I find the word, epic, is over used by many people. We see it used to describe many things and in all types of media. I think I’ve even used it on a couple occasions to describe a few of my fly fishing trips. My son-in-law has been married to my daughter for over 3 years and he still hasn’t been on an off-shore fishing trip. This man, who loves my daughter and granddaughter unconditionally, has NEVER really been fishing! WHAT!!! Well that all changed this weekend. We had a truly epic trip!!
First of all, Nandi, is a “city boy,” born and raised in Houston, Texas. For probably five years now, we have been trying to show him some of our South Louisiana culture. He has eaten the food, danced at the fais do dos, and he has even caught a fish from a kayak, but I wanted to put him on some real fish from our coastal estuaries.
We went on a chartered trip with arguably the best captain in south Louisiana, Captain Chris Moran. I have fished with Chris once before (ten years ago) when we chartered him to do a senior fishing trip for my son, Dustin. There are only three guys in the picture, but I can tell you we had six fishermen on board and we were happy with the snapper, grouper and amberjack we caught that day. This weekend’s trip blew that one literally out the water. The morning began when we pulled up to a couple of rigs to catch mangrove snapper.
Here is Nandi with one of the 60 nice mangrove snapper we landed that morning. After that, we targeted big red snapper in deep water. We quickly caught a two person limit (12 fish) and then headed toward a couple of shrimp boats we saw out there. Shrimp boats are usually a place you can stop to put a couple of tuna in the boat. I wanted to catch a few tuna and watch Nandi eat some fresh sushi on the boat. That didn’t happen because the tuna didn’t show up. However, the sharks were very thick (I’ll post a video soon). We didn’t stay long and decided to try to catch some grouper. Meanwhile, I put my fly rod together and passed the time catching hard tails on a streamer that I tied for the trip. Sorry…no picture. We caught one grouper a cobra and a sea bass when we noticed a line of seaweed in the distance. That is the tell-tale sign of the “rip,” an area of water where the somewhat dirty water mixes with the beautiful blue water that sits off the “shelf.” We motored slowly near the weeds lookin for dolphin. No… not bottle nosed dolphin, but dorado or Mahi Mahi. I kept seeing some small ones but Chris would not stop. Finally, we got to the edge of the weed line and I saw a few more larger dolphin. He slowed the boat and I hooked up with a small almco jack. I released it and all hell broke loose as a school of nice dolphin showed up on the other side of the boat. I made a cast and hooked up on a leaping 24-inch dolphin. After putting that fish in the cooler, I managed to catch five more before Nandi hooked a very large wahoo. We cleared the lines and watched him fight a man-sized fish for a change. He landed a really nice one. I’ve never caught one myself 🙂
After the rest of the boat caught a few more mahi mahi, two bull dolphin showed up. The captain went nuts and started ordering us around. We kept baiting up with live croakers and sure enough, Nandi hooked up on one. His drag was set too tight and Chris thought he would loose the fish. He ordered someone to take the rod from Nandi. It was OK, because Nandi really didn’t know what was going on anyway. We landed the two bulls and called it a day. Our tally for the day was a six-man limit of red snapper (probably averaging 15 pounds each), a six-man limit of mangrove snapper, a couple of small grouper, another type of snapper (I heard was really tasty), a sea bass, 3 big trigger fish, about 15 chicken dolphin (5 caught on my fly rod), two bull dolphin, a cobia, and a wahoo. THAT my friends is truly, an epic fishing day!
I wish I would have taken a few more snapshots of some of the fish. Here are couple. The first is a hard tail I caught and the second is one of the dolphin I caught.
The first red snapper of the day…not caught on a fly rod 🙂