Q: What is your dream sport-fishing destination:
One of my favorite destinations has always been Guatemala. The sheer number of billfish there always made it an easy decision. Plus I love old boats, so it was a place we could fish on Merritts and Ryboviches in calm seas. I would have loved to fish Cabo Blanco, Peru, in the 1950s and ’60s when the giant black marlin were being caught. Papua New Guinea is another dream trip. I have a customer who bought a boat from us there who wants us to visit. It’s more than just the actual fishing: That trip would be an adventure.
I’ve been fortunate to fish in a lot of great locations, but one of my favorites was Kona, Hawaii, fishing with Capt. Kevin Nakamaru on Northern Lights. It wasn’t because of the great fishing but rather the amazing camaraderie on the docks. It’s such a great community of fishermen there. His mate at the time, Matt Bowman, is now a captain in Madeira, which is one of the places on my list to fish soon. But I’d really like to get back to Kona at some point too. Every trip has dream potential if you plan ahead and then just let yourself get into it.
When you’re young, you dream of building the ultimate fishing machine and hitting all the great hot spots. Working with the Chouest family, we started fishing on the East Coast and in the Caribbean on the 58- and 63-foot Freedom boats. Then we built a 65 and fished Bermuda, the Cape Verde Islands and Brazil. As the dreams continued to grow, we towed the 80-foot Patriot through the South Pacific, fishing places like Tonga, Bora Bora and Nuku Hiva. I’m blessed to be fishing and building boats with my family. My dream sport-fishing destination? Wherever the next adventuring sportsmen may find it; if we’re lucky, maybe it will be us.
My favorite has to be the seamounts off Costa Rica — the blue marlin fishing there is just incredible. When you’re seeing 15 or more blues a day, you’re able to fine-tune your approach and try different things rather than getting in a rut. When we’re blue marlin fishing in North Carolina, we’re using lures — plug and chug — but in Costa Rica, we’re pitch-baiting fish on the teasers, and it’s a whole lot more exciting. It’s interesting to see how long a fish will stay in the spread too. We’re building two boats for the Pacific, so I’m looking forward to spending more time there.