Meet Captain Sam Atwell, new host of Florida Sportsman Watermen, Season II. Sam, 29, grew up fishing the Indian River Lagoon and the deep blue waters offshore Ft. Pierce and Sebastian. After graduating from Florida State followed his internal compass back home to the Indian River, and Vero Beach Florida. Today, Sam and Jess are happily married (with a baby), and Sam is building his own business, Down Sea Charters. Going into his fifth year of guiding, he splits his fishing days between a 45-Express, his 18 skiff and 25 center console. For this season of Watermen Sam is running a 24 Islamorada bay boat.

In this episode, episode one, Sam meets up with longtime friend and fishing Captain, Dean Hardie, in their hometown of Vero Beach Florida to target seatrout. Join them as they do their best to find active fish during a cold snap this past winter. They also discuss some of the issues that they have faced in recent years due to the loss of seagrass when it comes to targeting seatrout and other species.

Mike Conner, Florida Sportsman Conservation Editor, meets up with Sam during the show to discuss the parallel struggles of both the inshore seagrasses and healthy populations of seatrout.

Sportsman Channel

Sunday -8:30am

Monday – 11am

Friday – 7am

Fox Sun Sports

Friday – 8:30am

Saturday – 6am

Sunday – 8:30pm

Tuesday – 6am

Bonus Tip

Captain Sam Atwell goes over his preferred setup and tactics for targeting seatrout throughout the State.


In keeping with the magazine’s decades old mix of featuring excellent how-to and where-to fishing sprinkled in with hard-hitting advocacy it was only natural that Florida Sportsman launched Florida Sportsman Watermen.

Florida’s potential fishing opportunities are unlike any other region or state, seemingly endless in species to target and locations to launch from, but there’s a thread that ties them all together: water—clean, healthy water.

In each episode of this series, host Sam Atwell and his expert guests will fish Florida’s spectacular back-country, nearshore and offshore waters.

“The clear objective is to feature fantastic fishing throughout the state, but the underlying message that healthy water matters will be a common thread in every episode, from every corner of the state,” commented Florida Sportsman Publisher, Blair Wickstrom.