Merrily's Biography


Captain Merrily Dunn is a Florida native, born in Daytona Beach and then raised in Manatee County.  Fishing with her Dad at a very early age gave her an appreciation of the outdoors and the natural environment.  Unfortunately, fishing took a back seat through college and marriage but eventually she started her guiding career in 1992 shortly after becoming a manager for a Sarasota fly fishing outfitter.  This affiliation would lead her to a magical decision: drop everything else and get the license to take people fishing for a living! 

Merrily is a renowned female fishing guide, proven tournament angler and has assisted with several "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing" seminars, The Genmar Backcountry Fishing School, The Ultimate Backwater Fishing School and has been a past instructor with the Bradenton Herald’s Fishing College.  She has been fishing redfish tours and local tournaments for many years and has won or placed in several recent events.  She develops Fishing Clinics for Women in partnership with CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key. 

In 2003, she was ranked in the Top 25 Redfish Teams in the country with teammate Leiza Fitzgerald.  This team also finished in 4th Place in the 2005 ‘IFA Pro Redfish Tour’ Championship.  She took 1st Place in the 2004 Snook Shindig, a scientific catch, sample and release tournament targeting Mote Marine Laboratory’s tagged snook.  She was the first woman to make it to the ‘Top 5’ while fishing with teammate and fiancé, Terry Simmons in the 2005 Chalmette, Louisiana, ‘Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup'; they finished in 4th Place.  In 2006, she and Leiza accomplished a milestone goal in the predominantly male field of redfish tournaments by qualifying for the ALL STARS of the ‘Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup’.  As Team Pringles, Merrily and Leiza are currently ranked 38th in the WalMart FLW Redfish Series (sponsored by Ranger Boats).

She enjoys fishing in ‘fund raiser’ or ‘CPR’ style tournaments (Catch, Photo, Release) that promote catch and release fishing.  The IWFA, CCA and the Sarasota Sportfishing Anglers’ Club hold such events.  In October of 2007 she finally achieved an IWFA goal by winning the Gene DuVal Islamorada Light Tackle Tournament.  She prefers using artificial lures, jigs and plugs on light spinning tackle, as well as flies on fly fishing tackle.  She takes charters from lower Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor fishing for redfish, snook, trout, tarpon and many other species that roam those waters.  Capt. Merrily conducts wonderful instructional and recreational fishing charters for both beginner and advanced anglers.

Our Sponsors: Ranger Boats, Evinrude, WalMart FLW Redfish Series/Team Pringles, Minn Kota, Shimano, Power Pole, Stiffy Brand Products, Bob's Machine Shop, CB's Saltwater Outfitters, Land-O-Lakes Marine, Oh Boy! Oberto, Lowrance, Sperry, Royal Robbins, Costa Del Mar, Gamma, Odyssey Batteries, DOA Lures and Mister Twister Exude.

Contact Captain Merrily at 941-750-8135.


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