Captain’s Bio

Hello!

My name is Eric Nelson and I am a professional fishing guide in Panama City Beach, Florida. I hold a Masters U.S. Coast Guard Captain's license and am fully insured.

I grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and am a life long fisherman and duck hunter.  My father started me out fly fishing the local lakes for bream and bass from about the time I could walk. As a teenager I began fishing the flats off of St. Marks for trout and reds.  When the weather was nice we grouper fished off of Dog Island.   I continued my love affair with fishing as an adult mostly bottom dropping for grouper and snapper and trolling for dolphin and wahoo.  I have fished primarily off of the Big Bend, Apalachicola, and Panama City Beach.  My pursuit of offshore species has taken me to the lower Keys, the east coast of central Florida, and the Abacos, Bahamas. Over the last 10 years I have largely focused on fishing the inshore bays and flats as offshore fishing limits shrank  and seasons became ridiculously short.

To fund my fishing and hunting, I worked full time as a C.P.A. for 30 years after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Accounting.  I have fished the northern Gulf Coast extensively for the last 50 years and have acquired a good bit of knowledge and expertise along the way.  Inshore fishing is really a life long learning experience.  At this point in my life I look forward to sharing my love of fishing and the knowledge I have gained (sometimes via the hard way) with folks either just fishing for the very first time or experienced anglers looking to hone their skills.

I am excited every day when I am on the water and I work hard to ensure my clients have a memorable experience.  Every single day fishing is unique and I look forward to trying to solve the riddle of "the bite".

I have also been what is best described as a rabid duck hunter since I was introduced to it in high school by some fellow young delinquent rednecks.  I grew up chasing Ringnecks, Teal and Woodducks on the lakes around Tallahassee and Redheads off the coast. Most of my hunting now is for greenheads in the northern Mississippi delta.   Over the years I have built my own duck skiffs, owned, trained and hunt tested Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and began carving and selling waterfowl decoys (see article below).

Florida Wildlife Magazine - Decoy Carver Profile of Eric Nelson

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