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Man with cerebral palsy becomes fishing captain

michael mummert.jpeg
Posted at 3:16 PM, Sep 13, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPTV) -- Michael Mummert grew up on the water.

"On the boat every day, I never had a babysitter," he said. "The boat was my babysitter."

Mummert’s father, he says, played a huge role in pushing him to live beyond his disability, cerebral palsy.

“I was never allowed to say ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ or anything like that. It was, I’d look at my dad to help me and he’d say, ‘well, how hard did you try,'" explained Mummert.

That "can-do" attitude led Mummert to horseback riding, dirt bikes, baseball, and everything in between, including fishing.

He got a job as a dockhand as a teenager where he met Captain Weston Russell in West Palm Beach.

“He would come up to us and say, you know, ‘Can we please come, I would like to work with you guys,’ and I would tell him, ’Michael, we only have licensed captains,’” Russell said.

Becoming licensed is no small task and includes nautical and fishing knowledge, and physical assessments.

“You need a lot of hours on the water and you need to be able to fish and fishing isn’t something you just read a book about, it really takes years and years and years to become a good fisherman,” says Russell.

“It was 100% the hardest thing in ever done in my life,” Mummert said.

But sure enough, three months later he came back with a captain’s license in hand, this time as an employee of Reel Intense Fishing.

He’s quickly become a customer favorite and an award-winning fisherman when he’s not working and inspiring others

“The biggest thing I can have someone take away from this is don’t make any excuses and just do what you got to do to get it done at the end of the day,” Mummert said.

This story was originally reported by Chris Gilmore on