Captain Michael Potts had a most unusual start to his fishing career. During the sixties his mother would take him along to ride shotgun in her airplane while she was spotting swordfish for Michael's father George and Uncle John. They had been operating a charter boat in partnership since 1944, and when they didn't have trips booked and conditions were right they would head offshore looking for swordfish to harpoon for the market. Margaret would fly overhead, and when she spotted a fish lolling on the surface she would head back to the boat, dropping a message to them with the fish's location and then return to the fish to keep track of it until the brothers arrived on the scene.


By the time he was ten years old, Michael had steady work around the docks, helping out on the BLUE FIN or other boats, or hawking fish to the tourists who wandered the docks. However, before he turned to fishing full time he had to complete his education, no doubt a result of his mother's main occupation as a teacher, something she continued doing until 1993 when she retired at the age of seventy-seven. He got a degree in environmental biology at the Florida Institute of Technology and afterward attended graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, but every summer would find him back in Montauk fishing.

In 1975, his family expanded their charter fleet to two boats by buying Captain Nick Kuzins' TIGER SHARK III, upon his death. The family probably realized that Michael would finally wind up fishing for a living, and the boat, renamed BLUE FIN IV, was too good a boat to let slide by. It's a big 41' boat built in Greenport, Long Island specifically for fishing off the east end. In 1981, Michael's father retired and he took over the operation of the boat full time, finally buying it in 1984. The original BLUE FIN was sold when Michael's Uncle John passed away in 1987, and is still being fished in Montauk to this day.

Michael has one of the top charter boats in town, both from the perspective of putting fish on the dock, and more important, in the number of trips he sails each year. He is known as a "hard charger", who is going to do whatever it takes to get a mess of fish for his clients. If you get to a spot before him and anchor on it, you'd best be sure you do it right. If not the fact that you got there first doesn't matter, because Michael will take advantage of your mistake before you even realize that you made it. His clients will come back with full coolers, while you will spend the day scratching your head wondering why he did so well, and you so poorly.

 
   
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