Reeling in Adventure!
The start of Pocket Change Inshore Fishing Charters is the stuff dreams are made of. Literally!
“My son Anthony had built his own fishing boat and had been running small charter trips for about ten years while working a full-time job,” recalls Patricia Corcella. “I’d been thinking about a way to build a legacy for both our sons — Anthony and Philip — and one morning in 2016, I woke up thinking, ‘let’s go for it!’”
For Patti, “going for it” meant turning her son’s “side hustle” into a full-time charter fishing business, and assuming all the back-office operations to free her son up to concentrate on his boat and his clients.
It’s been a winning combination, due in no small part to her family’s life-long love of fishing.
“My husband is an avid fisherman,” shares Patti, “and he passed his love of the sport along to our sons.”
Experience captain and mates
Today, Anthony Corcella III is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Florida fishing guide, and he puts his considerable experience to work on light tackle fishing charters in the shallow waters of the Florida Gulf Coast. His younger brother, Philip, sometimes joins Capt. Anthony as a mate, and Anthony’s wife pitches in, as well, making Pocket Change Inshore Fishing Charters a true family affair.
The company launches from several docks along the Gulf Coast. The Pocket Change 24’ Carolina skiff slides into the near shore shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or onto the back country flats, to give clients the adventure of a lifetime in landing a wide variety of fish, depending on the season.
Year ’round charters
Pocket Change Inshore Fishing operates year ‘round, only taking off on major holidays (to avoid the influx of inexperienced boaters, explains Patti) or for scheduled maintenance. Depending on the season (April through July are their busiest months), Pocket Change Inshore Fishing may run several charters a day, of varying duration, each carrying up to six clients. Children and well-behaved pets are welcome.
The skiff is outfitted to accommodate one wheelchair passenger, and the company offers its service free to disabled veterans who are accompanied by a paying companion.
“We also offer a 30% discount to active or retired military,” adds Patti. “We care about the people who serve and protect our freedoms, and this is our way of giving back.”
That effort is appreciated. Patti recalls the wife of a retired military man who used a wheelchair. “They live up north and were planning a trip to Florida. The wife couldn’t find a charter fishing boat to accommodate her husband,” recounts Patti, “and the man dearly loved fishing. Every company she called was too expensive. When she found us, she was delighted to learn that her husband’s fishing trip would be free, and that her cost, if she wanted to fish, would be only $50. By the time their trip was complete, the veteran cried, his wife cried, we all cried, and they’ve come back several times, now.”
Patti says the company has sponsored charter fishing expeditions for members of the local Special Olympics basketball team, and participates in the group’s annual picnic.
Word is spreading about the great time to be had with Pocket Change Inshore Fishing Charters. The company has donated to the Chamber’s fund-raising events and the company’s charter packages draw eager bidders at silent auctions.
Patti says the company is growing enough to consider adding a second charter boat.