Stu Apte was a fighter pilot in the Navy during the Korean conflict. He then spent the next 34 years flying for Pan Am, while pursuing his “Reel Passion of Fishing.” He began fly fishing in the mid-1940s and began guiding anglers in the mid-1950s, in the Florida Keys, while laid off from Pan Am. Through the years, Stu has held more than 44 saltwater light tackle and fly rod World Records, including the two longest standing saltwater fly rod records. A 58-pound dolphin caught in 1964 and a 136-pound Pacific Sailfish caught in 1965, both on 12 pound tippet. The Stu Apte Tarpon Fly and Stu Apte Improved Blood Knot are standard items. The Stu Apte Tarpon Fly has also had the distinction of being featured on a United States postage stamp in 1991.
In 1969 Stu was inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame. In 2003 Stu was the recipient of the prestigious Ted Williams Award and in 2004 for the fifth-year in a row, was the Pro Celebrity Grand Champion of the Backbone Tournament. Stu had the distinction of joining Ted Williams, Curt Gowdy, Ernest Hemingway, Izaak Walton and Zane Grey to name just a few, when he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association [IGFA] Hall of Fame December 11th, 2005. As a natural extension of this passion for fly fishing he has written many articles for Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and Sports Afield to name a few, as well as his book Stu Apte’s Fishing In The Florida Keys. He was also Angling Editor of Sea & Rudder, a national boating magazine and contributing editor to Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine doing the back page, “Down and Dirty with Stu Apte.” Currently he is field editor for Shallow Water Angler, doing the back page column, “Stu Apte on Fishing” and has just completed his autobiography.
In addition to writing, Stu appeared on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” was field host on ABC’s “American Sportsman,” CBS Sports Spectacular, Thrill-Maker Sports, ESPN’s On The Fly, Walker Cay Chronicles, Sportsman’s Adventures and the Teddy Award winning Sportsman’s Journal with Andy Mill “THE LEGEND OF STU APTE,” and ESPN’s Out There. Most recently Stu has been co-hosting “The Outdoor World” TV series on OLN and “Southwest Florida Outdoors” on Fox Sports Network. He directed and stared in a Paramount Studios Short Subject “Keys to Fishing Fun,” that premiered in Radio City Music Hall in 1969. He also produced the award-winning “Tarpon Country” film in 1976 and directed the award-winning video series “Saltwater Fly Fishing From A to Z.” His latest video is “Quest for Giant Tarpon,” which won a Teddy award for best fishing video 1993-94. He received a 2000 “Telly Award” for a striped bass TV show shot in New England. Stu has served as an officer and trustee of the Everglades Protection Association and is on the executive board of The Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited conservation organization and the advisory board of the International Game Fish Association [I.G.F.A.]. He also had the good fortune of leading the USA/USSR Atlantic salmon exploratory expedition to Russia in 1989 and is currently the research and development adviser for Yamaha Motors and Ranger Boats.
Whenever Stu is not traveling doing seminars, he resides in the Florida Keys with his wife Jeannine, where he writes, photographs and fishes.