Capt. John Kipp
My name is John Kipp. I have been guiding fishing and wildlife enthusiasts in the Florida Keys since 1975. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay on the Severn River near Annapolis, Maryland. All my life I have resided in one watershed or another, never more than a stone’s throw from tidewater, that is, water that ebbs and flows and contains salt.
Tidewater habitats are especially rich in life and provide sustenance for all the living things that depend on them, including us.
On the Severn River at a very early age I became enthralled with all the living things I encountered. I made it a point to try to learn their common names. The natural world I spent my time exploring was my comfort zone.
One of my favorite TV shows was Flipper. I religiously watched the adventures of Sandy, Bud and Porter Ricks in every first-run episode.
In the Chesapeake Bay the visibility of the water is not much over one foot. The underwater scenes in Flipper showed me a whole new world, a world with gin-clear water abounding with uncountable species of coral and fish. It made me yearn to come to Florida. But what I had seen on TV didn’t come close to preparing me for what I was going to encounter when I landed in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys.
I was astounded, enthralled, overcome by it all. The fish in the water, the birds in the sky, and the reptiles and amphibians in between were thousands to one in numbers and diversity compared to what the Chesapeake offered. Every species I encountered was completely new to me. I felt what I thought Charles Darwin must have when he shipped out on the H.M.S. Beagle, his historic voyage of discovery.
Now I’ve been on my voyage of discovery for over forty years, and what pleases me most is being on the waters of Florida Bay and Everglades National park sharing my knowledge and experiences with whoever would like to hear them.
My guiding service is based on boating expeditions to Florida Bay and Everglades National Park. We will be visiting remote areas that are difficult to access without local knowledge. I operate out of the Lorelei in Islamorada. My primary boat is an eighteen foot flats skiff, an Islamorada 18, built by Hal Chittum. It is perfect for accessing shallow, remote areas of the Everglades and the Florida Keys backcountry. As I do with angling clients, I use a push pole to quietly approach all things of interest.
I live in an interesting, natural place where some things may be quit new to most folks. But that is what makes it a voyage of discovery, and I look forward to sharing it with anyone who would be interested in the experience.