Wounded Warrior Deep Sea Fishing Trip
We were fortunate enough this year to be asked to participate in the effort to give back to our soldiers who have been injured, and proudly said yes to the opportunity to take a few out for an outstanding day of deep sea fishing on the Emerald Spirit. Our day started like all the others; get down to the boat early and catch live bait, make sure all of the tackle was ready as well as the boat. The Crew is ready all the time, especially today because they know how important this is to everyone involved. They also know I was going to go to some of my very best holes in the Gulf.
We had a couple of sponsors pay for the Wounded Warrior Project to bring these guys out with us today. It is this kind of dedication as well as the dedication of our troops that really got to me so before we ever left the dock in Orange Beach I gathered everybody in the cabin for our safety meeting and proceeded to share with them my plans for the day. I explained how we normally fish and how I wanted to fish today, which is out of our norm somewhat. I call it “Hero or Zero” fishing. We basically do what you never do and that is go to your poor holes or ones that just don’t have much on them. Then we use the biggest bait you’ve ever seen, so big it would choke your average monster fish. I know, sounds crazy, Huh?
The way I see it, you will probably bomb out and not get a bite at all, BUT IF YOU DO! OH YEAH! Well we didn’t do too well in the Hero or Zero department so we just went to some of my 5 year old virgin fishing holes where the 25 pounders swim around on top and bite like a bass hitting a June bug! We didn’t keep anything less that around 20 pounds or so, and the water was real muddy. We did put out the drift line and finally got a bite, Wow, a 53 pound Wahoo. We also caught an 8 foot Bull Shark and everyone got to pull on him a while. Once everyone was tired I was told to take it in.
As we headed for home one of the warriors of the trip who had fished his tail off all day turned to me and said, “I’m sore all over!” and I thought, what a good job I did putting them on some big fish. Then I talked to one of the sponsors and told him what the soldier said and he explained to me, “You know that 80 % of his bones in his chest, shoulders, arms and back were broken when an IUD blew him up?” All I could say was Oh my God! You would have never known, he fished like he never had a problem and will most likely be stoved up for a week or so getting over the trip, yet all of the guys thanked me personally and that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Hopefully, we can do this again for our veterans. Thank you for coming!
Hey guys, just as I expected we had a great trip. The weather was supposed to be fair on Saturday and then get better on Sunday and it did, but I think it could have been a little better on Saturday, it was a little too bumpy and rolling. The waves were only 1-3 feet but we had to ride out “in the trough.” Sunday was as good as it gets; slick calm, no wind, no current and the fish were biting.
Saturday we started off catching some White Snappers, Triggers, Mingo’s and some Real Nice Amberjacks. Some were in the 60-70 pound range. We did troll out and back but the water is still so cold that we didn’t get a bite. After catching some AJ’s we went on out to the deep water rigs starting with the Petronius. We arrived about an hour before dark and put the Ballyhoo out on the slow trollers and pulled around the rig. Right off jump street, we got a double hook up. Two Black Fin Tuna. I told my deck hand Eric to pull the lines in and let us try some jigging if they were going to bite this good. He already had the poles out and rigged up so we pulled up to the rig and started jigging. We caught a few kind of hit and miss and decided to go on out to the next rig offshore, (the Marlin) and try it for some Yellow Fin Tuna before it got too late. After high Speed trolling out there it was dark when we arrived so we tried jigging even though I didn’t see any fish on the fathometer. No luck, they just weren’t there. So, we hauled butt down to the next rig (Ram Powell) to see if they were there. The report I got from another captain just the week before was that this was the only place they did any good. So with high hopes we pulled up to the rig and made a pass around it to see what we could see on the fathometer. Nothing! Not a single dot on the meter. No bait on top or fish below. At this point I made an executive decision and decided to go all the way back up to the first rig we left, the Petronius, where they were biting. We used this time to enjoy the Extra Large Filet Mignon that our customers from Birmingham, AL brought with them along with all the fixin’s from there restaurant. It didn’t last long, as a matter of fact if one of my deck hands hadn’t brought me a few small pieces I wouldn’t have gotten any, it went so fast. After we returned back up to the first rig, we jigged some more and caught several more Black Fin Tuna. However, everyone was spent by then, especially after that good meal. So we pulled out from the rig, dropped a squid over for a sword fish and caught forty winks. We woke up around 5:00 a.m. and returned back to the rig after having some coffee where we resumed jigging and ended up catching several more fish. By now the weather was absolutely beautiful. We fished our way back to the dock that evening and celebrated what a great trip we had.
Now the Cobia are running and we are tying on our ling lures. We have Cost Guard Inspection on Monday and right after that, I’M GONE! Check with me next week to get the whole story on the Cobia Run!