How long have you been at it James?
Well guiding, 9 years now. I grew up in S. Florida however. Little canals running all through the back yard, so I did a ton of bass fishing. When I was in my late teens I got pretty involved in snook fishing with a good buddy. I started travelling shortly after where I became fully hooked. I have done a ton of traveling and moving around in my life, over 40 different locations pretty much always on the hunt for fish. Its what drives me. My passion for fishing has taken me from Florida to California down to Belize and to Costa Rica.
I was just in Costa Rica this past July in Pavones by the boarder of Panama.. Tell me more about your time down there.
I was lucky enough to do a semester in college down there in 1993. I spent a significant amount of time down there between ’93 and 2000. I used to be really into surfing which is kind of why I made Costa Rica my destination. It was usually 3-8 months at a time of travelling down south. I would backpack and live wherever. Chasing waves and chasing beauty. Once I started to get more into fishing I discovered that these places were incredible fisheries. I would map out the coolest looking lagoons and find the most remote skinny backwater and make it a point to go there and catch snook. I have always been drawn to going to the most remote destinations to fish where maybe no one else has been.
A lot of fishermen have a hard time finding balance in their lives, myself included. Plain and simple, are you balanced?
Oh yeah. There’s no question. It’s a balance between fishing and family. That’s it. I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. Its pretty cool have a wife that totally gets that concept and is on board for my passion and love of this thing called fishing.
What else is there for you, or is it just fishing?
Honestly, fishing is my life. The older I get the more I fish. I have a 6 year old boy so it’s amazing to teach him and watch him adapt to a sport that is so special to me.
I am kind of addicted I think…I fish usually an hour before all of my charters, and then I head back out after my charters. When I get home there is a salt pond in our neighborhood that I fish during the evenings. Its pretty amazing that I get to make a living off fishing, no office, just water and fish. Its also amazing that I get to fish 320 days a year.
What are your thoughts on the industry and your interpretation of fishing as a movement?
Its wild how some people have no understanding of the concept of catch and release. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating fish, and especially love catching myself dinner. Some people go out and keep everything because its all they know. To stuff their freezer full of fish just because. Or hell, just sprinkle it all over their lawn because they can. I firmly believe that there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way that people think of fishing and of conservation. The redfish population was horrible 20 years ago. The only reason they exist today is because of conservation efforts. I didn’t even catch my first redfish until I was 22 years old. Fish, animals, wildlife in general need to be looked at differently. We all need to really care so that we can continue to catch fish and make a living out of it.