|Courtesy Dominick Greco|
Fishing guides inherently live a life less ordinary. And for that segment of the outdoor working class, Dominick Greco’s story is even more atypical.
He guides from a kayak, has done a stint in Tinsel Town and has been showing people where to fish since his youth, guiding for stripers when we was still a teen. “My dad gave me every opportunity to take [guiding] seriously,” he says appreciatively.
The go-getter attitude inculcated by his father also led him to a Hollywood agent’s door. Greco’s natural talent scored him supporting spots in The Wonder Years, Baywatch, and other shows. “I played everything from the town bully to a football player,” he says. “I’d think people would have a tough time recognizing me, but it isn’t unusual for someone to come up and say ‘Hey, was that you on there?’” Greco eventually shelved his Hollywood dreams to focus on family and a slower paced lifestyle.
His kayak conversion came during a series of great white shark tagging expeditions. Do-everything Greco was along to lend a hand to a researcher friend. It was no big deal for the renaissance man, who’d nonchalantly hop on the kayak when things slowed down for the big boat, even tagging a few of the smaller sharks from his water-level perch. It was love at first paddle stroke. “I sold my Nitro bass boat and never looked back” says the one-time pro bass fisherman. “I like the skinny water aspect, the stealth factor, and I saw my catches go up.” Now an Ocean Kayak pro staffer and southwest Florida fishing guide with Kayak Charters, Greco works a region he considers the fishing capital of the world with its inland lakes, sprawling canal systems, and salt grass flats.
As with everything in his life, Greco’s outfitting approach differs. He literally takes his clients to school, beginning with a classroom session before going hands-on. When the instructional day is done, his guppies are ready to hit the water on their own. “Theory comes first, everything from A to Z,” he says. “By the time students leave us, they know all the basic strokes, safety skills, how to rig, tie knots, which lures to use, and how to retrieve them.”
This diligent approach rewards his pupils. They discover they can do the ‘impossible,’ such as corral a leaping 100-pound tarpon or stand on a kayak—even at the ripe age of 84 as one hardy client did last year. With Greco, things are rarely typical. — Paul Lebowitz