He’s been there. Done that. And not only gotten all the t-shirts, he’s been on a bunch of them too. That’s what happens when you’re a fishing legend – and there’s no other way to describe Flip Pallot.
Flip was born and raised in the middle of a triangle smack between Biscayne Bay, The Florida Everglades and the Florida Keys. His folks were born there as well and were early pioneers of Dade County.
It was a wonderful place for a young man to grow up (to whatever extent Flip has grown up). It was the perfect crucible in which to form a total outdoorsman…and form that man it did! Flip’s life indeed took shape in the swirling tides of those mysterious estuaries as he studied the patterns of migratory waterfowl, deer, hogs, turkeys and all manner of fish (this all accomplished while he might have been studying his lessons in school).
In the middle 1950’s his constant companions were John Emery (who he’d been in first grade with), Norman Duncan (the Duncan Loop), and Chico Fernandez (Everyone knows Chico). These four inseperables could be found along the shores of the Bay and down through the Keys or stalking the banks of the Tamiami Trail Canal most days after work. All four finished school during the evenings at the University of Miami (a whole other story!!!!).
From 1963-1967 Flip was in the jungles of Panama as a linguist with the U.S. Army. Fishing there and throughout Central America was wonderful, offering a preview of a fishing life in exotic destinations to come.
After returning from service, Flips’ career as a banker began…and lasted “Way too long” according to him. As he says it best, “Every day I’d put on a coat and tie, go to the bank and lend folks money to go chase their dream, and at the end of the day I was still there, in my coat and tie, with my dream unfulfilled.”
He finally got up the courage to leave the bank…which led to his second career as a fishing and hunting guide; a career that lasted 12 wonderful years and morphed into his third career…Television!
Perhaps “Morphed” is not the right word. His career as a guide was actually ended by Hurricane Andrew. Flip and his wife Diane (he calls her D.B.) lived in Homestead, Florida when Andrew whirled in one evening destroying their home and scattering their property. Pretty much everything was lost. Friends like John “Dozer” Donnell, “Lefty” Kreh, Ted Jurascik, Joe Lunsford, Randy Miller, Glenn Lau, Mike Ehlers and Ron Hinman showed up immediately and pulled Flip and Diane’s spirits out of the wreckage. But with his skiff, airboat, truck and tackle all gone, Flip was out of the guide business.
Diane and Flip left South Florida and relocated in Mims…in Central Florida…between the St. Johns River and the Mosquito Lagoon. Yet more fertile ground for the total outdoorsman! The production of outdoor television became his third career.
Episodes of the ABC American Sportsman and the Outdoor Life series are where it all began (with the help of Stu Apte and Glenn Lau). His first series, on his own, was the Saltwater Angler, which aired for two years on TBS. Following that the Walkers Cay Chronicles was born and aired original programming for 16 seasons on ESPN. Along the way a couple of seasons with Mr. Glenn Lau filming Quest for Adventure which aired on OLN. Finally, 2007-2008 found him hosting Fishing the Keys on the VERSUS network. He is currently working on several projects including bringing the Walkers Cay Chronicles back as an online "e-zine".
Flip has written a book called Mangroves, Memories and Magic and has just completed a two DVD set entitled All the Best: A Conversation with Flip and Lefty Kreh. A few years back, his latest book, a biography of Lefty Kreh hit the stands.
Flip still lives in Mims with his best fishing buddy D.B. His daughter Brooke and granddaughter Sora are keeping an eye on his native Dade County.
Rest assured, that along every step of the way, Flip’s good humor, great insight and unparalleled passion for fishing and the outdoors have defined his success.