Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gulf Wreck Jewfish

I have written a couple of posts about the Gulf Wrecks. I want to add one more if that won’t bother everyone too much. The trip was in November a few years ago. I had a regular crew from upstate New York that fished with me every year. They had been to the wrecks at least once a year for about four years with me. Every one of the crew had tangled with a big Jewfish and one was about all they wanted. The big fish just kick your butt. So they started bringing a new victim each year just for Bubba. That’s the name give to the 130# outfit I use for the Jewfish.

My crew, Big John, his son Luke and Alley, brought along one of Luke’s friends that played football for some school like Ithaca State. For the like of me I can remember the boy’s name, but he was pretty healthy. Standing about 6-foot tall and weighing 275 pounds, he wasn’t all that worried about a little old fish. Normally John would have run his own boat but boats break so we ran the trip in Captain Pips 28 Topaz. Normally I wouldn’t take a mate on these trips, but Mike was around and pretty sober so we took him.

It was a chamber of commerce kind of day. Flat seas, a perfect current and good clean water. We had a good load of pinfish for live bait and the crew had plenty of cold beer. The game plan on these trips is for the crew to catch bait for the victim. John, Luke and Alley dropped and started catch big blue runners and Jack Crevelle that we shot to the bottom on Bubba. Normally this is all it takes, but the big guys on the bottom weren’t in the mood for Jacks. So Alley brought up a nice red group that went on Bubba instead on the ice. That red didn’t make it to the bottom before a big Jewfish inhaled it. The football player took the rod and much to our surprise, whipped the big Jew fish’s butt.

Mike, Luke and the football player managed to drag the 300-pound fish over the side for a nice photo op. That is the fish in the side bar along with Mike and the football player. While the crew was taking pictures, Alley had brought another red over the side. Mike put the red on Bubba and asked the football player if he wanted another fish. He did and he was hooked up on one in a heartbeat. This time the fish did its job. The football player was grunting and groaning. This fish kept digging for the bottom and was wearing the football player out. I watched the veins on the football player’s neck bulge and he turned as red as a beet. With the fish still about 20 feet down, the football player started begging for somebody, anybody to take the rod.

Now the crew was getting what they came for. The way the football player had handled the first fish had us all scratching our heads, but now the real deal was happening. No one would take the rod, though Mike was there to grab it just in case. The football player bore down and finally got the Jewfish to the side of boat. This was a smaller fish, only 250 pounds or so, but it was spunky. We all ready had a good picture so we just let this on go without a photo op.

The football player did one heck of a job. He was two for five on big Jewfish. I have had guys go zero for 10 before I could find one small enough for them to catch. So if you know somebody that’s pretty tough that you might like to tighten up a little. A Jewfish trip to the Gulf wreck is probably just the ticket. Be careful before you pick up Bubba though, you might be opening up a can of whoop ass you can’t close!

Tight Lines,
Capt. Dallas

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