These are the podcasts that I believe are the top shallow water fishing podcasts. I’m subscribed to these podcasts and listen regularly. I thoroughly review each podcast and host/hosts and share what I believe to be the best episodes on flats fishing from each podcast. A fair amount of these podcasts are focused on fly fishing the flats, but you’ll find plenty of podcasts in this list that are focused on light tackle fishing on the flats. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
The Tom Rowland Podcast:
When I started my guiding business, I made a list of 20 successful flats fishing guides in Florida. I listed out what they did well on the flats, what they did to market their business, and what I could learn from each one. Tom doesn’t guide the flats much anymore, but he was an absolute monster when he did. When I wrote out Tom’s strengths it seemed like an endless list, so I just I scratched out the list, wrote ‘total package’, and moved his name to the top of the list.
So it’s not surprising to me that his podcast is one of the most successful fishing podcasts around. His long form podcasts with guests is where the good stuff is, but don’t sleep on his ‘How To’ segments either. He’s an extremely talented host with a giant base of knowledge that he wields with discretion when engaged with guests. He has both informative podcasts on flats fishing as well as plenty of great stories from guests.
He has put together some incredible episodes. His interviews with guides like David Mangum, CA Richardson, Jeff Maggio (Lunkerdog) are all gems. A recent episode with Monte Burke, the author of Lords of the Fly is fantastic. Monte is a gifted author who decided to put together a book about the historic period of time in Florida that was marked by bigger than life personalities and quests for world record tarpon on the fly.
A newer podcast that seems to have some staying power. Hosted by Hunter Leavine. It’s encouraging to see some of the giants in the industry begin to support new and very good shows. Captains Collective is sponsored by SWC, Orvis, & Hell’s Bay. Hunter excels at interviewing other Captains and asking all the right questions. He knows how to unpack the story of each guest.
I found the podcast randomly one day when I typed the name ‘Harry Spear’ in the apple podcasts search bar. I was stunned to find that the search returned an actual result. I think at that time the show only had 3 episodes out, so I obviously felt pretty special for ‘discovering’ something new and cool.
The Harry Spear episode is a 10 out of 10. Harry was a premiere guide in the Florida Keys for a long time. He was known as the Holy Poler which is where the H and the P come from in the Maverick Mirage. I have one of the first Maverick Mirage HPs which Harry helped design and won the Gold Cup in. The story that Harry tells about him and his father winning a bonefish tournament is one of the best father and son fishing stories that I have ever heard.
You will find plenty of other great episodes on this podcast. The David Mangum episode was excellent. David is one of the premiere tarpon guides in the universe and he is a brutally honest man. Another more recent episode featuring Vince Stegura, the founder of Skinny Water Culture, is a can’t miss for anyone who’s come from nothing and grinded their way through the tough times while building their own business.
Mill House Podcast:
Andy Mill is a legend in the fly fishing for tarpon world. He’s one of the best. The former Olympic skier has been going to the Florida Keys for a long time and has managed to befriend pretty much every Key’s legend while becoming one himself. Andy and his son host some of the sport’s oldest and greatest guides and anglers. Their stated goal is to make sure that some of the greatest Florida Keys stories don’t die with the story tellers.
The podcast is not 100% dedicated to flats fishing. There are some shows on elk hunting mixed in, but I would say that the majority of the episodes are fly fishing related. The episodes with Flip Pallet, Al Pflueger, Norman Duncan, and Steve Huff are treasures. Andy and his son Nicki have accomplished something special. They’ve captured some fantastic stories from some of the biggest legends in the sport. If you happen to bump into them at a show or at the ramp, make sure to thank them.
While the podcast boasts numerous can’t miss episodes with the best of the best, one episode in particular stands out. Episode 2 with Tom Evans and his crew is perfection. Tom is a record chaser and his personality is about what you would expect from someone obsessed with being number one in the record books. Tom Evans is so competitive that he’s probably miffed that he’s on episode 2, not episode 1 which was rightfully given to the god of guides, Steve Huff.
If you ever wanted to know about the days when anglers picked through piles of giant tarpon congregated in Homossassa, FL to find a record, then this is the episode for you. From the ridiculous stories to Tom’s bombastic attitude, this episode is an absolute gem.
Wet Fly Swing Podcast:
Dave at Wet Fly Swing has a unique approach to podcasting. He organizes his shows into seasons with each season having a theme. It’s a unique approach and it works. While his podcast does not focus on the flats, he has had a few excellent episodes on shallow water fishing. Dave takes his craft seriously and is undeniably one of the best interviewers around in the fly fishing podcast scene.
His best work relating to salt water flats fishing was his interview with Bruce Chard, a well-known Florida Keys fishing guide. The entire episode is dedicated to fly fishing for adult tarpon. Dave, as always, asks all the right questions and Bruce delivers some excellent and descriptive answers. Of all the podcasts that I’ve listened to about feeding flies to adult tarpon, this is the most descriptive and most accurate.
Bite Me – A Texas Saltwater Podcast:
Why would a Texas based podcast make it onto a list of best flats fishing podcasts in Florida? Well, Texans fish hard and they bring their own approach to fishing saltwater flats. There have been plenty of Texans that have come over to Florida and shown us a thing or two. And this podcast is packed with really good information on flats fishing.
The show is hosted by John Lopez and Capt. Scott Null. Lopez brings a radio voice and a love for seatrout fishing to the podcast while Capt. Null brings a huge knowledge base and decades of on the water experience to the show. The two have great ‘on air’ chemistry and their shows are generally packed with excellent information that any shallow water angler will appreciate.
They are prolific podcasters, having pumped out quite a bit of very good content over a short period of time. There is a nugget of fishing gold in nearly every single episode that they’ve put together. But since I’m picking my favorite episode, then it would have to be the show about Paul Brown’s Corky. The corky is one of the most legendary gator trout lures ever produced and this in-depth episode on the lure is something all gator trout enthusiasts will enjoy.
Flats Class Black List Podcast:
CA Richardson is the host of this fairly new podcast. He’s just beginning his second season of podcasting. If you don’t know who CA is, he is one of the premiere voices in shallow water fishing with extensive redfish tournament experience and years of guiding and hosting TV shows under his belt. He’s a more than capable host. The show was named and fashioned after a television show that I’ve never heard of, but the format works very well.
Originally, I planned to put this podcast in the honorable mention, but that changed after hearing the first episode of Season 2. His guests for the episode are the legendary Watts brothers of redfish tournament fame. They’re identical twins that made up one of the longest lasting and most dominant teams during the redfish tournament glory years. They are a hoot and do not disappoint on this podcast.
The podcast is an entertaining flash back in time. A simple and probably better time when the redfish tour was exploding in popularity. You’ll get a clear picture of what kind of competitors these three were as they recall some old tournament stories.
There are many shallow water anglers in Florida that may never understand how important the redfish tour was to the advancement of the sport. You won’t be able to walk away from this episode without a real appreciation for these three great anglers that came before us. The backstory on Power-Pole, a revolutionary new anchoring system at the time, was insightful. Finding out that the Watts brothers briefly fished tournaments out of a Pathfinder 17T was shocking.
The first season of CA’s podcast includes solid episodes that are worth checking out. But if the first episode of Season 2 is an indication to the future of the podcast, then the show has really hit its stride and the best is yet to come.
Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast:
One of the first fly fishing podcasts out there when podcasting wasn’t all the rage. Tom Rosenbaur is the perfect host of this fly fishing podcast. The first portion of the show is Tom answering listener questions while the final half is dedicated to a guest.
Tom has been holding down the fort at the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast for a while. To the best of my knowledge, they were one of the first reputable fly fishing shows available on podcast. Tom has had some great guests over the years. He’s a friendly host with a gentle and steady approach that welcomes listeners in.
The majority of episodes are dedicated to fly fishing freshwater. But he does have shows on saltwater and guests that come from saltwater fishing. His Dave Mangum episode is solid. He does an excellent job of establishing Dave’s credentials and then peppering Dave for as much information on fly fishing for tarpon as possible.
The Speckled Truth Podcast:
A show dedicated to speckled trout, but more importantly, gator trout. I really like this podcast. It’s hosted by Captain Chris Bush who started the Speckled Truth Facebook page and website well before the podcast was born. Chris has had a lot of gator trout angling legends on the podcast. His humble approach and huge knowledge base on speckled seatrout really comes through in podcast form.
This podcast was originally going to be included in the main list of the best flats fishing podcasts for Florida, but CA’s episode with the Watts brothers changed that. Hey, they can’t all be winners, so The Speckled Truth Podcast got bumped. All jokes aside, Chris does a wonderful job and if you love gator trout, then this is a can’t miss podcast for you.
Other Notable Shows:
Salt Strong Podcast:
They’ve had some great podcasts focused on the flats. The podcast had departed from fishing and taken on more of a religious theme until recently switching back to fishing. They have some very good episodes and some extremely talented guest interviews in their archives. Definitely worth a look.
Reel Animals Podcast:
Captain Mike Anderson is a flats fishing guide out of Tampa Bay. He hosts the podcast just as he does for his television show with the same name. Mike is an honest host with a mind on conservation and being smarter on the water. The show is still in its infancy, but it’s been good so far.
Defunct Fishing Podcasts:
The DrakeCast was a project started by host Elliot Adler. It was closely tied to the legendary Drake magazine. The podcast hasn’t had a new episode in a year and a half, but past episodes are still available. The podcast was essentially a cross between NPR and Radiolab, but for fly fishing. In other words, not for everyone! Elliot picked a story to cover and then went on the road to learn more about it and share the story with his listeners.
The DrakeCast was excellent at capturing regional flavors for the listening audience. The titles of his episodes rarely piqued my interest, but the episodes themselves were journalistic works of art. Elliot told stories and captured the fishing heritage and spirit in each community he visited. It seems unlikely that Elliot will host anymore episodes of the DrakeCast, but his body of work still exists and can be accessed on most podcast platforms.
Fish on the Brain:
Tim Evans, was the humble and honest host of one of my favorite fly fishing podcasts. He traveled all over the place hiring the best area guides. He was a down to earth host who would record podcasts anywhere. There were podcasts where he drank beer while shooting the breeze with his guide after a day of hard fishing. Other podcasts were done from a skiff while he was fly fishing for tarpon, or in a guide’s truck on the way back from fishing.
The last or second to last podcast that he ever produced was him sitting around the table with a close friend or maybe his brother and wife. Either way, it was one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Tim was completely worn out from juggling the podcast, travel, family, and work. Something had to give and he made the decision to pull the plug on the podcast. His support around the table assured him that he was doing the right thing and that it had been a good run.
It was heart breaking to listen to the guy. You couldn’t help but feel bad for him. But it was a fitting end to his podcast. His podcast had always been no-frills, honest, and pure. He stayed true to that to the very end. Sadly, his work is no longer available on any podcast platform. That is a travesty. However, he can still be heard on one episode of The DrakeCast. On Episode 27, Tim meets up with Elliot, the host of the DrakeCast, and they cohost a ‘collaboration’ episode. The link to that episode is below.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. If you end up liking some of these podcasts, make sure to subscribe to them and leave them a review. Podcasting is not easy and any feedback is good feedback.
Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing