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Fishing stories

Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:18 am

Because every good fisherman probably has a knife, I can only assume some of the knife owners here are also fishermen. (Not perfect logic, but I'm willing to bet some of ya'll like to fish.) :D

So, who here likes to fish?

What kind of knife do you bring fishing with you?

Where do you fish and what do you catch?

Personally, my fishing knives tend to be either gas station knives (they sell lots of folders at gas stations around here) or my trusty Chinese cleaver. Yes, pulling a cleaver out on the beach tends to keep the tourists away. :twisted: (it doubles as both a bait knife and protection)

I fish the lakes and bayous surrounding New Orleans, catch mostly redfish and trout, but also flounder, black drum, jack crevalle, gar, white trout, the occasional striper, sharks, and catfish. Crabbing in the lake is fun as well when you find a decent spot.

Can't wait to hear some of the 'big fish' stories that some of you guys have. I'll share a good one later after some more posts get going. ;)

Re: Fishing stories

Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:20 am

Well, you all know me as a Chef, but a quick fishing bio is in order, I reckon. Fishin's in my blood. I was named after my great-grandfather on my father's side who was a Ukranian fisherman that immigrated into NY. My grandfather grew up in NY, and when he got out of the Navy - he started a junk yard on Long Island which made him enough money to buy his first boat. He spent a couple decades learning and working those waters until his, then, 37' or 38' (i can't remember) Egg Harbor was capsized by a nasty storm with him at the helm. Coast Guard rescue... the full Monty. It was ugly, or rather he was ugly after the rocks got to him. My father grew up in Patchogue under his tutelage, and learned the ropes the hard way, from an old-school cold water salt. The pictures of those two with big bluefins, frigin stripers that looked like they could swallow a basketball, 55 gallon garbage cans packed w/flounder & fluke too big to fit in flat, gator bluefish, and huge weakfish. Man, what I missed.

Anyhow, my pops was discharged from the Navy, and was then frustrated with law school so he moved down to Broward in the early seventies to make it on his own. He knew how to fish, and he got a job mating the Helen S. I can't remember, but I think it was the second one. My mother has told me so many stories about my father dragging her out on night trips so she could make food for Skip and second mate. How scared she was when she watched a green 70 or 80# cobia rip a bench right out of the aluminum deck, or when the googans would want to mount the big hammerheads. They would have to drag em all the way in to dock and those sharks would still have fight in em. How much she used to love watching the sails jump, and on & on & on. In fact, story goes in 1976, I was conceived on the Helen S.

So the parentals had me, moved to Palm Beach County, and went into landscape architecture. Once more, another of the tree made enough money to buy a boat. Lucky for me as I grew up on the water. I remember the first was a 23' Marathon cuddy cabin he got from his diesel mechanic. Not a friendly platform, but give me a kayak & I'll catch fish... I guess Willie Tytler already got that covered, huh.?! I remember I couldn't stand the i/o. A Chevy block with a mercruiser drive if my memory serves me correctly. Those were my first conscious fishn days. Biggest memories on that slug were a pair of white marlin caught together just North of Boca Inlet on an overcast morning, a 14# red grouper, a 30 something pound cobia that gave me my first slow motion experience. You know when everything just seems to stop for a second, and then for what feels like forever just moves in super slow motion. I was working my ass off on this fish from a drift, and then 10 minutes into the fight we noticed the plane rising. He was surfacing, and when that cobia smashed the surface - my world stopped (except of course for my right hand). I can see him off the starboard flank right now if I close my eyes. The biggest memories really were the lessons, and many they were and just beginning.

Next up, 29' Trojan-Bertram Express, and that's when I took over the pit. I remember my Father & Grandfather of whom had moved to Florida got a deal on it from a stock broker that got crushed in Black Monday 1987. It needed maintenance. That's when I learned to love cleaning. I had been shipped off to military academy in my youth so I was clean & tidy, but I didn't like to be until I had a boat to maintain. The satisfaction of changing a nasty collection of laziness into a sanded & oiled & polished & repaired & replaced gem after a hell of a lot of work & love felt like gold to me. Carl, the diesel mechanic never worked on marine applications, and it took him forever to troubleshoot the pair of 245hp turbo Renault diesel inboards. I spent hours and hours over many weeks in the bilge with him helping. We would run the intracoastal, and then back to slip to tweak. They would overheat, and it turned out he had never dealt with heat exchangers. I remember them looking like gattling guns, and when we took em out, maybe two of the sixty barrels were clear. The rest were filled with barnacle like growth. I think it was acid bath & sandblasting from there. After that man, I had such an appreciation for those powerplants... all powerplants. Those turbos sang a siren's song to me. I don't know what I love more; the smell of diesel exhaust or turbos singing at 2,300 rpm.? Damn, I'm long winded, but I haven't talked about this $hit in g-d knows how long. I caught my first Sails on that boat, and lost my first blue. I got my a$$ kicked over for over an hour like never before or after by something on a deep drop off the Bimini ledge. I made my first Bimini & West End trips on that boat. My first pair of a bull & cow each over 40#. I placed in my first tournament, and won the Trojan division of the 23rd Annual Pompano Rodeo. I remember Jack Korthals & Louie Krouse beat me out that year in juniors. A 95# blue marlin was one kid & a white marlin was the other. I scored with a 40# king that hit a live gogg while I was sending him out on the wire-line. That was fun! On & on & on.

I would take Mondays &/or Fridays off from school to work the boat. I got to work the summers down in Islamorada on a 40' cape dory under Capt. Ted D'Espisito, and the knowledge flowed. Then the old man got a 40' Luhrs, and I got to spend my summers working from the Tortugas up to Walkers. I mated numerous charters through those years, and worked with some amazing Captains. We have a current IGFA 16# test world record , a 66# Cubera caught in February, 1990 - that was when Buster Douglas knocked out Tyson for a bit of trivia. I have fished Costa Rica, and I don't know what was better... the 28 Pacific sails up to 175# in six days of fishing, or the friging world record Golden Trevally I caught on the last drop of the last day with the last of the livies that we removed the hook from, before I identified its record status, disqualifying me from what would have been my second IGFA record.

Re: Fishing stories

Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:52 am

I enjoy fishing, but I don't get out as much as I used to! I started fishing with my Uncle in 2002 or so when I got back from college. We would go for fluke and bluefish usually in the Long Island Sound. Then I went on a Tuna trip and we hooked into a few smaller yellowfin and a small bluefin and I was hooked. I've been offshore several times looking for Shark, Tuna, Mahi, Swordfish and have done some Cod jigging as well up in Mass. Tried for a BFT a few times up there, but never hooked up. I enjoy the offshore stuff and fighting big fish.

My best fish story is the one that got away. We were out in a Tournament fishing overnight way out in the ocean (think Montauk and then drop 70-90 miles South) and we had gotten a decent Mahi on the way out, but no tuna love on the troll. I had gotten out of working midnight shift at 0730 am and was at the boat around 0930 am. I dozed around 2 hours or so during the ride out during the day, so I had gotten some sleep, but not too much. We set up for the overnight drift and were looking for sharks and swords, and around 930pm, one of the rods goes off. I was on the rod fairly quickly and we could tell we had a good fish on, but didn't know what it was. It was on the deep bait, so most likely it was a sword. So I harnessed up and settled in for the fight. With Swordfish, they can have a soft mouth, so we kept the drag around 18# and I was trying to not rip the hook out. We got the fish close to the boat fairly quickly and got the weights and light off of the line and then the fish started to fight a bit more and dove down. I battled the fish for the same 50' of line for almost an hour. I would get it up close to the boat, it would see the boat and freak and run at the boat, go under and then dive away from the boat. I was on my Uncles 38' Henriques and went back and forth across the back of the boat numerous times, probably over 30! So I fought the fish and was finally able to crank it in closer and closer each time before it ran and it was running less and less. We had a harpoon and 2 gaffs ready and one time I looked down into the water by the electric light and saw it's HUGE tail....very wide even from that far down! I had seen Swords Life on the Line before and didn't remember the tails being that huge, so I though it was a tuna or something from the quick glimpse I had of the tail. It came up along side the boat a few times, but was too deep or too far out to harpoon or gaff it and then would turn towards the boat and go underneath it. After fighting it for 85 minutes, it charged the boat and ran under it and the line caught on some of the running gear, pulling the rod out of the harness and fighting belt and almost out of my hand and then the line snapped. Really sucked and a HUGE letdown after battling it for that long and finally getting the fish under control where I could get it to the boat easier. The guy on the Harpoon saw it several times and told me after the fight that it was over 12' long and well over 350#, more like 450# or more.

Video of some of the fight:

I also build fishing rods and I think my rods fish more than I do! My Uncle was in the 2013 Block Island Shark Fest this year and got a 379# Mako and a 297# Thresher this year on one of the first rods I built for him (both fish hit the same rod) and won Largest Overall Shark, Largest mako and 2nd Thresher.

White Marlin on one of my rods:

Re: Fishing stories

Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:42 pm

It was back around 1959 or 1960, I believe it was. My Dad, my little brother and I were bream fishing on Lake Chicot in Arkansas, where we had a small cabin at a fishing camp on the lake.

One day we were across the lake on the opposite side of the cabin, fishing a really good hole and we'd tied our boat to a tree up in a bunch of cypress and willows, as the breezes were getting a little heavy. Having a big old time, we were. We'd caught around 50 or 60 bream with a few crappie thrown in for good measure.

All of a sudden, this 3-foot water moccasin drops out of a tree and into the boat. With me being the brave young man I was, I stuck a paddle under its head and flipped it out of the boat. At that point we became much more interested in what was in the trees than what was in the water. By the way, my little brother was still in his fetal position where he had tried to crawl under the front seat of the boat. My Dad asked us if we wanted to leave. As we were catching a goodly number of fish, I said no. My little brother said yes. Several times.

In ten minutes or so, another moccasin drops into the boat, then three more dropped into the water next to the boat. Daddy said git him, and I did. Beat hell out of that snake. And the boat. Dear old Dad had by now untied the boat from the tree as a couple more moccasins were showing up in the little cove around the boat. He said it was time to leave, and we both agreed. My brother was by now white as a sheet and shaking.

We paddled out of the trees while Dad tried to start the motor. It was a 5-horse Johnson, the kind you fill up the top and swivels. The motor wouldn't start, but I had paddled us out beyond the cove about 40 yards, so we were feeling ok.

Then it happened......

My brother started screaming and pointing. This is what he saw: Somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 moccasins were coming toward the boat. They were in an almost perfectly straight unbroken line, side by side, extending about 50 feet past each end of the boat, heading straight for us.

The motor still wouldn't start! They continued straight for us in that line. The moccasins that had us in their path came straight to our boat. My brother said goodbye in a sort of a matter-of-fact way, and was jumping out, but my Dad grabbed the back of his pants and pulled him back into the boat. Some of the moccasins came straight into the boat and some went under. But none of them altered their straight-line course, the ones on the outside moving past the boat. None actually went AROUND the boat. We managed to get four or five out of the boat. We watched all those snakes moving off away from us, still in a straight line, until we couldn't see them any more. My brother is now 66 years old, and will very occasionally go fishing. But only if there are no trees at all within 1000 yards or so. And I really think even then they make him nervous.

After the episode, my father was asking anyone that would listen for an explanation. Several months later a professor at the University of Arkansas called him and gave him the most plausible explanation. And a couple of state game and fish guys said the same thing. At least it's the explanation everyone went with.

An odd thing about all this is that from the start of the adventure until the end, not one single snake seemed interested in us at all. Not one of them tried to bite or anything.

I probably shouldn't have written this, because I don't really remember what they said caused the event. I do know it was along the lines of something like mating, or instinct for something.

Anyway, that's pretty much my only fish story...except for the time the gas tank exploded and burnt off my hair, eyebrows and lashes, and made me blind for awhile but that's for another time.

Re: Fishing stories

Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:09 pm


Re: Fishing stories

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:24 am

TIM <> The big sword weighed in at #340 w/o the tail. Daytime drops on electric reels. 15# of lead @1,500 feet out on the South Florida "50."


The 500# mako that took the swipe followed the boat screaming, "I WANT MY LUNCH BACK!" for a half hour at 12 knots. She ended up taking another swipe, but this time at the Suzuki's lower unit... stalled the motor, too. ;)

Re: Fishing stories

Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:15 pm

Awesome pics!!!! Makos seem to love motors and props for some reason...lol

Re: Fishing stories

Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:59 pm

I surf cast around the North Eastern CT portion of the Long Island sound, RI beaches, and all the river in/outlets around them. Mostly stiped bass, which eventually can get a bit boring, but I always think the meat tastes good.. I always carry some kind of KILL knife with me for the bluefish, because those things have one mission, KILL AND EAT KILL, so you have to get them before they get you. The occasional dogfish shark shows up. Skate Wings? Not for me.

I think I only like fishing because if I'm awake and bored at 4am, it the perfect excuse to hang out with youself, drink a few beers, watch the sun come up, and plan dinner, even if you end up fishing the Stop and Shop Circular ;)

Re: Fishing stories

Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:50 am

ough ya.... ;)

Re: Fishing stories

Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:19 pm

It was my latest fishing trip that led me to this board.

After decades of waiting & wanting I finally got to travel offshore from the Vancouver Island coast to fish for Albacore.

Cleaning those fish was an eye opener certainly my Forschner was sharp enough but not wide enough and the oily flesh from the Albies was a real challenge in terms of holding onto the knife/keeping everything clean without getting fresh water onto the Tuna flesh.

So I'm lurking here and keeping my eyes & options open for next year.

Sunrise over the mountains of Vancouver Island September 2013

First of many
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