William Nichols has been fishing his entire life. Born in Greenville, Mississippi — in the Delta — William started fishing with his grandfather.
He later moved to Florida for some time, but ultimately returned to his home state and settled in Brandon. While fishing has been a constant in his life, it was not always a passion.
It wasn’t until his son, Will, was five years old and demonstrating an unbridled joy of “everything outdoors” that fishing began taking up a bigger chunk of his life.
“It’s not just fishing, though,” William says. “Will is fascinated by everything, whether it’s hunting, fishing, or laying on the ground and studying every little detail on a frog.”
Although William and Will do spend some time chasing fish in their local freshwater, they try to get to the Gulf for inshore fishing as often as possible.
“When Will showed how interested he is in fishing, I got an inshore boat, so we could enjoy it together,” William says. “Now, I’d say, we get out most every weekend.”
As avid outdoorsmen, hunting season sometimes gets in the way of their fishing adventures.
“But last weekend, the hunting didn’t look like it was going to be very good,” William said. “So we headed down to the Gulf.”
Asked about his favorite fishing memory, Will immediately said, “That five-pound bass I caught when I was five — it was a largemouth”
“It was probably bigger than five pounds,” William says. “But we didn’t weigh it, and I don’t want to sound like I’m telling stories.”
“Across the street,” was Will’s response when asked where he caught his monster bass.
“There’s a small lake across the street from where we live,” William explained.
More recently, Will has had some luck on the Gulf Coast.
“When I was nine,” the ten-year old said, “I caught a twenty-eight-inch bull red.”
Will reeled in his trophy redfish near Delacroix, Louisiana — a part of the country known for its monster reds.
“We want to help kids get and stay interested in fishing,” William said. “With NXT Generation, we will feature their catches, offer advice and help to teach them about fishing and techniques.”
And that is the same motivation that William has for being so involved in Will’s fishing passion.
“If we don’t feed his passion for good, healthy activities, his interests could change to something that’s not as good,” William says. “As his father, it’s important to me to be involved and steer him in the right direction.”