Learn about Marlin University's expert-level instructors.
Our instructors deliver a comprehensive course on all aspects of prepping for, locating, hooking, fighting and landing billfish. Each Marlin University trip includes hands-on, personalized, side-by-side instruction in blue-water conditions.
Capt. Jen Copeland
Senior Editor of Marlin, Copeland is a 20-plus year marine industry professional who recently completed a 14-year tenure as captain of Three Cs, a 50-foot Viking in North Key Largo, Florida. Having worked as a dockmaster, deckhand, captain, assistant tournament director, and freelance writer, she still fishes competitively for sailfish in her home waters of South Florida and for big-game wherever her travels might take her.
Debbi is married to Capt. Jimmy David of the L&H and has three wonderful children. She grew up on the water in South Florida and has been fishing since she was a little girl. Debbi has chased billfish in South Florida, Oregon Inlet, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Isla Mujeras, St. Thomas, Cape Verde, and Hawaii racking up numerous tournament victories along the way.
Capt. Brad Goodrich
Capt. Brad Goodrich is based out of Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Capt Brad has been a full-time freelance captain and crew member for the past 15 years. Freelancing has allowed him the opportunity to fish and work side by side with some of the best crews and owners in many of the best fishing locations on the planet. Having spent so much time in so many exotic locations with so many different people has helped mold Brad into a world-class crew member and teacher. From grunts to granders, and novice anglers to the most experienced salts around, he has been a vital part to their successes. We know Brad is excited to be on our team at Marlin University.
Capt. Bo Jenyns
Bo Jenyns was born into a fishing family in Brisbane, Australia. His legendary father, Capt. Ron Jenyns, won nine consecutive Australian sailing championships, represented Australia at three Olympic Games, and was one of the pioneers of the Great Barrier Reef black marlin fishery, taking Bo to the Reef for the first time when he was 16 years old. Ron taught Bo everything he kew about marlin fishing, and Bo continued to hone his skills over the next 17 seasons on the Reef.
In addition to the Great Barrier Reef, Bo Jenyns has traveled the world’s big game fishing grounds in such places as Ghana, Madeira, Kona, Bermuda, Mexico, Hatteras, and the Gulf Coast in search of giant marlin, and has been a part of Marlin University five times. Bo has been fortunate to fish with some of the best captains and crews in the world including Darren Haydon, Clay Hensley, Darren Isaacs, Dean Butler, Bill and Greg Edwards, Jason Holtz, Jarad Boshammer, Frank Kogolegbah, Dave Cassa, Jason "Tiny" Walcott, Billy Fairburn, Ricky Jones, Dana Boardman, Russ Housby, Johnny Uhr, Momi Bean, Joe Crawford, Tim Richardson and Bill Crawford.
During his career, Jenyns has caught over 1,900 marlin, weighed numerous granders — releasing even more — been involved with 10 World Records, and was recognized as Top Mate of the Year by Marlin magazine in 2008.
Jenyns moved to South Florida in 2009 to be more centrally located and is available to help those who want to land the fish of a lifetime.
Andrew “Sheepdog” Kennedy’s passion for fishing started on the banks of Ft. Lauderdale’s New River. At a young age he knew he would pursue fishing as his career and began working on the famous Bahia Mar Charter Docks. This is where he respectfully earned his nickname “Sheepdog” due to his thick head of wind-blown hair. His reliable reputation and relentless work ethic gained him recognition of top Captains on private tournament boats. He began traveling to the top destinations in the world in search of billfish. Mexico, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii and the Azores were just some of the areas he has fished. Andrew, has been a key element in numerous tournament victories and also the capture of a 1075 lb. Atlantic Blue Marlin in the Azores. His skills vary from light tackle world record fishing all the way to heavy tackle trolling. He is also the holder of 100 Ton Master Captains license but still enjoys the discipline of the cockpit.
Andy Moyes has travelled the world and fished from Florida to the Bahamas, central and South America, west and east Africa, Madeira to the giant tuna grounds of Nova Scotia. He has caught several grander black and blue marlin as well as catching over 1,000 giant bluefin tuna, 1000 marlin and 20,000 billfish.
Andy has won tournaments all over the world and now owns Moyes Big Game Tactical. He makes some of the highest quality trolling lures and teasers in the world.
Robert 'Fly' Navarro
Fly Navarro has amassed a considerable amount of experience thanks to an unrelenting passion for big-game fishing. He’s fished all over the world as both captain and mate, and remains just as focused on the sport today as he ever was growing up in South Florida. As a longtime deckhand for the world-famous Reel Tight operation, Navarro became intimately knowledgeable of the Caribbean waters, especially those of the famed North Drop off St. Thomas. Having worked for so long as one of the sport’s top deckhands, he is perhaps the best teacher when the subject turns to the art of rigging natural bait, dredges, teasers, lures, knots and terminal tackle.
Never content to remain still for more than a few moments, Navarro currently splits his time as a freelance captain and tournament mate while also serving as the Tournament Director for such notable events as the World Cup Blue Marlin Championship, the Gulf Cup, The Sailfish Tournament and the season-long King of the Hill. He operates Fly Zone Fishing, which continues to expand its reach among the marlin fishing community. In his spare time, he can usually be found beneath a pair of kites off Palm Beach in an attempt to catch just one more sailfish before the sun sets for the day.
At 70 years young, Charles Perry just might be the best leaderman in the world today. And with good reason; he's been at it since he was 6 years old when his father used to drag him out of church to go fishing on Sundays. "My father was 55 when I was born, so we kind of had a grandfather/grandson relationship; he took me everywhere with him and taught me how to hunt and fish from the very beginning. We didn't catch anything we didn't clean and didn't shoot anything we didn't eat."
Perry caught the sport-fishing bug after spending some R&R time in Australia during his service in Vietnam. "I found out where the fishing was and came back in 1972, riding my unicycle up the highway to Cairns. I missed the season but came back the next year and caught a bunch over 1,000 pounds. That's when I really got into the fishing game. And since I was catching them with throttle jockeys like Capt. Peter Wright, every fish was an adventure. Back then I really fought them on the leader as much as the angler did on rod and reel. But when you're young and strong, you really love that stuff. I'm not any better or any more famous than anybody else; I've just outlived everybody."
Even with all the fish he's seen, Perry says it's the people who really make fishing worthwhile. "The people you meet and make friends with are truly a priceless part of big-game fishing. Don't get me wrong; the fishing is great - and I love to catch them - but the real joy is hanging out with a bunch of people who love the same things that you do."
Passion is what describes Capt. Ray Peterson. Ray grew up in Plantation, FL. catching Snook and Tarpon in the neighborhood canals. The passion grew over time. In high school and college Ray’s free time was spent charter fishing and one thing led to the next. Now, a 23 year veteran sport fish captain, he has traveled the world fishing and is honored to be able to share his knowledge and expertise to hone in your Marlin fishing skills. If it swims, Ray will teach you how to catch it , making life long great memories along the way.
Chessy Ricca is a Palm Beach County native who is currently working on her Master's degree in Florida Studies from USF St. Petersburg. With a Bachelors degree in Fine Art and a Masters in Florida History, Chessy brings a unique and colorful flair to the east coast. Her experience on the water ranges from working on a drift boat to mating on a handful of center consoles, along with the occasional freelance position on sport fishing vessels. She has worked offshore tournaments such as the Silver Sailfish Derby and numerous KDWs. Chessy's most recent position has been on an Ocean Master 31' out of Jupiter, Florida, specializing in live-baiting for sailfish, dolphin, and wahoo. Working as a first mate in the industry for almost 10 years, Chessy has learned the ins and outs of live-baiting for sailfish. When Chessy is not focused on her Florida studies, you will probably find her painting Florida scenery in oils or fly fishing her local beaches.
Capt. George Sawley
Capt. George Sawley grew up in the Florida Keys and started fishing commercially for his father while still in elementary school. After school, Sawley would hit the charter docks, washing boats and doing odd jobs for the chance to go offshore. His hard work paid off, and soon, he was spending his weekends working for the local charter boats.
After graduating from high school, Sawley became a full-time mate on a busy charter boat out of Hawks Cay Marina on Duck Key. In 1992, Sawley landed his first position as captain on a private boat where he fished tournaments and pursued world records throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Sawley now builds advanced-composite skiffs for shallow-water fishing, with his last captain’s job was on the 57-foot Spencer Yacht, Stalker. Sawley ran the Stalker for 13 years, racking up over 6,000 billfish releases on light tackle and fly in all the world’s best billfishing destinations. He and his crew released 1,736 striped marlin in a single season, and no captain has caught more Atlantic blue marlin on fly. With over 10,000 billfish captures to his credit, it’s a safe bet that Capt. George Sawley can teach you a thing or two.
Capt. Mitchel Vitale is a lifetime fisherman from Fort Lauderdale Florida. He grew up fishing the piers, canals, and pretty much any body of water he could, given the chance. Mitchel knew early on what he wanted to be when he grew up. He started his career on the charter boats then graduated to private boats, always gaining knowledge from the captains and crews he has worked with through the years and eventually becoming a captain himself. Mitchel has made a lifetime commitment to being a valued member of many competitive fishing teams catching big game fish in the best locations possible from Nova Scotia to Panama to St Thomas and everywhere in between. Whether fishing tournaments, charters or fun fishing, he gives it his all with a positive, humble, and fun attitude. You’ll never see him smile more than when he’s catching fish.
Editor-in-Chief of Marlin, Sam White grew up offshore fishing in North Carolina before moving to Florida in 2002 to continue pursing his passions of fishing and writing. He's an avid tournament angler as well, having won several events in Mexico and Central America.
Capt. Peter Zabinski Jr. (Big Pete)
Peter grew up sport fishing for fun with his father and younger brothers in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas starting in 1981. This led to a 21 year career as a freelance Captain and mate. Peter considers himself extremely fortunate to have fished the Great Lakes of Northern Michigan, the islands of the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central America, Mexico and the Azores. Throughout these travels it was awesome to fish many tournaments and be crew for 5 billfish world records on fly - Men’s 8lb tippet Pacific Blue Marlin, Men’s 8lb tippet Stripped Marlin, Women’s 16lb Tippet Pacific Blue Marlin, Women’s 4lb Pacific Sailfish and Women’s 2lb tippet Pacific Sailfish. Throughout the years people have said if you really enjoy what you do then it’s not really a job. The people in the sportfishing world build friendships that reach far beyond the water. When you hear a local from one of the destinations welcome you it’s really radical. We are extremely fortunate to be able to travels to all corners of the planet in search of the next bite.