OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - As the sun peaks over the horizon, almost every morning, you'll catch Captain John Swartz setting out on a fishing trip with his first mate, Brown Dog. It's his first love.
"When I was about four I started fishing real young. Only person in the family to fish. But, you know back in those days, parents let their kids walk down to the stream by themselves. They didn't have to worry about all the stuff we worry about today," he said.
It's a subject he can't discuss without a smile on his face. That's why in 2002, Captain John decided to turn his passion into a career. With Brown Dog by his side, he started a fishing charter called Shallow Draft Fishing Charter.
"I'm looking for a good year, I really am. Fishing's coming back strong," said Captain John.
He says fishing is a year around industry in South Mississippi and many people are under the false illusion that it's unsafe because of the oil spill in 2010. He says that's simply not true.
"Fishing's good and the fish are edible," said Captain John. "They're steady getting stronger. The catches are getting better. Catching a lot of small fish, but in two years, those small fish will be big fish."
While he can't deny the thrill of a decent catch, that's not what casting his line is about.
"I love it. I love being with the people. I love watching kids catch fish. It's just a joy to do it. It's just so peaceful out here," said Captain John.
He fishes year around. He'd do it everyday if he could. While the species change with the seasons, the fun remains the same.
For him, the only thing upsetting is having to pull in the anchor and call it a day.
"Tide's falling. Fish are there," said Captain John.
You can guarantee, with Brown Dog by his side, he'll be on the water with the sun beating down on his smiling face, for a long time.
For more information on Shallow Draft Fishing Charter click HERE.