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  • Writer's pictureNick Dorado

Let’s go Fishin’: Blue Sky Beginnings

Blue skies, crisp salty air and beautiful blue emerald water that stretch on for miles and miles along the coast.

Welcome to my office.

This view and the beautiful surroundings I experience each morning I step aboard and prepare to take the next charter of eager families and friends out to sea for a fishing trip of a lifetime.

The Gulf has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My humble journey to becoming Captain Nick began near the sandy shores of Panama City Beach where my dad introduced me to fishing at the age of 12.

Shortly after that, I got into diving and became a certified scuba diver at the age of 13.

As I sank deeper into the ocean life, I started spearfishing and soon found myself surrounded by water everyday.

Every weekend and most weekdays after school, I was hanging out with my father at sea, fishing and enjoying the beautiful coast.

I couldn't get enough.

The risks you take, the numbers you find, the subtle changes in the behavior of the environment you observe and consider, along with those hours ticking away all the while keeping a steady eye on the wind and wave stats.

You know I love a challenge, especially if it has to do with the gulf and trying to find fish.

In 2017 I finally got to combine my love of the gulf and fishing when I chartered my first fishing trip. It was on a 17 ft. Carolina Skiff (my boat at the time that could barely handle any rough seas) with a family of 5, who I’d met on a whim while running chairs and doing beach service.

I ventured down the coast from Panama City Beach all the way to Rosemary Beach to pick them up. Within 10 mins of picking them up we were out in the deep blues fishing. That afternoon, they caught over 40 fish!

They all must’ve had a great time because they told their neighbor and returned the following year!

It was God’s hand leading me to the start of something better than I could’ve even thought to ask for!

By the beginning of the following year I had sold the boat, and started my charter fishing business, Blue Sky Fishing 30A, full time. We decided to charter out of Panama City Beach for several reasons: a pass that can safely accommodate a variety of boats, warm subtropical weather, incredible species of fish, and an abundance of sunshine (around 320 days to be specific). If you haven’t had a chance to come down and visit, there’s never a bad time to make a trip. It’s beautiful and lively with lots to do year-round.

If you’re planning a trip to the area anytime soon, I encourage you to check out the visitor information center online here. There’s some great info that’ll help you map out your vacation -- places to stay, restaurants, things to do, events, etc. And if you’re really itching to see those beautiful emerald green waters and white sandy beaches before you can physically dip your toes in the water, there’s a really cool beach cam with a live view of the Panama City pier here! (It may just be the best way to catch a live beach sunset if you’re far away).

Everyday I wake up thankful that I get to do this for a living. I’ve come across all types of people from all walks of life on my fishing charters, and I’m blessed that I’ve been able to share good times and conversation on these waters. We’ve taken out kids for their first time, prayed for fish, prayed for safety coming in from storms, spread ashes of loved ones, … basically we’ve done life together and learned and accomplished more than just the bite. We’ve become friends.

On our journey to launching the charter full time, we met a well known prophet, Jim Laffoon, who gave my family a prophetic word from the Lord over our lives.

He let us know that God sees our faithfulness and that if we just trust him, we’re going to step into something that won’t sink.

Hearing this gave me even more hope and excitement about the future of our business. I truly believe that I’m here doing this for a reason and that there’s a purpose and plan for what we’re doing with Blue Sky Fishing Charter.

Fast forward to today, and our business has helped create lifelong and unforgettable fishing memories for hundreds of families from all over the country. We’re always growing to make the experiences special for everyone who comes on board with us, because each trip has its own unique adventure.

We’ve seen our customers catch all sorts of fish (the variety is amazing). But some of the most common ones folks can expect to catch in the Gulf of Mexico waters are:

Trigger Fish

Red Snapper

Vermillion Snapper

White Snapper


And top water fish like:

King Mackerel


To see a full list of fish species you can catch in the Gulf (season, size, bag limit, etc), visit The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council here.

I don’t know all that God has planned for our business. But I do know this: This is just a small piece God has planned for Blue Sky Charters. The bite is always good, but the times and the friendships are even better. We want to take you in and treat you like family.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, most of our guests only get to come out to the beach and fish once a year (if that). We’re gonna give it our best for a memory you won’t forget!

Can’t wait!!

Captain Nick

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