Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Other than being a pirate born 200 years too late, I would consider myself, first and foremast, a waterman. I am a surfer trapped in a fisherman’s body…or more preferably a fisherman trapped in a surfer’s body. I am a Florida Boy at heart: glassy water, ground swell and tailing redfish are three of my favorite things. I practice conservation, get salty daily and pursue my love of water sports. If you ask me where I see myself in five years, I will say as Hemingway in Cuba during the 40’s, I think I could dig that.
However, I certainly don’t mind a career guiding fishing charters in my local waterways of Jacksonville. I started chartering a little over a year ago after I began paddle boarding to kill boredom. I had kayak fished my whole life, but my family never owned a boat. When Lake Atlantic would go flat I’d fish, paddling for miles and hours at a time. Then, while earning my natural science degree in St. Petersburg, my roommate and I would pole each other around the flats from my two-man kayak. I fished as much as I studied, allowing me to gain a unique understanding and appreciation for sport fishing, stewardship and environmental values.
As fate would have it, one day I paddled my new SUP into a school of tarpon … and the wheels started turning. Down the rabbit hole I went, until a month later I had a customized fishing setup. Reds, trout, flounder, black drum, king fish, cobia, tarpon- they were no longer safe. I chased them daily, paddling further and deeper into the marshes, inlets and beaches. My evolution into a standup paddle fisherman took me to the doorstep of North Guana Outpost, an outdoors apparel retailer and Bote Board supplier in Ponte Vedra Beach. Inside I found a shop full of waterman’s toys and a family that supported my paddle pursuit. One day the owner said to me, “You know, we could use a quality fishing guide.” And that’s all she wrote. Here I sit, a year later, with an ACA guide certification, a Bote Rackham under my feet and a promising career as an ecotour guide and charter fishing captain. Its amazing what a Bote board can do for you.