Cocoa Beach Fishing Guide and Orlando Fishing Guide

Captain Richard Bradley, Decades of Experience

cocoa beach fishing guide and orlando fishing guide

Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides

“Finding a career path was a journey that eventually led to what my father had inspired deep within myself from my earliest years,” explained Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides.

Detailing nearly fifty years on Florida’s east coast adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon, it’s sister waterways bordered by barrier island dunes, mainland woods and the Atlantic Ocean crediting his father’s earliest visions of raising a family as a career military officer and avid outdoors-man. “My parents followed the passion of my father as he led them to Florida during the 50’s where he met and married my mother who lived in a small city of Oakland, west of Orlando while stationed at McCoy Air Force Base. They were whisked around for several years and eventually concluded their military transfers on Florida’s east coast after West Palm Beach, four years of Panama’s Canal Zone and bookending it with a tour in Vietnam. My dad always had his hand in fishing and diving when stationed near the ocean and managed to find time to get his family involved.”

“Dad was a businessman and never encouraged me to follow the outdoor passion he’d kindled in his son, whether it was intentional or not he’d fanned the flames by traveling the state of Florida, the Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America in pursuit of diving and fishing ventures. From my earliest memories, he pulled our boat to the Florida Keys staying at the Tropical Winds Resort in Islamorada in the 1960’s and early 70’s. Those days of snorkeling Hens & Chicken, Alligator Reef and fishing The Hump were an extraordinary inspiration in my pre-teen childhood. I remember being left out of fishing trips because I was too young for dad’s offshore fishing excursions in the Florida Keys.  Dad’s wisdom was not always received well while left at the resort and did NOT settle well with this youngster. Especially when the older sister was spared and brought back stories and spoils from their daily adventures.”

Richard’s inspiration from his parents would not stop in the Florida Keys and would continue as his father would escort his son to the Bahamas, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Montserrat, Turks & Caicos Islands and even Jamaica where they stayed on a coffee farm in the Blue Mountains and rode tractors through the coffee plantation. “Dad even took us to Honduras and the Bay Islands off its Caribbean coast during the height of the Sandinista war in pursuit of better fishing and diving. Dad’s involvement and love of the ocean & family went hand-in-hand with every vacation he brought us on.”

During the following decade, Richard would continue his passion for fishing and surfing on Mexico’s west coast looking for waves each summer during his college years. “The years after high school I spent soul-searching as the reality of life’s provisions was cast upon me, and my traveling was limited to what I was to provide for myself. I managed to arrange travel for college students while I worked at a West Palm Beach dive shop and this allowed me to travel to Cozumel, Mexico several times of the year and make a little money to boot. During the remainder of the year, I worked to save for my annual Mexico surfing adventures which often last several weeks until I ran out of money and narrowly missed the rush week at Palm Beach Atlantic College. Dad had inspired my appetite for travel in the Caribbean and abroad, and I quickly learned how to feed that passion as a young man and moved back to the Space Coast after college where I continued my passion for fishing and traveling.”

“Life is full of course changes, and my first attempts at business were met with turbulence in the 80’s as I muddled through selling Real Estate and spending many days turning to the sea. The call of the outdoors was more than I could bear as a young man and prospecting for sales leads often gave in to a day of fishing or the next big swell. It was obvious that work was conflicting with my passion for the outdoors but when I finally gave in it was obvious that I’d found a compass heading that would steer me permanently toward Charter fishing allowing me to reconcile my passion with the provision.” explains Richard

Passion is what Captain Richard shows when it comes to his fishing and life experiences…”From the time my anglers board our boats I’m reminded about many fishing and outdoors experiences I’ve had and tried to relate them to the anglers on my boat. An experience where customers catch fish is one thing, but immersing them in an outdoor experience while they stretch a line is another.”

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