The powers on the towers.
Meet the Hell's Bay Pro Staff. The most passionate legends of the sport all have one thing in common: Helping us continue our legacy of building the World’s Finest Shallow Water Skiffs.
Captain Benny Blanco
Born: March 27, 1976
Birthplace: South Florida
Hometown: Miami, FL
Fishing Hole: Florida Bay
Lure: White jerkbait
Fish: Tarpon, Redfish
Hero: Jose Wejebe, Flip Pallot
Captain Benny Blanco is an award-winning conservationist, tournament-winning fishing guide, devoted father, ardent mentor and acclaimed television host.
For the last 25 years he has been one of the premier guides specializing the Everglades and Florida Bay, guiding anglers to the endless possibilities and lifetime bests that only the Everglades can provide.
A former FLW & IFA professional angler, Benny has most recently taken his place on the front lines of the fight for Florida’s natural resources as a core member of Captains for Clean Water, the founder of the Everglades Guides Association, an advisor to the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation as well as the Ocean Conservancy. This journey has taken him from his home deep in the backcountry to the halls of the Florida Capital in Tallahassee and the United States Capitol in Washington DC, working at the highest levels with our representatives to protect our precious resources. Benny was named Costa Del Mar’s Conservationist of the Year in 2018.
Born: October 11, 1939
Birth Place: Havana, Cuba
Hometown: Miami, FL
Fishing Hole: The Everglades
Lure: Any Surface Lure
Fly: Crystal Shrimp & Sea-Ducer
Hero: Lee Wulff
Chico Fernandez was born in Cuba and moved to South Florida at a young age. With him he brought his love for fishing and began Fly fishing in Miami after meeting Flip Pallot. Chico began his career as an Accountant and Budget Director for Burger King, but after a short time he left the corporate world to become involved in the outdoors and fishing fields. This included writing, teaching and consulting on all things saltwater Fly fishing. He has broken and held several world records including the largest Redfish taken with a Fly rod and the first angler to land a White Marlin on Fly. Chico is a steward of conservation and is a strong supporter of the CCA and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. He currently lives in Miami, FL and spends his time teaching others the joys of saltwater Fly fishing.
Capt. C.A. Richardson
Born: Charleston, SC in 1965
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Fishing Hole: Anywhere on Florida’s West Coast
Lure: Top water plug (Mirrolure)
Fly: Clouser Minnow (tan/white)
Fish: Giant Speckled Trout
Hero: Flip Pallot & Bill Dance (what a combo!)
Born in Charleston, SC in 1965… then relocated to Florida as a child and has fished much of the Southeast & Caribbean for over 50 years. In 2001, he started an inshore fishing school, Flats Class that has turned into one of today’s most popular television series. As a 20 year fishing guide, Capt. C.A. Richardson has taken his experiences and transformed them into television episodes, podcasts and even online courses for his Flats Class fans. He’s also become one of the leading spokespersons for the fishing industry and for many legacy brands such as Hell’s Bay Boatworks.
Capt. C.A. often says, “I’ve had the opportunity to sample dozens of skiffs in my career… some good and some not so good. But I have to say, my Hell’s Bay Marquesa is without a doubt is the “gold standard” in the skiff world. It is the ultimate skiff for all types of anglers from redfish and bonefish enthusiasts to hardcore tarpon fishermen. What it really boils down to is the Marquesa possesses unmatched performance in regards to ride, fishability and craftsmanship. It’s the last skiff, I’ll ever need for the rest of my career!”
Born: Miami, FL 1970
Hometown: State of Florida
Fishing Hole: 10,000 islands E.N.P.
Lure: Top Pup (Mirrolure)
Fly: Black Muddler Minnow
Captain Al Keller was born in Miami, FL and grew up in Tampa. As a South Florida native, he has become one of the most recognized and respected names in fly fishing in the 10,000 Islands and Everglades National Park. In 1996 he received his U.S. Coast Guards License and started what he and many others dream about, fly fishing for a living. Captain Al has spent half his life guiding and sometimes spends more time on the water than on dry land every year. As a true guide, his passion has always been about teaching and sharing what the mangroves, estuaries, and Gulf of Mexico has to offer shallow water anglers. In his free time, he enjoys tying his own fly patterns and hones his skill and feeds his passion at fresh and saltwater tournaments throughout the year. The Hell’s Bay Boatworks Marquesa is truly one of the most versatile skiffs I’ve had the pleasure of guiding in over the last 24 years.