BEFORE THE STRIKE
Big-game happenings on and off the water
Once a high-flying private captain whose world revolved around catching blue marlin in exotic locales, Capt. Brad Simonds has gone back to his roots. He now lives in the lower Keys and owns a 43-foot Torres, Southpaw, which he has been chartering out of Stock Island for the past 16 years. While fishing throughout the Caribbean during the heyday of the sport might sound dreamy, the long stretches away from home slowly started to grate on the nerves. As many who start their own businesses will attest, Simonds grew tired of answering to someone else. So he bailed on a life of ultracomplicated yachts, bottomless-budget operations and a travel schedule that many would kill for to enjoy the simple pleasures of running his own rig for hire in the Florida Keys and sleeping in his own bed each night.