Fishing has been an important part of life in Charlotte Harbor as long as there have been people here. The Calusa fished with nets and spears. Eventually, fishermen from Cuba began to fish the waters of the Harbor until Customs made it difficult for them.
In 1891, Mr. Trabue built an ice plant in Punta Gorda which along with the railroad opened up the Northeast to the Florida seafood trade. The local guides used ice houses set around the harbor to leave their fresh catches for transport.
Today, most fishing in Charlotte Harbor is sport-fishing which became popular in Charlotte Harbor around 1885 when a story reported the 93lb. tarpon catch of W. H. Wood. The original guides and their customers went out into The Pass in rowboats. They fished between tides and when a fish bit, the guide would row and beach in front of the lighthouse to reel in the fish.
Many of the local guides are descendants of fishermen who worked in these waters when the Florida seafood trade began.