“I’m not a sit inside kind of person,” said Shane. “I want to be outside, doing something.”
A constantly moving bundle of energy, Shane grew up in Englewood, where he lives to this day.
“My dad was born and raised here, I was born and raised here,” he said. “I loved growing up here. The fishing was incredible. It was all we did. Really, it was all we had to do. That and hunting. I had friends when I was fifteen or sixteen, all they could talk about was how they couldn’t wait to leave Englewood. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
And he never has. He went as far as Orlando for work, but that seems to have been his limit.
“Once I left MCC, I decided to apply to the Marine Patrol,” he explained. “But they weren’t taking new applications for a couple of years out. I got a temporary job as a labor foreman. I ran a construction team in Orlando. A couple of months later they promoted me to assistant superintendent.”
Two years later, the company offered him a promotion to superintendent. While the offer was tempting, it included a move to Hilton Head, N.C.
“Instead, I got a job with a homebuilder in Manatee County,” said Shane. “That lasted through December of 2007, when I got laid off like everyone else in the construction business. But two years earlier, I had gone and gotten my general contractor’s license. The way most people do that is to take a five-week class, then there is a two-day, 16-hour test. And you have to pass that just so that you can go before the
Board for consideration. Then you have to get insurance, a background check, a credit check and then the Board either approves or denies your license.”
Shane took his contractor’s license and started his own company.
“Since I was a new contractor, work wasn’t exactly flowing my way,” he laughed. “So that year I went and got my Coast Guard captain’s license. It wasn’t too complicated, and most sea schools also offer the test. I worked for Sea Tow for about a year and a half while I was building the construction company with my dad.”
Shane already knew about fishing from his wildly misspent youth, but he decided to learn more.
“I’d been fishing on my own for a while,” he said. “Of course, I grew up hearing stories of the Pass and the guys who fished it for a living. You learn the etiquette of the water. I started fishing on my own in the Pass with an outboard, but I followed everything else, such as using Dacron and red and green on the line to keep track of the length. But no matter how many stories you hear or rules you follow, there are some things you only learn by actually getting out on the water and doing them. How the water moves, how the water column affects the bait, what the fish eat at what time of day. Things that you just pick up with time.”
In 2007, he bought Haywire from Kevin Kelley and got into fishing the Pass more seriously.
“In 2008, I had my first season as a tarpon guide,” Shane said. “It’s a really tight group of guys out there, and some of the families have been fishing the Pass for generations. There are people you know, just by their names and the stories you’ve been told.”
In addition to working together on the construction company, Shane and his dad, Mike, work together on charters.
“My dad is my mate on the boat, and he oversees the construction when I’m out doing inspections,” he said. “He’s very hands-on and acts as the super for projects.”
The inspections Shane is talking about are yet another hat that he wears.
“I had an insurance agent approach me with a wind mitigation form and ask me if I could fill it out,” said Shane. “I looked at it, and it was basically an inspection form. Since I do inspections as part of being a contractor, I told him I could. So I basically fell into wind inspections on the ground floor.”
Wind mitigation is an inspection that a licensed professional performs on a structure, checking for certain features that help to reduce the damage that can be done during a wind event, like a hurricane. If a building has these features, it may qualify for discounts on insurance rates.
“I go out and look at homes, mostly,” he explained. “I tell people what I’m looking for and what they can do to make their building more wind resistant. Of course, I don’t mention that I’m a contractor while I’m doing it, since that would be a conflict of interest.”
That does not stop him from offering the information if asked.
“I’ve actually gotten a couple of renovation jobs here on the island because the homeowner was impressed with what I told them during the inspection,” he said. “They asked me if I did any contracting work, and I said yes.”
Work is not everything to Shane, though. Family is important as well. He grew up with his dad, mom and an older sister. His mother is a dental assistant in Venice, and his sister is an RN who runs a home health agency.
Today he has a family of his own. He met his wife, Heather, through his best friend.
“Actually, they were dating at the time,” Shane laughed. “I asked her what in the world she was doing with him, since she was going to marry me. I was joking ... mostly.”
After his friend and Heather broke up, Shane waited a little while, then approached his friend.
“I literally owe this guy my life twice over,” said Shane. “Once I was choking on a piece of food in a restaurant, and he did the Heimlich maneuver and saved me then. The other time, we were out hunting and the dogs barking scared a herd of cattle into a stampede. I was recovering from bronchitis, and I couldn’t run very well because I wasn’t breathing very well. I sure couldn’t outrun all of those angry cows. He turned around, ran back, picked me up and carried me over his shoulder all the way to the truck. So when I say I owe the man my life, I mean that I OWE him my life.”
With his friend’s blessing, Shane asked Heather out.
“Our first official date was to the movies in Sarasota, though really we met in a mudhole,” laughed Shane.
In April of 2004, they were married.
“She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he smiled. “She’s my wife, the mother of my daughter, my business partner, she does the books, everything to keep us going. I don’t know what I would do without her.”
Their daughter, Kadence, just had her first dance recital. She will be five years old in January.
“She is the sweetest, smartest, most caring little girl I’ve ever seen,” said Shane. “She’s also Karma getting me for what my parents went through raising me. She’s a handful, just like her father. I never know what she’s going to do next.”
When Shane does not have a fishing client or is not building and inspecting houses, he likes to hunt.
“I have a couple of friends that I go hunting with,” he said. “One of them has a lease in Georgia, the other has a lease in Alabama, so I go up there to hunt most of the time. Sometimes we’ll go out with bows and arrows and hunt what I call ‘rural hogs’ in Rotonda.”
Once tarpon season ends and life slows down a little, Shane would like to go on a vacation. Maybe back to Key West to fish from a friend’s boat. Maybe hunting in Alabama or Georgia. But wherever he goes, Shane will always return to his home in Englewood.
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