#BoatOfTheMonth Sea Spirit Fishing Captain Nic Stephens (386) 763-4388
Throughout Ponce Inlet's long fishing history there has always been a number of head boats navigating its waters. That legacy now rests safely & solely in the hands of Sea Spirit Deep Sea Fishing, helmed by Captain Nic Stephens and owned by Captain Michael Mulholland. Captain Nic, an almost 20 year veteran of the Sea Spirit, has spent the majority of his life perfecting his fishing style & technique to provide the ultimate experience to every angler that steps aboard their vessel.
The Sea Spirit, a custom built F.V. with a long & centered history starting not far from where she is currently docked, was built by local master boat builder Bob Sherbert at Sea Love Marina back in 1977. This 65' cold molded double planked mahogany hull vessel was handcrafted to stand the tests of time and continues to fulfill its job with poise and strength. Recently restored in 2016 she is powered by twin 550 horsepower Detroit Diesel engines, features state of the art navigational electronics and all the necessary safety equipment. Need to take a break? You can comfortably spend your down time relaxing in her air conditioned day room, complete with two rest rooms.
Captain Nic got his start as a mate on the Sea Spirit back in 2004, working his way up the ranks and learning as much as he could from then Captain's: Leebo Lingo, Bryan Pinkley and Mark Leppla. Getting his Captains license back in 2010 he continued to pace himself in mastering all there was to operating a head boat, a staple that has dominated the charter fishing industry for so long. After the retirement of the Sea Spirit's former Captain Leebo, Captain Nic took his rightful place at the helm and has been artfully boxing fish ever since.
The life of a head boat Captain is a grueling one; with incredibly long hours, bigger crews to manage, and significantly more fish to handle than smaller boats. Captain Nic handles this challenge with a sense of style and grace not typically seen in this industry, and you are guaranteed to always find him with a smile on his face. One of the perks of making a career out of doing something you truly love is the translation of that feeling live and in action; here you find yourself fishing next to the best friend you never knew you had.
Captain Nic's favorite part of being a Captain is most definitely the satisfaction that comes with a well laid out plan coming together; providing an opportunity for the people on board to have a world class experience. Being an avid surfer, he also notes that his love/hate relationship with Mother Nature is probably one of the most interesting aspects of his captaincy. On the days that the Sea Spirit is forced to stay harbored due to weather, you can often find him in the water— manning another man powered 'vessel', but nonetheless still navigating the waves. When asked what his favorite style of fishing was, he stayed true to his roots stating simply that his best days are those he gets to spend fishing with his family. Expecting baby number two, Captain Nic and wife Haley Stephens are both accomplished surfers & anglers that routinely take the time to instill the same love of the water in their children. Whether they are fishing inshore for snook or offshore for mangroves snapper, they both love the challenges these species of fish offer them specifically.
Trips aboard the Sea Spirit include: 5 HR Half Day Offshore Trips, 9 HR Full Day Offshore Trips, and the rare but highly sought after 12 HR Offshore Trip they offer exclusively to avid followers following their FB page.
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