Florida Keys sport fishing captain Mike Weinhofer hasn’t had charter clients since the novel coronavirus closed the Keys to visitors in March, but he’s still fishing.
Weinhofer has operated Key West Florida Fishing Charters for over 30 years. Over the past six weeks, he and his crew have captured, threaded and distributed around 624 bags in the Keys, where the tourism industry employs half the workforce.
âI started giving away free fish just to help,â Weinhofer said Thursday evening, after taking his two daughters fishing. âYou know a lot of people are going through tough times right now. “
After a day on the water, he spins the plug and texts people on his “request list” to pick it up from his slip at Charter Boat Row in Key West.
âThe best part is when people send you pictures of the fish they cooked, smiles and happy faces,â Weinhofer said.
The program received help from some of Weinhofer’s former charter clients, who sent money for fuel for his boat. Other captains and local charter guides donated additional fish for distribution.
âIt’s a huge help to the whole community and to anyone who is hungry here,â said Liam O’Kelly, a Key West resident, as he picked up a bag of fish Thursday night.