Whatever Pulls My String
Hey fish fans! I’m Capt. Randy Towe, and am living the dream in Islamorada. This laidback village I call home covers six of the Florida Keys, and is known for its coral reefs.
When people ask what my favorite fish is I immediately say: Why, the one with my hook in his mouth! The truth is I like to fish for whatever pulls my string, it could be a tarpon with a fly rod or an 80-pound stand-up rod with a swordfish on it. But, my all-time passion is to fly fish for billfish. And since Guatemala is the billfish capital of the world, I take off for Casa Vieja every chance I get.
Business Times 3
My charter business, which I started in 1981, is called Quit Yer Bitchin'. I fish clients from Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park, down through the Keys. From light tackle backcountry fishing to heavy conventional action offshore, I fish out of two boats—a Pursuit 34 with twin 250 Yamaha motors and an 18-ft. Action Craft with a 115 Yamaha outboard.
I also run a private boat out of Marathon––Flakey’s (Fla Keys, get it?) Charters. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching people land their first catch based on a technique I showed them. Forty years of knowledge is wasted if you can't share it.
When I need a break from fishing, you’ll find me at my shop––Randy Towe’s Signature Series Handmade Rods––in Tavernier, designing and building sticks for everything from fly to heavy offshore trolling.
I compete as a guide and sometimes an angler in as many as 25 tournaments a year. My offshore record: 12 first places (sailfish, swordfish, dolphin, wahoo); my backcountry wins: 10 first places (tarpon, including Don Hawley Invitational six times, and bonefish). However, my most memorable fishing trip was when I won the sailfish challenge in 2013 with a $140,000 payout! Over my lifetime, I’m pretty sure I’ve caught just about every kind of fish that swims.
A Fishin’ Family
I’ve been married since 1992 and have three daughters, one granddaughter and one grandson. One of our favorite family traditions is fishing and diving together.
I am a Life Member of CCA and the Florida Keys Guide Association. Both are non-profits committed to preserving and protecting Florida’s fisheries and natural resources.
Friend for Life
I’ve known Rick Murphy since 1988 and have great memories fishing with him––and competing against him. I consider him a lifelong friend and have enjoyed covering the Keys for Florida Insider Fishing Report since 2009.