Captain Information - CAPTAIN ANNELIESE DIETRICK

I grew up in Livingston, New Jersey, the youngest of 5 children, with parents that had their hands full.  I followed in order after my two brothers so I naturally turned into a tom boy. I spent my youth hanging out with them, always playing outside, in the woods, or on the water. 

My parents thankfully were boaters and introduced us to boating through water skiing.  We always spent the summer vacations at my Aunt Ann’s shore house in Beach Haven West.  Her house was on a lagoon, which is similar to our canals.  As I got older, I continued to spend as much time as I could on the water.  Throughout my college years my weekends and summers were spent with friends and family on the Jersey Shore, which was nothing like the show. 

I was commonly found jumping the jetties of Asbury Park in pursuit of the elusive striped bass.  I would use rigged eels or sometimes bomber lures depending on what was working at the time to catch them.  We had to wear cleats on our waders in order not to slip on the algae covered rocks that we had to cross that were always under water.  It was usually pitch black and difficult to see, which added to the excitement when you landed one.  On occasion we would shoot to the Earl Ammunition Pier to land an easy one. 

I became friends with someone who happened to be an avid fisherman and hunter in college.  I was instantly addicted!!! We would take his Boston Whaler and rake the sandbars for little neck clams.  We would hand line raw chicken for blue claw crabs, and with minnows and squid catch our limit of fluke or flounder depending what time of year it was.  We would also catch bluefish and weak fish in the estuaries of South Jersey.

In Brigantine we were allowed to drive our trucks onto the beach, so we would pack camping gear, a few friends, and my dog Jesse, then head to the north end of Brigantine Beach where we would set up for Kingfish, Bluefish, sharks, and Fluke or Flounder.  When not fishing, clamming, or crabbing, we were water skiing or just hitting a sand bar by boat.  This was how I spent most of my time in New Jersey when not attending classes to finish my bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and elementary education. 

I just could not get enough of this sport.  I tried fresh water fishing for bass and trout but found it boring compared to the thrill of never knowing what you may catch and the fish are just bigger in saltwater.  I even managed to win a few tournaments, but the excitement of saltwater fishing just had me hooked.  In 1995 I had the opportunity to vacation in the Florida Keys with a group of friends.  One of which had relatives with a house and a boat.  We flew into Miami and drove the Overseas Highway to our final destination of Little Torch Key, Florida.  I immediately knew this was where I wanted to live.  The mangrove islands and backcountry were absolutely gorgeous, and I hadn’t even seen them by boat yet.  We spent our vacation fishing, lobstering, and diving in the most beautiful water I had ever seen in my life.  This place was amazing to me.  Two weeks later I quit my job, packed my rusted old jeep full of whatever would fit, and moved to Key West.  I have been on the water ever since.  Every chance I get I am out there spearfishing, lobstering, fishing with rod and reel, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, kite boarding, and beach hopping.  My latest obsession is spearfishing.  It is by far my favorite thing to do.  For me, any time on the water is well spent.  In the Florida Keys, there is so much natural beauty to see above and below the surface.  I am here to enjoy everything this place has to offer and share it with you.

In the year 2000 I began running backcountry family fun fishing trips, eco tours, and out island beach excursions with kayaks and stand up paddleboards. I have lived here in the Lower Florida Keys for 18 years and have come to know the backcountry very well.  I am well known in the boating and fishing community and have developed many prominent contacts in the industry.  There are not many women in this field yet, so, to our advantage, we luckily all stand out.  Being a woman and having a degree in psychology and elementary education aides me tremendously in working with the children on board.  There is nothing more fulfilling to me than to show the beauty of our unique islands to someone for the first time.  Over the years, I have been continually proving myself as a skilled female guide here in the keys and have become well respected on the water by my piers. 

Let me show you the beautiful Florida Keys backcountry, my backyard, and the world that I have come to know and love.