Captain Mike Nelson
Our next feature charter, Knot On Duty Fishing Charters, helmed by Captain Mike Nelson has a long and well documented family history in the Ponce Inlet areas fishing industry. This is a very special edition of Boat of the Month, as it highlights both the present day business while also paying homage to this family's rich history, as well as our very own our charter community here. Keep your eyes peeled this month for an exclusive edition of our Kickin' It Old School photo series!
Captain Paul Nelson Senior's family moved from Kalamazoo Michigan when he was child, his father was a builder and built several houses in the area, including the one he still lives in to this very day. Paul Nelson Sr. got his start in fishing working at Dave’s dock (now Aunt Catfish's), renting out their Jon boats & helping out around the dock- also working on a couple charters there, the Maria Lane & the South Pole. Paul Sr. then moved onto other local charter boats down at Inlet Harbor; the Papoose, Mako, Dona Rosa, Miss Juanita, Laura K, Black Duck and the Broadbill. Officially getting his Captains license in 1969, he Captained the Snow White boats for Al Kline, working there for several years. Charlie Schammel, owner of the Critter Fleet later offered him a job that would double his pay, sealing his career until retirement. Charlie had grown tired of being out fished by Captain Paul Sr., and he took the job and ran the Critter boats for 40+ years, retiring about 8 years ago.
Captain Mike Nelson first started working on the Critter Fleet boats with Paul Sr. at the age of about 7/8, and worked there during the summers until he was about 16. He landed his first mate job on the Snow White 2 with Jerry Masters (Masters Electric), later working the Teaser with Danny Day in NSB, for the Sea Harvest restaurant. Over the years he worked on the Hooker with Billy Smitherman, and was still working with Billy when Paul Sr. decided to buy a boat, the Double Portion. Captain Mike and his brother Paul worked the boat for a year, before he got his captains license. Captain Mike ran the Double Portion from 1992-1999, before becoming a firefighter like his brother had in the years prior. The Double Portion was eventually sold and he took a break from fishing for a couple years before purchasing his current vessel. He now fishes mostly in the summers, and commercial fishes every once in a while.
The Knot On Duty is a spacious 29 foot Carolina built Maycraft powered by new twin 150 HP Yamaha engines. With all the bells and whistles, you are sure to have a fantastic day out on the water. Built with a high rail and featuring high stability on the anchor, it is very comfortable for all types of fishing. Decked with all the latest Garmin electronics, VHF, EPIRB, and top of the line brand such as Penn, Shimano, and Star Rods. This vessel also has a private restroom with a porta-potty, for your convenience After year of working on a slew of different vessel it's perfect for what he needs to do.
Captain Mike's favorite thing about being a Captain is helping people that are new to fishing; and watching their excitement grow when they catch the biggest fish that they’ve ever caught. Making memories for the anglers that step aboard his vessel is a top priority for him, having so many of his own; and he is happy that he has a hand at creating memories that will last a lifetime. Captain Mike maintains that bottom fishing will always be his favorite, noting the excitement of feeling the bite, coupled with fighting the fish from the bottom is an absolute ride of pure adrenaline. Talking trolling he notes that being able to see the surface bite live and in action is also incredible, especially mahi fishing when the highly sought after species is moving through the area.
Knot on Duty fishing charters offers shark trips as well as a variety of offshore fishing trips, providing an exciting and unique way to Florida's coastal culture. Schedule a trip now to create moments you'll always remember!
Trips aboard the Knot On Duty include: 5/8/10 HR Offshore fishing trips & a 3 HR shark trip.