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Sunday, February 18. 2007
During lunch hour one day in June of 1987, Dana Sawyer, R. E.â€œBubbaâ€ Broussard, and I, went â€œshoppingâ€ at Sporting Goods, Inc., which in 1987, was the best hunting and fishing store in the area. During this specific trip, I bought a new fishing rod for $19.95
The reader has met Dana before in "The Sunken Shrimp Boat". Bubba was a computer contractor and was the first customer I had met with when I returned to Houston in 1979. Layla was the second. On my first meeting with him, I happened to have a picture of the twelve-pound bass I caught in March of that year, which I promptly showed him. He responded by pulling out a picture of a six hundred pound Blue Marlin he had just caught. Our friendship was sealed and lasts till this day.The rod in question was inexpensive. So inexpensive that it didnâ€™t even have a name. But, its shaft extended all the way through to the end of the handle, it had a strong reel seat and trigger grip made of chromed steel, had a good reverse bend to it, had stainless steel eyes and it felt good to hold. It was six and a half foot long, with a medium to heavy action and I knew it would be just the right fit for my Ambassadeur 6500C, wide spool, reel, loaded with twenty-pound line. History would show that I had made a good buy.
I got to try the new rod out the next week, when Layla and I and Bubba and his wife went to Grand Isle, Louisiana, attempting to catch a Stripped Marlin. We caught everything but a Marlin. A hundred miles, yes a hundred miles out in a twenty-three foot, Formula with two, 455 cubic inch, engines and MercCruiser out-drives. A fifty-five MPH boat. We did have company, Jay Prudhome and his wife in Jayâ€™s new twenty-seven foot Proline, with two, two hundred horsepower sea drives. The seas were calm with no wind. We went fast!
After a less than three hour run, one hundred miles out, we pulled up to acres of floating Sargassum sea weed and with my first cast with my new rod, I had a strike from a Chicken Dolphin (small Dolphin weighing less than five pounds) and the fun started. We boated over one hundred that morning. The new rod was fine. I filleted all of those fish before supper that night. During our fishing we lost many fish to sharks! They were a nuisance.
Around noon, I had a big hit and immediately knew it wasnâ€™t a small dolphin. The fish was a great match for my new rod making a long run, it was too far offshore for a Kingfish, maybe a Wahoo, maybe a â€œbullâ€ Dolphin, but no jumps, getting it alongside the boat we saw it was a eight to ten pound Albacore Tuna being followed by a large, six foot, Bull Shark. Bubba grabbed for his .357 Magnum as the shark clipped off the Tunaâ€™s body right behind the head. The shark happily lolled on the surface long enough for Bubba to shoot it right in the middle of its head and, the last we saw of it, it was sinking. Revenge!
We slept in the next morning, and around 10:00 AM we headed out to some rigs to try and catch some really big Red Fish, thirty pounds and up. We randomly picked a rig, tied up to it, baited up and my new rod was bent double by a savage strike and a long, head shaking run â€“ a big, big â€“ Red! Fifteen minutes later we netted a thirty-five pound Red. He worked me, and my new rod out, but back into the water for him.
Not ten minutes later another savage strike, these fish mean business, and, after what seems like two hours, we boat and release a forty pound Red. My new rod did just fine. Mid morning in the middle of July, no breeze and the fish have really worked me and my new rod out, and, splash, cold, cold, splash, my lovely wife and my best friend have unceremoniously dumped an Igloo water cooler full of ice and cold, cold, water on my head to cool me off.
Layla now laughs about this, saying, â€œThis is the only time I ever saw you loose your temper.â€ Which I did. Being a lady, Layla doesnâ€™t approve of swearing, anyway I copied a page out of my Dadâ€™s cussing book and the â€œBlue Streakersâ€ started, and me trying to choke them both at once, and both of them laughing so hard, my temper cooled. They have never tried that again. Meeting Jay and his wife, we headed back out, one hundred miles, to our weed patch.
Fishing around our weed patch, we catch more chicken Dolphin and loose some fish to the sharks. We have a nice Dolphin on and up come a big Bull Shark and eats the Dolphin, lolls on the surface and we see the hole in its head where Bubba shot him yesterday. Incredible, the same shark and not dead! I guess he missed any vitals, if any happened to be up there.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 15:46 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, January 30. 2007
During the spring of 1981, by accident, Dana Sawyer and I â€œfoundâ€ a boat, probably a shrimper, that was sunk right off of the Galveston Ship Channel in fifteen feet of water, two hundred yards north of the old concrete ship. For some reason, whenever we caught the tide coming in and the wind and currents not too strong, we consistently caught fish, Speckled Trout and Red Fish, at this spot.
We had been drifting the flats north of the old Quarantine Station, on the west side of the ship Channel, with the depth recorder on, and noticed we had drifted out too far toward the Ship Channel and into deep water, when a â€œhumpâ€ appeared on our chart paper. This got our interest so we criss-crossed the hump several times and determined it was a wrecked boat about the size of a shrimp boat. This was before the days of GPSâ€™, and Dana didn't have a Loran, so we had no way of marking the spot other than triangulating on the old concrete ship, a channel marker and an oil rig.
We anchored over the wreck, baited up and let our rigs down to the bottom. Dana was right into a nice fish, but I was hung up on something. I had caught the wreck and in loosening up my hook brought up a small piece of wood. I netted Danaâ€™s fish, a nice Red, got my rig baited up and preceded to land a two pound trout.
We were on to something and for the next two years â€œThe Wreckâ€ was a fish producer for us and only a twenty minute boat ride from Danaâ€™s Camp! One memorable trip to â€œThe Wreckâ€ was during the summer of 1982. Alvin Pyland, my Uncle Gus, Dave Miller, a close friend, and I had spent the morning fishing the Gulf side of the South Jetty. As usual we had an enjoyable trip and a large Igloo Cooler over half full of fish.
The tide had been going out pushing baitfish around the end of the jetty and back toward the beachfront and we had caught Trout, Reds, Spanish Mackerel and even a Cobia. When the tide changed and started going in I suggested we try â€œThe Wreckâ€. Neither of my companions had ever fished it and didnâ€™t even know it was there. They had good success during the fall fishing for Reds almost directly across from â€œThe Wreckâ€ in ten feet of water on a shelf on the east side of the Ship Channel.
We pulled up my twenty foot Cobia, deep vee, in the vicinity of â€œThe Wreckâ€, and with the depth finder began our triangulating. Soon we were anchored over it and had our baits in the water, when â€œWhamâ€, Uncle Gus has a big hit from, obviously, a Red, a real nice one judging from the bend in his rod, and another, â€œWhamâ€ Dave has a big strike on his spinning outfit, and â€œWhamoâ€ I have a big hit from something. Wham, Wham, Wham, three almost simultaneous heavy strikes!
The fight is on! My fish, a three pound Trout, comes to the boat first, and Uncle Gus netsÂ it while still fighting his. Dave is locked in a line loosing struggle with something big and asks me â€œJon, start us up and get our anchor up. I canâ€™t stop this thing.â€
I have a dilemma, Daveâ€™s fish shows no signs of tiring and is heading north with the tide and Uncle Gusâ€™s fish is heading east toward the deep water of the ship channel. I split the difference and head at a forty-five degree angle between the fish.
Soon Uncle Gusâ€™s fish, an over thirty inch Red is alongside the boat and we net it, get the hook out and release it. Reds now had a twenty to twenty-eight inch slot and this one was too big. Dave is still struggling with his fish, which he thinks is either a record Red or maybe a large, Black Drum. I follow the fish and get the boat up beside it and we see it is a large, over twenty pound, Jackfish. â€œRecord Red, huh, haw, haw, haw,â€ we both laugh as I get the net ready. One more short run and the Jack is ours.
We get the hook out and release it. Jackfish are great fighters, more like sluggers, but have no food value. We find ourselves over three hundred yards from â€œThe Wreckâ€ and both of my guests say â€œWhy donâ€™t we go back and anchor up?â€ I comply.
Fishing â€The Wreckâ€ was a nice interlude, but a short one. Hurricane Alicia hit Galveston Island during the summer of 1983, the strong currents washing our favorite spot away forever!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 14:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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