Synopses & Reviews
An outstanding piece of Florida fishing history by one of the most famous marine biologists in Florida. Gene Shinn, author ofBootstrap Geologist: My Life in Science A perfect blend of history, science, and adventure. Allowing his natural storytelling talent to shine through, Voss tells of the waters, inlets, coves, and colorful characters that comprised South Florida in the early twentieth century. Janet DeVries, author ofPioneering Palm Beach: The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier A vivid picture of Voss s early years as a fisherman and outdoorsman prior to his illustrious career as a marine scientist and educator, who passed along volumes of knowledge about the marine environment and its inhabitants to the scientific community. Tommy Thompson, author ofThe Saltwater Angler s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida A priceless memoir and a spectacular adventure. Terry Howard, author ofHigh Seas Wranglers: The Lives of Atlantic Fishing CaptainsLong before tourism dominated Florida s coastline, the state was home to dozens of commercial fisheries and ethnically diverse communities of rugged individuals who made their living from the sea.InA Pioneer Son at Sea, Gilbert Voss, a celebrated marine biologist, recounts his early days of fishing on both coasts of the peninsula during the Great Depression and World War II. Here are vanished scenes from old Florida, almost unimaginable to modern residents of the state: gill-netting for mackerel off Jupiter, the early days of charterboat fishing for sailfish out of Stuart and Boynton, the snapper fleet at Carrabelle, sponge-diving at Tarpon Springs, the oyster fishery at Crystal River, and mullet fishing from airboats at Flamingo.Oversized personalities inhabit these pages, including Voss s brothers, who were themselves seminal figures in the early days of Florida big-game fishing. Voss s anecdotes feature Crackers, rum runners, murderers, Conchs, wealthy industrialists, now-legendary charterboatmen, Greek spongers, and Cubanviverocaptains. These stories are not just spirited portraits of fishermen from a bygone era, they are also remarkable tales of the formative years in the life of a scientist and conservationist who later worked tirelessly to preserve our dwindling marine resources."