As long as Juan can remember he has always love pursuing fish with his rod and reel.
Some of his earliest memories are deep sea fishing with him mom, aunt, and uncle off the coast of Florida, and fishing off docks for crabs and small coastal
fish off the coast of Maine. Growing up in Maine, Juan was introduced to all types and styles of fishing, including stream, river, creek, lake, and coastal. He also loved to ice fish in the
winter and fly fish in the spring. In many ways, his love for fishing fueled his desire to become a fisheries biologist. Today, he often gets to target fish with all kinds of gear for his job,
but he still loves the traditional hook and line approach on the weekends as a Weekend Warrior. He primarily pursues nearshore marine species by wading or paddling his kayak, but
occasionally he and his wife charter a vessel to target offshore species. His wife, Frances, also loves to fish. She grew up fishing with her family in the Florida Keys; it was a family tradition
to miss two or three weeks of school in the spring and fall to go fishing off Islamorada. Fishing means so much to Frances that she even has a fishing-inspired tattoo; a fishing hook band around
Juan has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a
rod and reel. His earliest memories is fishing the offshore waters off Cocoa and Cape Canaveral, Florida with his mom, aunt, and uncle. He remembers catching red snapper and other reef fishes. He
also enjoyed fishing off local docks for sting rays and catfish. After moving to Maine as a child, Juan continued to purse various coastal and offshore species. Each year, Juan and his
family would target flounder and Spanish mackerel. They would also take a few offshore trips for cod and pollock.; he really enjoyed catching spiny dogfish. As a child, he also was introduced to
freshwater fishing. On any given weekend or after school, Juan was fishing for trout, salmon, and bass in local creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes. During the winter, he loved setting his fishing
traps for salmon and trout. In the spring, Juan loved to target freshwater fish with live bait; earthworms. He and his friends perfected catching night crawlers so they started their own bait
business to pay for fishing tackle. When Juan was in high school, he began to fly fish. He and his dad would fly fish various rivers (Penobscot and Dennys) hoping to hook an Atlantic salmon. He
and his friends would also go on weekend getaways to pursue trout in northern Maine. Fishing was a way of life for Juan...so much that he decided earlier on that he wanted to become a marine
biologist with a specialty in fisheries.
Today, Juan is still a salt water fishing fanatic. He
loves inshore and offshore fishing. Florida is the Fishing Capitol of the World so he is spoiled on what species he can target. Over the years, he has fished for almost every marine species at
one time or another. Although he loves to catch most any type of fish, he admits that he would rather pursue big game species, like tarpon, marlin, swordfish, and sailfish. Juan and his wife love
to fish so much that they often celebrate their wedding anniversary by going on a fishing charter. How many couples can say the same thing?
As a child, Juan grew up fishing from canoes. As such, he realized at an early age how portable and stable canoes were for fishing. During the spring and summer, he and his family would often explore and fish the backwaters of Maine. Interestingly, his father was a master wood carpenter who would often used his creativity to design practical fishing equipment for their canoes. His father once made special brackets to fit a small horse power motor and even made a bracket to connect canoes together like a catamaran so they could fish offshore areas more safely. Juan says they would get some strange and interesting looks when they arrived on the fishing grounds in their make-shift catamaran.
Juan and Frances have always wanted to purchase a fishing boat, but after careful consideration, he opted to go old school and purchase fishing kayaks to evaluate how much they would be used on any given weekend. For Christmas, Juan purchased two 13 ft Ocean Kayaks for him and his wife. he decided to purchase Ocean Kayaks because they are made in Old Town, Maine, which is about 15 miles from where he grew up. Like canoes, they are very portable and able to get into some backwaters that many flat boats can't even reach.
Given how much they fell in love with fishing from the yaks, Juan made a decision to sell them and purchase a boat. After years of dreaming, he took the plunge a purchased a Key Hopper flats boat. He specifically chose the historic Key Hopper for various reasons. Built out of Islamorada during the 90s, the Key Hopper was considered the first go-fast long distance flats boat, The hull has a sleek design that can float in 6 inches of water and handle chop. The hull is 20.5 ft long and 87 inches wide. The boat has a dry weight of 1250 lb and was built with a heavy duty transom that could handle a large outboard engine. He recently has been in contact with the original builder and found out that Key Hopper was going back in business. Juan and Frances love the boat!
Juan and Frances love the Florida Keys. For Frances, it is her second home. As a child, her family went on fishing
trips to the keys at least twice a year. Frances grew up fishing in Sarasota and the Florida Keys. Fishing was a big part of her childhood; it was a family tradition. A few years ago, Juan and
Frances combined a Celebration of Life ceremony for Frances' mom and a fishing trip off Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Both the ceremony and the fishing was awesome; they had a very successful
fishing trip fishing with Capt. Paul aboard the Relentless. Juan and Frances ended up catching various Atlantic sailfish, kingfish, and reef fish. Juan wrote about the special family day, and it ended up being a
feature article in Florida Sportsman
Nosara, Costa Rica
Fishing trip to Nosara, Costa Rica (19 July-28 July). Seven full days of fishing with Fishing Nosara. Join Juan and Frances below for one of the most exciting trips of their lives! They targeted nearshore (rooster fish and snapper) and offshore (mahi, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and marlin) species. Nearshore species were targeted with live bonito and artificial lures, while offshore species were targeted with dead natural baits and artificial lures. For the adventure, they fished aboard small traditional Panga vessels, which made for some exciting fishing action. They hooked several doubles (tuna and sailfish) and had three sailfish on at one time! Despite being skunked while river/surf fishing for fat snook, they landed a total of 17 yellowfin tuna, 15 Pacific sailfish, 12 bonito, 6 blackfin tuna, 2 mahi, 2 cubera snapper, 1 red snapper, 1 cero mackerel, 1 barracuda, and 1 rooster fish.
Gulf of Mexico