This weekend we had dinner with Corky and his wife, at a wonderful Greek cafe. The topic of fishing always comes up between Corky and Sweetie. Both love the water and fishing. We recalled a deep fishing trip a few years back….. way…way back.
Living in North Texas it is only a short 11 hour drive to Port Aransas. We took the 80 foot catamaran called the Scat Cat with Fisherman’s Wharf for a 12 hour trip in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a beautiful and calm day for fishing. We drank coffee and ate bagels on the upper sun deck as the sun rose leaving the harbor.
It takes about 2 hours until we arrive at the first fishing area. Everyone claims their spot on the boat, bait their hooks with a gooey slab of squid and drop their lines. There aren’t too many things that thrill me more than deep sea fishing! Soon, the mayhem begins as fish begin to hit lines. Everyone scrambles with their rods, reeling frantically. The thing that excites me the most about deep sea fishing is that you really have no idea what will come up. We were bottom fishing, so I expected Snapper or Grouper maybe even a shark.
Sweetie is reeling in his catch, it’s not big, but he definitely had something. The fish begins to surface and it is something that none of us had ever seen before, white, almost albino looking and shaped like an eel. What’s more, is that as soon as he pulled it out of the water it begins to bark like a dog. That was a surprise. A deck hands begins hollering at Sweetie not to pull it into the boat. He rushes over with gloved hands and releases the creature back into the sea. I was able to capture one picture. The deck hand said it was a dogfish, a species of shark.
Later that day we were fishing an oil platform. Corky tells us about a dive trip he had recently been on. His group was diving an oil platform that had scallops attached to the pylons . They pulled off scallops right there under water, removed their regulators and popped them in their mouths. Nothing like really, fresh sushi!
We were still bottom fishing and nothing was happening. No one had even gotten a nibble. Corky continues with his dive tale. After he had his fill of scallops he and his dive buddy were in a school of Amberjack when a knucklehead with a spear gun shoots at a fish, the spear just missing Corky’s head hitting a fish in front of him. If that didn’t freak him out enough, blood was everywhere now, a beacon for any sharks in the area. Him and his buddy quickly ascended not wanting any part of that.
Things were getting pretty dull now, no fishing action. I decided to try a new strategy. We were bottom fishing in about 100 feet of water. I asked Corky what depth the Amberjack were at on his dive trip. I reel in my line, put a fresh squid and drop my line to about 40 feet. A minute may have passed and something hits my line hard! I squeal grabbing the attention of the other anglers…. mostly men I might add. I begin reeling frantically and pull up 2 nice sized Amberjacks. With fresh bait on, I drop the line and again within a couple of minutes I have another hit. Squealing again, I pull in 2 more Amberjack. The other anglers not having caught anything are visibly grumbling, me jumping up and down shouting ‘I have 2 again’ didn’t help. Finally, 1 guy set his man card aside and came to ask a girl of twenty something how she was fishing. With all ears turned towards me, I revealed my strategy. Soon, mayhem ensued again on the Scat Cat with everyone catching Amberjack.