For Captain Dale Wills, it all started with chasing blues while operating gamefish charters from North Carolina to Mexico working as a mate to his father, Captain Wills Sr.
The first in his family to graduate college, Dale used his marketing degree to join a firm in Atlanta selling advertising. But with a love for all things offshore, he earned his captain’s license and became a charter captain in St. Martin, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Grenada, the Caribbean, and along the eastern seaboard.
Dale eventually returned to his childhood home in Ft. Pierce, Florida where he took his passion for fishing—and his background in marketing—to find a way to reach the more than 40 million people in the U.S. who fish each year.
In 2001, Wills launched InTheBite, a professionals’ sportfishing magazine and the first online publication with real-time reporting for Bahama-based tournaments catching blue marlin. As publisher, he has successfully garnered over 25k subscribers with the online publication expanding to become a resource for industry news, tournament schedules, featured stories, and job boards.
During his time reporting on tournaments, Wills recognized that anglers still needed two devices for measuring fish: a ruler for length and a scale for weight. If used incorrectly, a scale can damage the fish. This led Wills to develop a product to determine the length and estimated weight of a fish in one easy step. With help from a local marine biologist and the aid of biological growth charts, he created the first blue marlin measuring device to provide length and weight estimation.
In 2013, Dale was granted a U.S. Patent for the Release Ruler. Two years later he won “Best FishSmart Product” at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) show for his largemouth bass ruler. Today, Release Ruler is available in over 40 species-specific rulers and continues to grow.
Dale currently resides with his wife and two children in South Florida where he continues to pursue his passion for all things fishing. He is excited to teach the next generation about the beauty of life on the water and the importance of enjoying fishing safely and sustainably.