Captain Jack Carlson was born and raised on Marathon Key in South Florida.
“I’m a Conch,” he says, referring to the moniker Keys natives reserve for themselves.
Captain Carlson also has a serious fishing pedigree. Naturally, as a lifelong resident of the Keys, he’s been reeling his entire life. However, his father was a fishing guide in the Keys for 28 years.
And a couple decades ago, Captain Carlson followed in his father’s footsteps when he launched Two Conchs Sportfishing. Based in Marathon, Two Conchs currently runs a fleet of six boats.
“We’ll have ten by the end of the year,” Captain Carlson says. They currently run 39-foot, 36-foot and 34-foot Yellowfins, a 30-foot Mako and a pair of 26-foot Yellowfin hybrids.
Fortunately, all of Two Conchs’ boats weathered the hurricanes that pummeled the Keys last year.
“Our workshop took a beating,” Carlson says. “But we’re back up and running at 100 percent.”
The expanded fleet will include a 21-foot Bay Boat and a 17-foot technical skiff to get clients onto even skinnier water.
Carlson and his other captains already guide clients on the flats, putting them on redfish, snook, permit, bonefish and tarpon. Two Conchs also takes customers to reef wrecks and Gulf wrecks for species like yellowtail, grouper, snapper and cobia.
If you want to chase offshore pelagic species, such as sailfish, wahoo, marlin, tuna or dorado (dolphin/mahi mahi), Two Conchs can take you out to where they swim.
“We try to make sure clients have the best experience possible,” Captain Carlson says. “We take them out and put them on dream — or bucket list — fish.”
Clients can customize their own fishing adventures, or book one of Two Conchs’ fishing packages that include accommodations. They even offer a four-day fishing and hunting package that includes two days of fishing in the Keys and two days of wild boar hunting at a game camp in Central Florida.
All in all, Two Conchs keeps Captain Carlson pretty busy. I asked him if he had any time to fish for pleasure.
“Every day that I’m out in the boat with clients is fishing for pleasure,” he says.
It’s abundantly clear that Captain Carlson loves the Keys and revels in the enjoyment he sees in his clients when they’re fishing with Two Conchs.
“I love taking people out — old and new clients, alike,” he says. “I really enjoy helping them experience all that the Florida Keys have to offer.”