Jeff is no longer taking any trips, refer to his links page for a guide he recommends.

Remembering Jeff

capt. russ
Nov 11 2012

i never fished with jeff
but we fished the same waters(big pine key and pennsylvania sweet water)and when i talked to him about each spot or secret hole and swaped fish tales it was great!
he told me about a hole in the gulf he happened time i hit the keys i will go in search of it he gave me a general location
and when i find it,the gps location will be named after jeff
he invited me down to fish with him in big pine and i will always regret not being able hook up before he passed
tight lines and smooth seas jeff
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Sandy McGaughey
Oct 01 2012

I just was saddened to learn of Jeff's passing as I went online to rebook him this month. In August of 2009 he got me the flats slam and then some, 4 bones two permit and two Tarpon. I'll never forget that day, it was one of if not the best fishing experience I have ever had and Jeff's personality and know how were readily apparent... happy trails great guide! RIP
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Sep 22 2012

It is Saturday, September 21, 2012. I am 71 years old and two years ago, I lost a dear friend from childhood, Steven Gruberg. Steve and I fished with one of the kindness, gentlest, what-you-see-is-what-you-get; a man beautiful in every way. A man most would want to be like. A good man. A friend, a decent human being. My friend Steve loved fishing. He was a wealthy man; I was not and approximately the time Jeff left to go fishing, my friend needed the best guide to be had. So in heaven, he chose Jeff. And I know I can look forward to hooking up with them because as I write this, they just tied into a big one. I hadn't heard from Jeff in some time and now I know why.

I looked at his website and when I came to "Remembering Jeff", I was expecting clients' replies of their wonderful experience. But in an instant, I knew that was not the case.

My wife is typing because I can't. I am devastated. I miss you Jeff, and I miss you Steve. Little did I know it was to be our last trip together three years ago.

May God hold you gently and eternally keep you in His hands. Rest in peace my good buddy.

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John Troyan
Sep 05 2012

The world lost a great human being in Capt. Jeff. He was not only a friend but a part of my family for over 13 years. He taught all of us not only how to fish the lower keys and flamingo -but how to care for a fishery and the environment. My family is devasted over a loss of such a great guy at a young age. He will always be remembered.
John, Debbi, Taylor, Hunter and Skylar Troyan.
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Mike & Brenda Burke
Jul 17 2012

My husband and I fished with Captain Jeff May of this year 2012. We knew he was battling cancer but he was very positive and thought for sure he was getting better. I just found out today that he lost his fight. My husband and I are so sad about this. He was a top notch guy and he knew the water better then anyone in the Keys. I have so many pictures of him and I am so glad. Rest in Peace my friend and thank you for 10 yrs of wonderful memories.
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Jul 14 2012

Jeff meant so much to me. On the water in the Keys, we were soul mates. His knowledge and eyes, my casting, we were a great team. He often told me what a great caster I was. The last time I saw him I reminded him of the first time we went out and he gave me the quick lesson in two handed casting that I use to this day. That is why I'm a good caster, because of you buddy. My wife just said to me, he was your best friend and I realize that she is right, but I think Jeff had a lot of best friends. I loved him like the brother I never had, I will miss him like few others, and I will think of him often, especially when I am on the water.

Just want to relate my best trip with Jeff. Five days of fishing in early June - we caught, 32 bonefish, 8 permit and 3 tarpon, including one grand slam day. No chumming all sight fishing, that's what he was all about.

Jeff was a genuinly caring person, it wasn't a front. He liked everyone (unless you ran a flat we were fishing). He loved what he did more than anyone I know. The only way I can deal with this is to know that he lived his too short of life exactly as he wanted. For this, he will be a source of inspiration to me as I continue my life path. As I get my own business going I hear Jeff's voice in my head, "chase your dreams, buddy, I know you can do it."

I was lucky to have an the opportunity to meet all of his family and see Jeff one more time. He has a great loving and caring family that I know meant a lot him. Keep in touch and keep fishing. Until we meet again, Chief, which I truly believe we will, keep fishing and chasing your dreams, I know I will.
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Dustin Huff
Jul 13 2012

I know that Jeff was a great fisherman, but more importantly he was a great person. He will be missed here in the Florida Keys. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and close friends. Rest in peace my friend.
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Capt. Brian Clancy
Jul 13 2012

I never met Jeff, was hoping to. Before my first Big Pine self guided trip last May, I found this site while looking for info on BPK. Jeff's website really stoked me up for the trip, I loved his bio and how unpretentious his website was.

My brother and I are coming down Sunday and I brought up Jeff's website yesterday to show him the fishing in BPK, it was really sad to see that Jeff passed.
Please accept my sincerest sympathies for all of Jeff's loved ones and friends.

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Capt.Jim Bennett
Jul 12 2012

I first met Jeff when I moved to the Keys in the early 90s to become a fishing guide . We had a few things in common as we both were from Jersey and we both loved to fish .
He often talked about his good buddies , Lenny , Dick Martell and Diego , as I have not seen Jeff in a while he always would take time to walk across the dock or walk across the parking lot to say hi and chat about fishing or life . He will be missed by many , my prayers go out to his friends and family . I am proud to call him a friend .
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Capt. Lenny Moffo
Jul 11 2012

I met Jeff when he was buying his first boat and we quickly became best buds. I have many great stories with Ghosty that I'll always remember. He is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and I'm proud to have had him for a friend and will miss him a lot.
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reggie and mae
Jul 10 2012

Capt Jeff and I hooked three permit on a great day of fishin the flats.I went home and got a permit tattoo with his boat on my shoulder. he could not believe it next time I saw him. he loved it. Jason we hooked up with you, while in the back country. I have a picture of you and Jeff on the water. also went out and bought a hewes. moved to florida and love it. This is the impact Capt. Jeff had on my life! Thanks Jeff
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reggie and mae
Jul 10 2012

We fished the keys with Capt. Jeff for several years. We became good friends with Jeff, he would come over for dinner when we stayed at sugarloaf KOA. ALways had skirt steaks on the grill. My wife and i both caught huge permit and bones fishing those beautiful flats with Jeff.We were going to hook up and fish next week. You will be missed! Will think of you when I pole and fish the shallows. We love you bro.
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Jul 08 2012

10 o'clock
about 25 yards

It's the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires.
It must abandon itself to its master passion.

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Stewart Berman
Jul 07 2012

As I remember Cousin Jeff:

Jeff, for decades you always immersed & passionate about water activities, especially in swimming, crabbing & lobstering. But sport fishing was always a favorite to you. It is a storybook of nature, love of life, respect, perseverance, & peace.
In social circles, you made a name for yourself by continuously spreading the passion of sport fishing through guidance, hope, determination, & perserverance to "catch that fish", to photograph, & release the fish for yet, another catch.
I will always remember you for your sense of humor about people, life, & caring for the fishing environment.
I want to thank you again for the visit in March, 2012 as well as the many phone calls about trying to schedule a fishing trip around our busy schedules. During our meeting, we got a chance to compare of our accomplishments & goals for the upcoming year. You were upbeat & excited about returning to the ocean very soon & we were looking forward in joining you.
Thank you for making me refresh my awareness of the marine ecosystem & educating me of the importance of sport fishing, technique, & fun.
I just want to say I'm sorry for not catching enough fish in the time we had.
May the Lord grant you peace & shine upon you always & forever.

Love, your cousin,

Stewart Berman
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Jul 02 2012

Jeff and I first met in 1997 at a local gym, we instantly became friends from the start and also work out partners every day. Jeff was very persistent in getting me to try fishing the back country, but at that time I was working sixdays a week and any spare time I had was spent with my family. I also thought that it was odd fishing for a fish you just put back and not take home to eat! I finally conceded in going fishing with Jeff and I was instantly hooked! We would fish numerous places up and down the keys, Everglades, and Sanibel Island. My son J.C. at age six ,was able to catch his first bonefish and permit with Captain Jeff, along with my wife and myself, all in the same day!

Eventually Jeff convinced me to try for my captains license and with all his support and enthusiasm I was able to achieve that goal. Shortly after getting my captains license I was diagnosed with brain cancer and Jeff was right there to help with anything I needed (ride to store, someone to hang out with, or just keep me motivated). When Jeff came to my house one night to tell me he too was diagnosed with cancer, I knew I would be able to support him and understand what that WORD can do to your life. We had a great friendship. I will see you again one day my friend! Have a fishing pole ready for me chief!
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Jul 02 2012

I met Jeff in 1991in west Caldwell nj. He worked as a hair stylist at shopping center me and my brother renovating.he always talked about fishing the freshwater lakes and rivers in and around the area.after the job was finished we kept in touch,he said he always wanted to move to the keys and become a guide.

One day he called me and said he was moving to the keys! I traveled down and visited Jeff several times when he lived in tavernier.we would wade the flats and sight cast the flats for bonefish.

In 1993 I decided to move to the keys myself with no job,just loaded the van and took off.I took the first 4 months off. At that time Jeff had gotten his six pack captains license and was waiting for his first skiff to be finished being built by key hopper.After weeks of waiting the boat was done,what a beauty! a 20' key hopper with a 200 hp merc.

Jeff called almost everyday and asked if I would go with to explore the back country,what an experience! He would pole me around for hours looking for fish.One of the most memorable days I spent with Jeff was heading out of grassy key marina and blasting across Florida bay at 60 mph,when we came up on a flat where the redfish where daisy chaining and bottle nose porpoise racing across the flat feasting on the easy catch.There were many days after that we fished together,mainly because Jeffs generosity.

Eventually I had to get a job and could not go out as much,Jeff built up a good clientele of anglers and became very Successful. Two years ago when he told me had prostate cancer my heart sank,he said the doctor was optimistic about beating it.

My only regret is not knowing his condition and not being able to say good bye.

Love you brother! And thanks for all of those days on the flats!
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Bru & Lu
Jul 02 2012

Eage Eyes, Hands of Steel
Tough as Nails
Sweet and Gentle to the Core
We'll miss you Buddy
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