Video: Finding Trapper Nelson

Where did it all go?

Progress doesn’t ask permission. It clears, builds, expands. Today, humans are the invasive species.

Thankfully, time travel does exist.

In Finding Trapper, a new short film by Rapala, you’ll take a nine-mile boat trip up the Loxahatchee River into a wilderness area located north of West Palm Beach near Jupiter, Florida, where you’ll be transported to bygone era — to the land of a local legend, Trapper Nelson.

A half century ago, before theme parks, tourists and celebrities would visit Trapper Nelson’s Zoo and Jungle Garden. He would wrestle alligators and show off the panthers and bobcats he’d trapped. He was a large man known to wear shorts, a British pith helmet, and nothing else. His name was Vincent Natulkiewicz, but the wild named him “the Wildman of the Loxahatchee.” He was the first, the only, the last of his kind.

A half century later, River Hawk Charters’ Captain Greg Snyder, fishes the same waters that Trapper Nelson fished for sustenance. A fishing guide with more than 20 years of experience, Snyder tosses Rapala lures in search of tarpon, snook, and jacks; he observes that these waters, which appear lost in time, are still brimming with life.

In Finding Trapper, you’ll come to understand that fishing has the power to transport us to a bygone era of boundless solitude, of man and nature separated only by a thin line.

Time travel with us up the Loxahatchee in Finding Trapper. You won’t find Trapper Nelson, but you’ll find what brought him here.

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