Our second is to be on the water as much as possible.

Some people are weekend fishing warriors like we were before we started Salt Strong.

Some people have figured out how to turn fishing into a full-time career and are doing it in a bunch of different ways.

It’s important for you to be able to take advantage of the time that you do have on the water – no matter how much that is.

We wanted to get the lowdown on the best way to maximize your time on the water if you’re a weekend warrior.

To do this, we decided to sit down and talk to a fishing legend – Captain Mike Anderson of Reel Animals.

We talked to Mike about his story and how others can maximize their fishing time.

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Captain Mike Anderson’s Story

Weekend Fishing Redfish

Captain Mike was born and raised in Wisconsin by a fishing family.

His dad worked at Mercury Outboard Motors and his Uncle was a champion walleye fishermen. Mike grew up fishing with his dad and his uncle who passed down the passion for the outdoors to him.

Captain Mike entered the military after high school and spent 3.5 years stationed in Germany. He played on the varsity basketball team during his time in Europe. He traveled all over the continent playing basketball with his team.

After his time in Germany, he was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL.

Soon after moving to Tampa, Captain Mike ventured down to a local Hooters and met a bartender he quickly fell in love with named Beth.

He married Beth not too long after that and the two have been happily together in Tampa ever since.

Learning To Love Saltwater Fishing

Beth was born and raised in Florida and introduced Mike to everything the saltwater had to offer — from beaches to fishing. He started to really get into saltwater fishing and developed a passion for catching redfish.

After learning how to catch redfish, Mike — who was always very competitive — started fishing redfish tournaments and was even at the very first IFA Redfish Tournament in Jacksonville, FL about 19 years ago.

The IFA Redfish Tour and other tournaments allowed Mike to combine his passion for fishing and drive to compete into one.

He got his captain’s license not long after starting to compete and picked up some sponsors for his fishing tournaments along the way. Mike quickly built a reputation in the fishing community. He became one of the most respected anglers in the business.

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Reel Animals Fishing

Permit caught on Reel Animals Fishing Show

After spending some time competing for a few years, Mike got his own radio show called Reel Animals Radio Show.

He talked fishing, had great fishing guests on and built a strong following for his Sunday show, which eventually turned into a Saturday and Sunday show.

His success in radio eventually led to the opportunity to host his own T.V. show where he features all different kinds of fishing in the southeast.

Now going into its 13th season, Reel Animals Fishing Show is one the most popular fishing shows in the world and can be found on the World Fishing Network, Fox Sports affiliates and other local channels.

Captain Mike says he is blessed for the life he has and the ability to be able to make a career fishing.

Check out the video of Captain Mike on Reel Animals hooking a floating bobber with a redfish on the other end:

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In this podcast episode, we sit down with Captain Mike to talk about all things fishing, including:

  • What it takes to become a charter captain
  • Challenges our fisheries face
  • How to maximize your weekend fishing time

Have any questions or feedback about this podcast episode?

Let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page!

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

Learn more about the Insider Fishing Club

Captain Mike Anderson On The Fish Strong Podcast

Weekend Fishing for Redfish

Click the play button to listen right here on our site or click either button below to go directly to iTunes or Stitcher to download the episode.

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Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

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How The Weekend Warrior Can Catch More Fish

Weekend Fishing Snook

We asked Capt. Mike what the main tip he would give to help weekend warriors catch more fish.

His answer was actually pretty simple: fish artificial lures.

Mike says that a lot of the time people could be fishing is spent trying to catch bait or buying the wrong kind of bait at the bait shop.

Since weekend warriors are pressed for time, usually only being able to get out once or twice a week, they need to spend as much time fishing as possible.

Artificial lures save the amount of time you would spend getting ready to fish and lets you keep a line in the water longer.

Mike says that being confident throwing a couple lures will be more effective in the long run than solely using live bait. Here are Captain Mike’s top tips for learning to fish with artificial lures:

1. Match The Hatch

Grab some lures that resemble the most prominent baits in your area. Mike, who lives in the Tampa, Florida area, loves throwing paddle tails and MirrOlure MirrOdines because they resemble whitebait that inhabits the area.

2. Book A Charter With An Artificial Lure Guide

There’s nothing like learning the techniques from a great captain. Mike says that booking a charter with a captain who only uses artificials can be a great way to get a jump start lure fishing. Seek out a guide that only uses artificial lures and find a good time to book a trip with him.

3. Get A Rod That’s Made For Artificial Lures

You want to get a fishing rod that is made for throwing a lot of casts and will be good for a light line and quick twitches. This will allow you to fish with lures longer without tiring your arm out.

Being confident throwing a couple lures will save you time. It will also give you more opportunities to have a line in the water, resulting in more fish.

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Challenges To The Future Of Fishing

Weekend fishing Woman

Captain Mike says that we face two big challenges to ensure the future of fishing is bright:

  1. Growth
  2. Conservation

Mike says as of now, the fishing industry is not big enough to really have an impact on the future of our fisheries.

In order to grow the fishing industry, Mike says we need to focus on getting more women and kids involved in the sport. Mike always does his part to try to get kids fishing and encourages you to do the same.

Check out the video of Captain Mike fishing with Kellen, Captain Scott Moore’s grandson, on an episode of Reel Animals Fishing Show:

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These are two underrepresented groups in the fishing industry. Finding a way to introduce fishing to them would only help fishing in the long run. It would get more people to care about fishing’s future as well.

The second challenge is conservation.

Right now, we are seeing issues with red tide, toxic water discharges, pollution and fish kills.

Mike says we as fishermen need to come together under one voice. We need to demand that our representatives and officials charged with protecting our fisheries do so.

A great way to do this is to get involved with organizations such as the Coastal Conservation Association. Another great organization is Captains for Clean Water.

Learn more about the Insider Fishing Club


Weekend Fishing for Redfish

We all want to maximize our time on the water and catch more fish. Following Captain Mike’s advice is a great way to do that.

These tips may seem basic but they really will make a difference in improving your fishing game.

Also, if you can, take a kid fishing today. That kid may someday grow up to be the one that saves our fisheries in the future.

To learn more about Captain Mike, check the Reel Animals website here. You can also see their Facebook page here.

If you have any questions about this episode, let us know in the comments below!

Tight Lines!

Related Posts: 

1. What You Need to Know on How Politics are Destroying our Fisheries

2. The Top 10 Tips to Catch Big Trout in the Surf [With Kayaking Kennedy]

3. Why Do You Fish? Finding Your Purpose and Fishing For Happiness

Related Course: 

Inshore Slammer Course

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Nick Nemeth
4 years ago

Awesome interview! Capt. Mike lives very close to me as I have run into him at Publix, fishing shows, as well as on the water. Super nice guy and has always taken the time to say hi. I was fishing an area for about an hr 1 day and never got a bite, Capt. Mike rolled up on it as I was leaving and I saw him stop. Naturally I had to stop and act like I was fishing a different spot but really I just wanted to see what he was doing. Well the problem was me and not the spot because I watched his clients catch 2 snook in 10 min in that same spot before I put my tail between my legs and moved on. Funny now but not as funny at the time.


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