July 5, 2018

Big game fishing in The Palm Beaches has a long history, dating back to the 1900s when John Rybovich Sr. settled in the area and put his carpentry skills straight to work. Soon after, he hit a breakthrough in the development of the sport with the introduction of boats specifically built for big game fishing. Over the next 20 years, the Rybovich boat business grew into the most famous yard in the country with John Sr. and his three sons, Johnny, Tommy and Emil at the helm.

Burt gets in some fishing!

The Rybovich family is the subject of a documentary dedicated to sport fishing, which will air on PBS stations nationally as part of the series Travels & Traditions with Burt Wolf. Produced locally by Apex Video, this project marks The Palm Beaches as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. The proximity to the Gulf Stream, with its considerably warmer water than the surrounding ocean, attracts big fish. The fact that the stream runs close to The Palm Beaches makes it an easy trip for sport fishing boats.

Burt Wolf and
Pat Rybovich on set

Burt takes viewers on a journey to meet Michael Rybovich, the son of Emil, who still operates Michael Rybovich & Sons Custom Boat Works in West Palm Beach and Pat Rybovich, who has captured the legacy of their family in an exquisitely detailed coffee table book. Pat shared, “I’m absolutely thrilled over the idea of the first-ever documentary about the family boatyard.” Burt remarked, “The project has been fascinating, learning about why The Palm Beaches has become the epicenter of sport fishing along with catching and releasing a seven foot shark with the Rybovich family!” For more information, please visit burtwolf.com.


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