CAPT. BRIAN KOMER

Fac­tory/De­mon­stra­tor Cap­tain, Vik­ing Yachts Bass River, New Jer­sey

Marlin - - BEFORE THE STRIKE -

Brian Komer started fish­ing pro­fes­sion­ally at the age of 18 on Capt. Rick Have­land’s char­ter boat Cap­tain Hook in Key West, Florida, af­ter show­ing up for two weeks straight, wash­ing the in­com­ing boats and ask­ing each one if he could go out with them the next day. Fi­nally, Have­land ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion.

Komer bounced back and forth for

the next 12 years, work­ing as mate, then cap­tain and back to mate again, be­fore he fi­nally made the move to cap­tain for good. He ad­mits he wasn’t sure what it took to make that tran­si­tion but says, “You’ll know when the time is right for you to take the next step in your ca­reer.”

To­day, more young cap­tains are tak­ing the helm, and Komer be­lieves this can be a dou­ble-edged sword: “Hir­ing a young mate-turned-cap­tain can gain a more ea­ger, ag­gres­sive per­for­mance in the

fish­ing as­pect, but un­for­tu­nately, some of the younger mates who try to move up too quickly also learn that it’s not just fish­ing.”

Now in his eighth year at Vik­ing

Yacht Co., Komer main­tains there are no short­cuts when it comes to mov­ing from the cock­pit to the bridge. You still must pay at­ten­tion and lis­ten, all the while re­spect­ing the boat and its owner. “You re­al­ize very quickly when run­ning your own boat that there’s no one else to turn to. The fi­nal de­ci­sion is your own.”

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