Fishing Tales


Jack Reto

Draper Professional Center
401 E. Olympia Ave.

Mural Creation Sponsors
Dr. Matt Fineman

The importance of Charlotte Harbor as a source of food dates back to the earliest of times. Archaeologists have discovered nets, hooks, lines, and sinkers dating back some 5,000 years. When the United States acquired Florida from Spain small fishing villages like Charlotte Harbor appeared.

In 1886 the railroad was extended to what is now Punta Gorda. The town’s founder, Col. Isaac Trabue, built an ice factory in 1893 which made shipment of fresh fish north possible. Records show that 3,600,000 pounds of fish were shipped out of Punta Gorda during the first full year of operation of the new ice plant. It was a way of life that is nearly forgotten. Yet it was the foundation of what we enjoy today. Shrimp (“Pink Gold”) became an important industry after WWII.

Tarpon was and remains the top sport fish in the area. Tarpon tournaments have been held here for years. This mural depicts the importance of commercial and sport fishing to the development and history of Punta Gorda. The vivid pink and orange of the mural reflect the areas’ glorious colors of the sun, and the importance of “Pink Gold”. The mural was completed in 1998.