Grab your fishing pole and head 60 miles east of Mayport and you just might find Paul Dozier at “the ledge,” one of his favorite spots to fish. Paul is a local fisherman, whose passion for fishing started when he was young. He currently runs two tournaments in Northeast Florida, the Wahoo Shootout and Kingfish Shootout. We were able to catch Paul between casting lines to ask him a few questions about the sport.

How long have you been fishing?

I have been fishing as long as I can remember. My Dad took me fishing when I was 3 or 4 years old.

What do you love about the sport?

I love spending time on the water with my friends. We make memories that will last forever.

Any tips or tricks you care to share with novice fishermen?

We are blessed with many resources for novice or beginning offshore fisherman here in North Florida. Having a first-class tackle shop with a experienced staff, such as Strike-Zone Fishing, as well as fishing clubs, like the Jacksonville Bluewater Club or Northeast Florida Marlin Association, are assets Northeast Florida fishermen have at their disposal that allow beginners to enjoy success.

What is the best bait to fish with?

Ballyhoo is the best all-around bait for offshore trolling in our area. Many of the better Wahoo fishermen have gone to high-speed lures over trolling ballyhoo. High speeding is extremely effective and allows anglers to cover more ground by trolling at 12 to 18 knots. The problem with high-speed trolling is it basically eliminates all other species besides Wahoo. That’s why I say trolled ballyhoo is the best bait all around.

You run two tournaments currently. What’s your favorite part about putting on these events?

My favorite part of running the Northeast Florida Wahoo Shootout and the Northeast Florida Kingfish Shootout is spending time with the fishermen. The Northeast Florida fishing community is as good of a group of guys as you could ask for, and I am truly blessed to have their support and friendships through my two tournaments.

What is your favorite fish to catch? 

I love to catch all kinds of fish, but Billfish, particularly Blue Marlin, would have to be my favorite. I love bluewater fishing for Wahoo, Dolphin and Tuna as well, but the power of a Blue Marlin cannot be matched. I also love fishing for Kingfish in the summertime on the beach. North Florida has one of the most underrated fisheries in all of the Southeast.

Is fishing a family event for you, or more so just a profession?

I love fishing with my friends and look forward to making it more of a family event as my son gets older. My friends are like family and we cherish the time we have on the water. People think we are crazy because we fish from daylight to dark and truly love every second of it.

Describe the sport in one word. 

Passion. I think about fishing or fishing tournaments every day, and I believe there are many people just like me. We are blessed to live in a place where we can follow our passion and have good luck fishing while 12 months out of the year.