Lauderdale Marine captain J.D. Heminger credits Mercury Marine for his fishing success

Florida-based professional fishing guide and competitive angler J.D. Heminger spends most of his days on the water fishing. For Heminger, in fact, fishing is both his life and his livelihood.

Heminger realized his love of fishing at a young age but, because he couldn't afford a boat, he developed an alternate plan.

"I was sitting at the house one day and asked myself, why can't I fish off a jet-ski?" remembers Heminger. "We decked those things out with every piece of technology we could find. We were catching sailfish, dolphin and tuna. We got some funny looks from the other boaters but at the end of the day when we came back in, and these guys are here on their 100, 200, 300 thousand-dollar boats and we're here on our little jet skis and we've got tails hanging off the back and these guys are coming in with nothing but a big skunk flag flying; it was a little redeeming; it felt pretty good."

See how Heminger went from a career at NASA to life in the marine industry in this new video:

As captain of the Lauderdale Marina fishing team in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Heminger relies on his Boston Whaler - Mercury package to get him to his fishing spot and back. It's that reliability, Heminger says, that allows him to make a living doing what he loves.

"The performance is outstanding with the Mercurys on the back of this boat," said Heminger. "The performance is outstanding. I know when I get here at 5:30 in the morning – when I start them – they're starting up. They're not going to give me any problems, I'm not going to have to worry about anything. I can take this boat out in any seas, in any conditions with my crew.

"Not only am I going to get there quickly, I'm going to get there reliably. And I know that at the end of the day, after we fish for 12 hours and have to make a 60-mile run home, I don't have to worry about getting home. I know that at the end of the day, my crew, my boat and I are going to get home safe. We can go wherever we want, fish wherever we want and at the end of the day we are back at the dock and we get to do it again."

When he's not on the water, Heminger is at Lauderdale Marina working on engines. He admits that leaving NASA wasn't easy, but his love of the water and his passion for boats makes his "new" life the ideal one.

"We work on every brand of engine here at the marina," said Heminger. "Mercury's warranty really is second to none. They cover everything. With proper maintenance, these engines will just go and go. They don't stop, they don't get beat up. When you go to service them, when they take them apart, they look great inside. They don't have any problems. There is no salt buildup, there's no corrosion, there's no pitting and there are no holes. We see this with other engines but with Mercury, that just doesn't happen."

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