An Open Letter about Carlos Beruff

Governor Desantis,

I am writing to implore you to rescind Governor Scott’s egregious overreach of naming Carlos Beruff as an FWC Commissioner last week.

In case Tallahassee is so out of touch with what real Floridians think, let me recap Commissioner Beruff’s resume, as seen by those in the Florida Outdoors community:

  • He is currently facing an ethics commission complaint over how he helped one of his former development partners while serving as chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. He resigned from SWFWMD after this action.
  • He has been accused of illegally moving an eagle’s nest.
  • Manatee County investigated his company, Medallion Homes, for ripping up a county-owned conservation area.
  • In December of 2011, as a governing board member of SWFWMD, he voted against expanding hunting in Cypress Creek Preserve, Hampton Tract of Green Swamp, in Green Swamp East out parcels, in Halpata Tastanaki, in Conners Preserve, in most of the 16,000 acre Lower Hillsborough Tract with the exception of the small tract opened (2600 acre Washburn tract) for youth and family hunts only (5 permits each).
  • He planned a Marina that would require a 60′ wide channel through 2,100′ of sea grass, but declared it would do no harm to the environment.

I recognize “growth” and “Florida” are synonymous in this day and age; however, this appointment is such an egregious overreach and beyond the pale as a political favor.  It is an embarrassment for the state.  It is a blatant abuse of power.  It is a slap in the face to outdoorspeople statewide.

This decision MUST be rescinded immediately.  Failure to do so immediately  can only be viewed as an adversarial position for this administration towards hunters, fishermen, and, ultimately, Floridians.  Mr. Beruff may very well be qualified for some position on development, or growth, or any manner of other areas; it is unfathomable to any reasonable stakeholder that he be given any authority over Florida’s Wildlife Commission.

Thank you,

Capt. Travis Thompson
Host, Cast and Blast Florida Podcast
Guide, Gasparilla Charters
@travisthompson – @castandblastfl
(863) 206-0762

#58: Gabriella Hoffman

We’re changing things up this week – we were able to catch up with District of Conservation host Gabriella Hoffman.

We chat about growing up in California, guns, urban recruitment to outdoor opportunities, women in the outdoors, Florida’s election, and more!  It’s a great conversation with an important voice in our industry . . .

Follow Gabby – InstagramTwitterFacebook
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Listen to her show here

Plus, we celebrate the “pay your age” duck hunts, the ATL, and new reviews!

Follow Cast and Blast Florida .

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Want to experience a world class duck hunt or fishing charter?
E-mail Travis to book today . . .

Connect with the gang on social media:

Travis Thompson – @travisthompson – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook
Nathan Henderson – @nhenderson77 – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook
Emily Thompson – @lovedaloca – Instagram – @lovedalocafitness – Instagram


I’m sick of this mess.

I’m sick of Big Sugar, and Discharges, and Red Tide and Mosaic and Cyanobacteria and Septic Tanks and Glyphosate.

We’ve ravaged Charlotte Harbor, the Indian River Lagoon, Florida Bay, and the Kissimmee Watershed, from Shingle Creek all the way down . . .

We’ve posted up our allegiances – BullSugar, Captains for Clean Water, The Rivers Coalition, Everglades Trust . . . “Vote Water” is the chant . . .

We adamantly defend our choices – Desantis was at this rally, Levine really seems to have a handle on things, Graham’s family didn’t really want to destroy wetlands for a mall, maybe Chris King or Andrew Gillum can find Clewiston on a map, Putnam is a mult-generational native . . .

Yes, our water is bad.

Yes, this is a lousy political cycle.

But the worst part is us.

We allow ourselves to be divided.  To attack and wheedle at narratives that don’t fit our agenda.

Sugar’s at fault.  Sugar is innocent.  The Army Corp is in cahoots with Big Sugar. South Florida Water Management District just wants to keep the EAA happy.  The Fanjuls have paid for the election.  Blow up the dike.  Stop the discharges.  #senditsouth.

We’ve lost a huge part of what makes Floridians special.

We’ve never seen eye to eye on guns or marijuana or immigration or religion . . . But surely we can all agree that we all want better water.

Is the answer simple?  Of course not.

SFWMD.  The Department of the Interior.  The Seminole Tribe.  The Army Corp of Engineers.  SWFWMD.  Florida Wildlife Commission.  National Parks Service.  There are a million moving parts to this.  Not to mention, we’ve placed 20 million plus people on a peninsula that’s supposed to be a swamp.

“The way nature intended” left the conversation the second we swapped out our horses for F-350’s.


Which politician wants to talk about limiting the capacity of the state?

Oh – that’s right – none of them.

Which one wants to address growth and the thousand new residents moving here each day?

I’ll wait.

Just kidding.  Because it’s none of them.

Do I like all the candidates? Of course not.

But I don’t think Putnam or Graham or Desantis or King or Levine is hellbent on destroying our way of life.

I don’t think they’re interested in growing green slime and charging up the red tide to better destroy their constituents.

Meetings around the CERP and all the other funny-sounding “RP” plans have been going on for decades.  The Kissimmee River restoration began when I was in high school.

Which is all my way of saying:

Be nice.

We’re losing our way more and more each day, feted by a social media mob and fertilized by content.  We are a different kind of Red Tide and Blue Tide, intent on destroying way more than our beaches and rivers and waterways.  We’re intent on destroying each other.

Are there real issues that need to be addressed?  Absolutely there are.  And water is at the top of my list.  But so is my kids’ school.  So is my wife’s job, and my town’s infrastructure, and my aunt’s healthcare situation.

There is nuance in life.  I can’t pick anyone in the world and say “See that guy, right there – his name’s ‘Pete’ and his life matches up to mine exactly down to the second . . . “

Yes, there are moments, and causes, and for me this is absolutely one of them.  For a hotel operator, a sugar farmer, a fishing guide, a snowbird, a transplant, a computer engineer, a nurse, a lawyer, a retailer – this moment and their moment may look drastically different, there are nuances and splits that shape our discourse and visions.

This election is important for Florida.  It is important for you.

Just remember it’s important for other people, too.

And tomorrow, we’ll all still be Floridians, no matter the outcome.  And we’ll all still have our same issues that need to be fixed.


#49: Discharges, Big Sugar, and Red Tide

It’s been a miserable summer in Southwest Florida – a never ending red tide bloom. Discharges from Lake Okeechobee.  An election cycle.

Our state sits in the midst of an ecological disaster that’s being tossed around like a political volleyball.  Misinformation abounds.  Divisions are drawn in the sand.  Confusion reigns.

This week, we take one episode to give you our thoughts.  This is not our normal fare.  This is pure, unfiltered, and raw.

We’ll be back to jokes and punchlines and fishing tips and duck tricks next week.

Follow Cast and Blast Florida . . .
Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Website

Want to experience a world class duck hunt or fishing charter?
E-mail Travis to book today . . .

Connect with the gang on social media:

Travis Thompson – @travisthompson – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook
Nathan Henderson – @nhenderson77 – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook
Emily Thompson – @lovedaloca – Instagram – @lovedalocafitness – Instagram