Volume 2, Number 14 - April 11 2012

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Karla Barrios

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Student Starts Sightseeing Business

By Karla Barrios

As sunshine kisses the waters at the Flamingo Campground at Everglades National Park, Nestor Alvisa sets sail for another day at work.

The 21-year-old Miami Dade College business major starts early—he is the owner of Hooked on Flamingo Charter, a service that takes customers fishing and sightseeing around the Florida Bay.

Born and raised in Miami, Alvisa, who attends the Hialeah Campus, has always been passionate about fishing.

“I liked fishing from the moment I picked up a rod, since I was four-years-old,” Alvisa said.

He bought his first boat, a small 1990 Tracker bass boat, when he was 14 years old and started fishing  in nearby canals. When he was 20, Nestor decided to start his own business. He sold his first boat and purchased a 22-foot Pathfinder.

Alvisa said he saw fishing as “a quick way to make money while doing what I loved.”

He started fishing at Flamingo five years ago. Alvisa was immediately fascinated by the surrounding wildlife and the environment’s natural beauty.

During his tours, Alvisa prides himself on giving customers a thrilling experience.

“Nestor takes you up to 50 miles into different areas of the Florida Bay and Everglades National Park,” said Nelson Magana, the director of Student Services at the Hialeah Campus, who has taken Alvisa’ s tour several times. ”Along the way we saw crocodiles, dolphins, roseate spoonbills, flamingos, and, of course, you fish.”

For those who don’t enjoy fishing, it becomes an opportunity to relax. And for those who do, they can return home with dinner.

“The first time I went out with Nestor we caught mangrove snappers, small sharks, speckled sea trout and snook,” Magana said.

Charter rates range from $325 for four hours, $425 for six hours or $350 for half a night of Miami Tarpon fishing.

Fishing gear and beverages are included.

"Nestor is very professional,” said Michael Pelaez, 24 , who has taken several of Alvisa’s tours.  “He knows what he is doing. I've fished before, but not like how we fish on these tours.”

Alvisa is scheduled to graduate MDC in the spring. He plans to continue his business once he transfers to Florida International University.

The water, he says, is a big part of his life.

“Nestor seems to love fishing so much, that he forgets that he’s running a business,” Magana said.

For more information about Hooked on Flamingo Charter contact 786-387-2443 or email hofcharter@yahoo.com.

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