Who is Jack Smith?

Jack Smith, a horticulturist by trade, grew up in Florida where his father served as a game warden. Father and son enjoyed fishing together but job requirements meant most of their opportunities came at night. They fished both saltwater and freshwater, but Smith recalls the only fish they wanted when it came to freshwater was crappie.


Smith owned a landscape company but began guiding for nighttime crappie 20 years ago. He fishes year-round, but says his best success comes during the hottest months of summer.


Smith lives near Ocala. He fishes many of the small lakes in and around the Ocala National Forest.


His home is along the Ocklawaha River, which also has crappie, but his favorite river is an hour-long boat tow away, the St. Johns River, where the river sharply narrows just west of Deland.