Captain Cameron Kirkconnell
Captain Cameron Kirkconnell's family is from the Cayman Islands and diving, fishing and ships have been at the center of their lives for almost as long as the islands have been on the map.
He's 33 years old and works as a Captain on huge ships getting paid to travel around the world and with a four months on and off schedule he has been able to spend months at a time in the best known dive spots in the world. Even better, he's been able to travel with his friends and family and discover the newer and better dive spots that have been the envy of the rest of spearfishing world.
They are always looking for that which hasn’t been done, specializing their gear and finding the perfect recipe for every location and fish they pursue. To read more about Cameron Kirkconnell, please visit his blog spearblog.com and his Facebook page.
He's lucky to have scored some great fish along the way with his top ten favorites being: #1 has to be Steve Bennet. 155 lbs. Speared at 75 feet after he had blacked out and was sinking to his death. Luckily the shot was true and the story you’ve likely already read.
50 lb Wahoo shot by his father this past year diving together and he got it on video. One of Cameron's favorite days in the water ever.
>>119 lb Wahoo
>>Blue Marlin 280 lb (WR) (shot in the open water NOT TROLLING)
>>280 lb Yellowfin Tuna
>>201 lb Dogtooth tuna (WR)
>>102 lb Spanish Mackerel
>>105 lb Amberjack
>>60 lb King Mackerel (WR)
>>28 lb Blackfin Tuna (WR)
>>35 lb African Pompano (Diamond Trevally) with a Hawaiian Sling
He was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the original hosts of the show SPEARGUN HUNTER by Terry Maas. He took the team overseas to a secret spot and within the first two days shot and landed a World Record sized Pacific Blue Marlin. On that first trip he also landed more than a dozen big Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Wahoo, giant Trevally and Yellowfin Tuna. Terry captured all of the action on video and but the video has never made it to TV and he obviously am not the host. It was a great experience but his refusal to let the video of shooting the record Marlin be shown on National TV did not go over well with the producers. It worked out good, they have a great host and he believes they kept even more restrictions and bad publicity for the sport from coming down on them by keeping the fish private. He has nothing against shooting billfish, but the hypocritical Sportfishing World will only bring more harm upon the sport they value so much.
It also worked out well because he can still go to all the best spots in the world and not worry about giving them away on national TV!
Over the years he has always written for different magazines and put videos up on the web and through Riffe, Spearboard, Spearfishingplanet, Facebook, his seminars in dive shops and emails answered hundreds of question on everything from gear to girls around the world and the best combination in between for spearfishing.
He admits he doesn't know everything there is to know about the sport but he has gathered information from every corner of every ocean and retained it and he hopes that he can help every diver out there dive safely and enjoy the sport for years to come.
Cameron says the best part about spearfishing sport is all the people you meet around the world and learning from every diver you encounter whether they are in Alaska or South Africa or an inland lake in Missouri.
Captain Jimmy Nelson
Captain Jimmy Nelson is the host and producer of Extreme Fishing Adventures. Extreme Fishing Adventures is a saltwater fishing show that blends inshore and offshore fishing to create a fast-paced, adrenaline-filled fishing experience. This Florida native is an energetic, young captain who packs the show with action and information guaranteed to land big fish. With a passion to fish as well as to share his experiences, Captain Jimmy explores Florida, the Caribbean, and other highly sought-after saltwater fishing destinations throughout the world. Join Captain Jimmy for less dock talk and more big fish-fighting action on Extreme Fishing Adventures.
Peter began his fishing career in Tappan, New York. After cutting his teeth on bass, carp, catfish, bream and trout at the age of 3, soon it was onto bigger and better things. His dad began taking him saltwater fishing off the coast of Long Island and New Jersey where his interests quickly turned to striped bass and tuna. His first striped bass was within eyeshot of the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan.
At the age of 10 Peter's family began vacationing on Miami Beach, where his obsession with billfish was kindled after catching his first sailfish and a hammerhead shark on the same day. He couldn't get enough of the sunshine state, so when it came time to go off to college in 1985, he chose the University of Miami where he built his classroom studies around an aggressive "blue water" schedule. Throwing a cast net on live bait and catching sailfish before class was routine and usually happened 2 times per week. The rest is history!
After graduating college, Peter went to Costa Rica and caught his first sailfish on fly in 1992 and then his first "Billfish Grand Slam" in Venezuela in 1993. He then became the youngest ever Angling Director of the prestigious Miami Beach Rod and Reel Club in 1993.
In 1989, Peter and his good friend Chris Toomey started the fishing team called "Get Lit" and have fished high profile events for over 23 years and continue to do so. Peter and his team Get Lit have won or placed in over 110 high profile billfish tournaments. Some of their wins include: 3 Time World Sailfish Champions, 3 time winners of the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish tournament, Florida Swordfish Series, Dewars 12 Billfish Championships, Miami Raft Invitational, 2 time K-Rock Classic winners, Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge and 4 time Silver Sailfish Derby Champions.
When Peter is not fishing, he is a devoted husband and father of 2. He is also a TV host, producer, expert marketer and spokesperson for various fishing and non-fishing related products. He has appeared in numerous national commercials as well as over a hundred ad campaigns. His most recent ads include: Budweiser, Bass Pro Shops, Ocean LED, Norelco, Ford, Wrangler and Home Depot.
Peter is also the creator, director and host of the Telly Award Winning show Bass 2 Billfish on NBC Sports
Colin was born April 18, 1975 in Santa Monica, CA. His Salt Life began at age 5, with the support of his parents, when he started surﬁng the beautiful beaches of his hometown, San Clemente. After a stellar amateur surﬁng career, he turned pro at 18, right out of high school. The next year in 1994 he won his ﬁrst major event in Huntington Beach at the US Open of Surﬁng. He would later go on to repeat that win in 2007. He was the 4X winner of the high proﬁle Toes on the Nose Rabbit Kekai Classic at Boca Barranca, Costa Rica. Although Colin has won a number of prestigious surﬁng competitions, he is best known for claiming 3 ASP World Longboard titles. His ﬁrst title came in 1999 in Australia. He later repeated this feat in 2001at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, in and 2002 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He has been lucky enough to travel the world surﬁng longboards, shortboards and SUP to places such as South Africa, Europe, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Peru, Fiji, Morocco, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and the Maldives.
Surﬁng has not only provided travel, glory, and support for his family but has also opened up opportunities in other professions. He has been able to expand his expertise into the movie and TV industry as a surﬁng stunt double. He has worked on shows such as Baywatch, Beverly Hills 90210, and most recently, the big screen ﬁlm, Chasing Mavericks.
Colin has found a new love in the sport of Stand Up Paddling (SUP), one of the fastest growing water sports. He loves the aspect of positioning his paddle on the wave face to add speed and power to his surﬁng. One of Colin's biggest honors was being selected to represent the United States at the 2012 ISA World Games of SUP Surﬁng in Peru. He has competed in a handful of the Stand Up World Tour events and has found himself in the ﬁnals every time. He has also ventured into the racing aspect of the sport and has had many successful race ﬁnishes. Some of his favorite races have taken place in Lake Tahoe, Utah, Cabo San Lucas, Catalina to Dana Point, and of course the granddaddy of them all, the Battle of the Paddle in Dana Point, CA.
Colin lives in San Clemente, CA and loves nothing more than hanging at the beach and sharing his stoke for the ocean with his wife and four children. Colin also has a passion for teaching others how to surf and stand up paddle and is lucky enough to spread his love for all things water, as a surf instructor. His dedication to the ocean and mastering all crafts made for wave riding embodies the motto, Live Salty!!
Captain Don Dingman
I’m a Florida native of Jacksonville, Florida, who grew up living the Salt Life. My life has always revolved around the ocean. I grew up fishing, surfing, and diving and have been a charter captain for years, spending most of my life on the water. As host of the television show Hook the Future, I am blessed to be able to share the Salt Life experience with the next generation on a daily basis. On Hook the Future we take fishing all over the world and let them experience world class fishing at its finest while instilling the values of being good stewards of our environment.
We started the Hook the Future Foundation, helping kids through fishing, in 2009. Our goals are to help kids battling terminal illness to have an opportunity to go out on the water with their family and take a break from their daily fight, to supply rods, reels and tackle to kids so they can have the tools they need to succeed in the sport of fishing, and to build schools in Guatemala delivering hope to so many children who could certainly use it.
Living the Salt Life…sharing the Salt Life…. that’s what I do.
Links: Hook the Future Television, and Hook the Future Foundation.
Favorite Product: My favorite products are the new short line. They are strong, flexible, performance driven and comfortable. From the shipwreck board shorts in the line up to vital fishing shorts on the boat the new Salt Life short line rocks!
Blake Koch has created a major fan base in both the NASCAR community and the faith based market over the past three years. In 2009, with only 20 amateur races under his belt, he was recruited by Steve Portenga to join as the primary driver for the Richard Childress Driver development team in the NASCAR Camping World West Division. Blake achieved an impressive top ten finish in his rookie year by finishing the season 8th in points.
Richard Childress Driver development team resigned Koch for the 2010 NASCAR west division in which Koch was 6th in points with 3 top fives and 7 top ten finishes. In 2011, after only three short years, Koch went full time into the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In his first 10 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races, Blake Koch earned 5 Top-25 finishes. He joined the elite group of three of the most popular and successful drivers in the sport that also had 5 Top-25's in their first 10 NNS races.
Those would be Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Koch completed 32 Nationwide Races in 2011 and finished 18th in points and was in a close battle for the 2011 "Rookie of the Year" title. Koch missed it by one point in the final race finishing "Runner Up" Rookie of the year.
He has toured the Nation throughout the faith based markets and has been a key note speaker at numerous outreach events including Promise Keepers. He has appeared on Daystar television network, Robert Schuller's Hour of Power and numerous other national talk shows. Blake's ambition is to Promote God back into the American family and encourage everyone to rise up and register to vote.
Chuck Wicks hit the Nashville music scene in 2007 with his Top 5 hit, “Stealing Cinderella.” Follow-up singles included “All I Ever Wanted,” “Man of the House,” and “Old School” – the latter of which spent 15 consecutive weeks on the GAC Top 20 Countdown.
Following his early successes, Wicks decided to take some time to focus on writing and get back to the simplicities of life he learned while growing up and working on a potato farm in small town Smyrna, Del. Wicks’ love for hunting and the outdoors has landed him on multiple Outdoor Channel hunting shows and vignettes. His passion for music and hunting combined for the Pursuit Channel’s “Huntin’ On Empty,” where Wicks wrote and performed the theme song and was both a featured hunter on the program and served as part of their Pro Hunting Staff. Now, Wicks hosts his own show on the Outdoor Channel, “The Hunt Club.”
Wicks has been back in the studio working tirelessly on a new EP which is slated to release on April, 9th. The new music is eagerly anticipated by fans and music industry alike. Wicks was recently featured on GAC’s Top 20 Countdown which is set to air next month.
Captain George Chesier
I was born on November 20th 1986. I am from Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida. I currently live in Pompano Beach, Florida, where I am a Captain of the “Hook Me Up.” I am also a commercial fisherman and tournament Captain. My favorite types of fishing are high speed trolling for Wahoo, Sword fishing, and Kite fishing. I enjoy living the SALT LIFE in other ways too, surfing, diving, spear fishing, and doing almost anything else that involves the ocean. In addition to all that I also really like traveling to different countries for surf and fishing. I have been to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, all over the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and South Africa.
Favorite Products: My favorite Salt life Product is my short sleeve “Yellowfin School” T-shirt. It is my lucky sword fishing shirt, every time I wear it I catch a fish.
Captain Dane Karcher
Captain Dane Karcher, free dive expert, born and raised Native Floridian, grew up in and on the water of the Gulf Beaches; surfing, fishing and diving. He first learned how to boat and fish at a very young age on McKay’s Creek, gigging mullet for his Dad’s smoker. His love for the Salt life began! His Dad built an Aquatic Retreat for the family in Key West where he speared and netted fish, selling the catch to the local markets and restaurants.
Capt Dane has perfected his Deep Sea fishing skills by fishing the waters of Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Bahamas as well as many other parts of the world.
He is a highly respected professional athlete in the world of Free Dive Sport Fishing. He has won and placed in the top of many tournaments not to mention being featured on several television shows, magazines and newspaper articles
People who know him think he's certifiable. Anyone who can hold their breath for what seems like forever, diving depths any normal person should only attempt with a tank, has got to be crazy! He often dives in 35’ to 75’ of water spear fishing, holding his breath for 45 to 1:45 seconds. A tournament sometimes requires Free Diving in 120’ of water holding his breath up to 3 minutes. He hunts large prey with his weapon of choice, a Riffe Spear gun, aiming for a text book head shot. God forbid he has to wrestle a monster fish while Free Diving to such extreme depths dodging Sharks or Barracudas. Dane recalls, “I get sucked into the hunt and forget I still have to swim all the way back to the top!” This is a sport that requires stamina, concentration, guts and a little bit of crazy!
Capt Dane Karcher has built up his own Charter Fishing business to be #1 in the Tampa Bay area operating out of Johns Pass Madeira Beach Florida. He enjoys living the Salt Life every day teaching others about fishing and ocean conservation. He actively participates with organizations like Gulf Voice addressing concerns pertaining to Off Shore Drilling and its effects on the ocean environment. Another interest, Fisherman Lost at Sea which recognizes our fisherman who have died doing what they love.
When he's not wearing one of his own T-shirts promoting his Charter business, he's head to toe in Salt life gear sporting a Salt Life sunglasses strap, Trucker Hat, Amphibian Board Shorts, with his "favorite" a Salt Life wallet tucked in the pocket. The Salt Life name makes sense because it encompasses his life style and everything he's about as a waterman.
Capt Dane is currently working on several projects expanding the industry, his Charter Fishing Business and The Captain Dane Karcher Brand catapulting himself to the next level. He is a force to be reckoned with, born destined for greatness in and out of the water.
Captain John Keizer
Capt. John Keizer, a well known outdoor writer for local fishing magazines, newspapers and national sport fishing publications, is best known in the Northwest as a lecturer at events such as the Seattle International Boat Show, Northwest fishing clubs, International Sportsmen's shows, and as a host/organizer of salmon fishing classes and seminars from Canada to Oregon.
He began his fishing career at age 14 as a deckhand on the Westport charter fleet. Years on the ocean fisheries sparked his love of big game sport fishing. While serving in the Navy, he pursued billfish in exotic locations such as Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mid Way Island, Tonga, Hawaii and other locations around the South Pacific.
After returning to Washington, John devoted his time to fishing the waters of the Northwest, Alaska and British Columbia.
His love of the sport and his concern for its preservation led him to become a founding member of the Gig Harbor Puget Sound Anglers Chapter where he served as its first president and on the Puget Sound Anglers State Board for several years.
During this period, he honed his skills as a writer, lecturer and television personality. His passion for introducing new anglers to the sport led to his founding of a new, all encompassing project aptly named SaltPatrol.com.
Capt. John and his wife, Norine, currently reside in University Place Washington where he is regularly featured on local radio and television shows promoting salmon and tuna fishing opportunities. He holds a USCG Master License, belongs to the National Charter Boat Association, and is an International Game Fish Association (IFGA) Certified Captain. He also holds current active memberships in the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Association of America. John also spends time each year fishing Billfish in Mexico and Costa Rica. John loves the Salt Life.
John is on the Pro-Staff for the following companies:
>>North River Boats
>>Pro Troll Tackle
>>Silver Horde Tackle
>>Shimano Rods & Reels
>>Pautzke Bait Company
>>C & H Lures
>>Director of the Salt Patrol Marlin Tournament Series East Cape Mexico
Captain Don Combs
Captain Don Combs has fished from coast to coast, the Bahamas, Mexico and Australia and has won over 300 fishing awards. He has won Boat of the Year in North Florida four times and finshed second six more times. He caught 52 Billfish in North Florida in one year, including a new record of nine Swordfish in one night. With his wife, Cynthia Combs, they captured the first Super Grand Slam ever recorded in North Florida. Don is the Founder and managing partner of C&H Lures, Inc. He has written articles for Salt Water Sportsman, Big Game Journal, Marlin Magazine and many other publications. He has been the guest speaker at events from California to New Jersey and traveled with the Saltwater Seminar Series with Captain George Povermo. He also made three instructional videos that were voted some of the best in the inductry. Don competed in the SKA Pro Division and was sponsored by Fountain Power Boats, Mercury Motors, Lowrance Electronics, Sign Zoo, C&H Lures, and Ford Motor Company.
In the five years his team competed they won numerous awards and two first place finishes. They also finished fifth overall for Angler of the Year.
Don still holds several records in North Florida including a 125lb Wahoo and a 390lb Swordfish and the most Swords caught in North Florida, 287. In 2007 the crew of The Shark Bait caught and released a Grander Blue Marlin while fishing in the Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament. Don is an avid Blue Marlin fisherman and has placed and won many tournaments both in the US and the Bahamas.
In addition to fishing, Don has been Scuba and free diving for over 50 years. From his home in the Bahamas he prefers getting in the water and free diving with pole spears where the fish action is face to face and on even ground.