View Full Version : Fishing Report: 2005 Houma Oilmen’s - Part 1

Team Jefe
06-03-2005, 09:28 AM
It seems weird to me to be writing the first report of the year on June 3rd. That is how it was last year as well and last year was not the greatest of fishing years. As I think about this report, this year is not starting out so great either. Don’t get me wrong, pretty much any day of fishing is a good day. It’s just that this tourney has provided some great days fishing in the past and really kicked off the summer season right. Still I was excited about getting down to Cocodrie and enjoying the festivities.

First of all, I did not have Jefe’s Revenge. She was prepped and ready and all my tackle in tip-top shape. However, Tuesday I talked to Dan Franz and he had several anglers cancel on him this year. So we decided that there was just no justification for bringing my boat and I would fish the guide boats. Part of that reasoning involved me taking Dan’s place on the guide boats because Dan was not going to be able to attend the tourney. He had to attend a wedding, which he knew about for a while and was glad to do. It’s just that the festivities surrounding the wedding kept growing until there were activities Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The wedding was for Miss Caroline’s best friend so Dan wouldn’t have missed it for the world…much less to go fishing. Unfortunately, Dan’s Absence was not the worst of it….but we’ll get to that later.

Wednesday was travel day, really the only upside to not having the boat. I took the New Big Pimpin’ Hyundai and Hauled Booty that afternoon for Cocodrie. The trip was mostly uneventful and I was able to make good time…even through the rain storms. I arrived at the Point Cocodrie Inn just in time to get the last of the etouffee before they closed the kitchen. I met Dan and Bennie Savoie there and we got caught up on recent events. I saw the Captains Seeber – Chip, Joey & Jason and we prepped for our Scouting Trip Thursday Morning. I hit the sack around 2300 already having converted back to the easy way of life “down ‘da bayou”.

Thursday morning started out kinda yucky. Overcast sky, some wind and threatening rain….but we went anyway. We were with Captain Chip on the SeaBuck and got underway around 0600. I hadn’t been on the water that early in a long time, so I took a moment and just soaked up the pure joy I felt as the motors wound up and the hull came up on step. The sun was just starting to peak up over the horizon and with the clouds there were all kinds of purples, reds, and oranges in the sky. My faith is reconfirmed in moments like that and I am very thankful I have these chances to be that close to God. We headed out to see Captain Ricky on the Tracie & Macie to get some bait and then over to one of Chip’s honey-holes to hammer the elusive Spotted Sea Trout…..and elusive they were. Uncharacteristically, we did not start off very well. We fished hard, and moved around a bunch looking for our prey. We found some, but not near to the standards we have come to expect fishing out of Cocodrie. None of the other boats were fairing any better. The upside is we had a great crew. Chip is a first class skipper, personable and fun to fish with, and the banter between him and his brothers on the other boats kept us laughing all morning. Danny, well I think by now you all know how I feel about Dan…my life is enriched every moment I spend with this wonderful human being. And Bennie, I’m sure you remember from earlier reports that Bennie takes a lot of ribbing. Well today we no exception; he just takes in all in stride and, as usual, caught more fish than anybody else. He’s a great angler and a great friend and I enjoy every moment of his company. In one of the banter sessions, Chip lamented about not doing so well and Joey on the SeaBear popped off that he was not surprised considering the crew Chip had. Well just for the record SeaBuck brought home 42 trout and SeaBear only had 23…..and Joey’s hex does not stop there, wait ‘till Friday.

We got back to the dock at 1400, started cleaning up, and Dan got his stuff to head back to Houma for the Wedding festivities. We expected the McIntyre boys to be there by then, but both were running late. Phil, who was running the SPS booth at the tent got there just as I finished getting cleaned up and we caught up from the last time we had been together. Jack, who was cooking for SPS, was late and we were supposed to be cooking that evening. So, I help Phil get things moving (under my “I gotta be Dan” this weekend guise) and when Jack arrived we quickly got set up and prepared for cooking. Jack does Deep Fried Pork for this gig, what he calls Rich-Man’s Cracklins and they are a huge hit. I am more involved this year due to Dan’s absence and this is hard work. We can barely keep up with demand….people even chide us for not keeping up…hey a-hole, the food is free so hold your horses. Still we get the system down and proceed to cook 100 lbs of the stuff which literally evaporates before our eyes. Finally at 2200, we shut down and head for the Inn to get some much needed rest in preparation of the First Day of the Tournament. I find the Week’s Marine crew Dan has set up to fish with Chip, and get everything lined out for the morning. I crashed as they headed out to one of the parties.

0500 Friday morning and I awake expecting to have just a few…if any crew with Chip this morning. But, lo-and-behold the Week’s crew is already us and going. We get some breakfast and Miss Naomi Seeber is her wonderful self this morning, razzing Bennie, given us all grief and generally enjoying every minute of it…even though she wouldn’t admit it to us. Since Chip has a full crew, Jack asked me to take his place with Phil on Joey’s boat. Jack had run into a customer Thursday night who needed some crew and Jack was happy to oblige.

Remember I mentioned Joey’s Hex….well let me set the stage. First, he was caught by a swing bridge on his way from Houma so he was late. Second, he was using a new boat that was not really set up for guide work (his normal boat had a bad motor). Then he brought a banana onboard, which we all know is a big no-no and very bad luck. So we threw lines around 0620 and headed to the Tracie & Macie for bait. There was a 10 boat line, but Joey cut right to the front because his bait had already been set aside and paid for in advance…we got lots of dirty looks and I am sure much hexing from the other captains. What the hell, we are not superstitious……Well we should have been.

We went looking for Bull Reds first, trying to get a fish for the tournament board. What a great crew, the whole bunch was lively and having a great time. Phil was the first to hook up, fought the fish well and just as he got to the boat, snap, gone the line broke. Of course, it was Joey’s fault for bringing a banana onboard, for having 3 year old line on the reel, and several other things Phil could think up at the time. It was everything but Phil’s fault….of course he was kidding, but it did se the stage for the rest of the day. We finally did catch two bulls; one was even the same one that broke off on Phil. We thought the hex had been broken……NO. For the rest of the day, a day that lasted until 1600, we caught 1 more slot red, 2 sheep-head, a pompano, and countless Hardheads and Stingrays….No trout, zero, zilch, nana, and we fished hard, as hard as I’ve ever fished for trout. We hit every spot Joey had and even some where others were catching fish….nothing. We were all pretty upset…..all but Bennie. Since Joey is one of Bennie’s biggest Razzers, Bennie took this opportunity to get some of it back, and he rode Joey relentlessly. “Troutless”, “Skunked”, ”Joey you should retire”, “the other captains are catching fish”, “Looks like Chip really is the best Seeber Captain”, and on and on. Of course all Joey could do was sit there and take it. I could tell he felt horrible, embarrassed and dejected. This is his job and we were not doing well at all much less to the Seeber standards. Joey was bound and determined to stay out there until we caught some trout, but around 1530 he gave it up and we headed to the dock. Good thing we had a great crew, I’d hate to have a day like that with a bunch who took themselves more seriously.

Back at the Inn, Jack was ready for us and had ordered everyone some lunch. We all ate and drank a few beers (Mine the Coors Non-Alcohol version…pretty good) and rode Joey a little more. Miss Naomi was there and told us we should not have gotten on the boat since Joey had a banana….you know its bad when your own mom is razzing you. The good news is that Chip’s crew, who were my responsibility, did pretty well, not great, but very good considering the circumstances. After lunch we all cleaned up and headed to the tent to start cooking for that night. What a mad house. We worked even harder that Thursday and cooked even more pork. About half-way through the night, Jack made me sit down and he gave me a 3 minute massage. Holy muscle relaxer batman that felt great. He has such strong hand…Jack you sweetie…to bad you’re married, but I digress. Again 2200 we closed up shop and headed back to get some sleep.

Stay Tuned for Part 2

Team Jefe
06-03-2005, 09:28 AM
Saturday was the same program as Friday, but hopefully without the bad luck. Jack was headed back to take care of some business stuff and would see us that evening at the tent. Joey was on time, no banana, the weather was great again and all looked well. We waited our turn in line at Tracie & Macie and conjured up all the Gris-Gris we could to break the hex. On our way to the first spot, the Starboard motor alarms goes off because the engine is not getting oil. The pump had shut down so we had to idle…to our first spot. We fished, Joey worked the motor, but neither had any luck. No fish, oil pump is not working, and there is no spare oil onboard. SO, we had to idle….for a while….over the SeaBuck for some oil. The upside was Chip was catching fish so we slide into an open spot and starting picking up some ourselves. Well that upset the guys beside us who thought we had jumped their spot and they proceeded to make some nasty comments and cast in our direction. There were several heated conversation between them and Joey, but we were catching fish so there was no leaving. After a while the other guys moved and the fish quit biting so, Chip got us the oil and we were able to fill the Auxiliary tank and operate at full speed again. Still the fishing was great, but the catching was spotty. We worked all day to pick up 40 trout. I was doing the typical customer fishing thing, letting the other anglers catch most of the fish….that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I was herding the fish their way, yeah that’s it. One time, Bennie was working a trout hard; he’d hook up and get off several times. Finally I cast into that spot and caught a very nice trout. Bennie thought I stole his fish, but I told him I knew how much he wanted that particular one and I didn’t want to see him loose it since he couldn’t get it hooked up…kinda like the African hunting guides who makes the shot if the customer misses.

Around 1330 we head for home…and that is when things went really downhill. Phil got a call from Jack; their mom had just passed away from cancer. Even though she had been ill for a while, nobody is ever ready to deal with the death of their mom. It was like hammer blow to all of us, I can only imagine how Phil felt for the rest of the ride back. Once on the dock we hurried to get things squared away and talked Phil into going home. Bennie and I could take care of the booth that night and do the cooking, that was small stuff compared to Phil needing to be with his family. As you can guess, the mood kinda mellowed from that point on. We cooked our first batch, and as we were serving it, someone commented “Hey is this stuff even any good”, at that point a guy with a mouth full of food yelled out, “this is the best stuff here”….then we settled down and did our job. We finished cooking around 2100, went ahead, and cleaned up everything to be ready to load it out on Sunday. None of use were really in the party mood, I just hung round the booth until all the prizes, and raffles were done. At that point I was done, physically and emotionally. I headed back to the room and crashed. The good thing is one of the Week’s marine guys won a 22’ Skeeter Bay boat. Not too bad, huh? He is from South Jersey so I offered to pay the taxes for him and take it off his hands….No Deal.

Sunday started off as a quiet morning. I got up around 0600 and sat on the deck enjoying the quiet comfort of Cocodrie. The tourney was over, so very few boats were headed out and it was nice to be still for a while. Finally, everyone started moving and we had some breakfast waiting for the truck to show up and get Jack’s cooking gear. Dan came down as well to help and by 1100 we had it all packed up and headed towards Lafayette. Dan told me the stories of the Wedding and parties and confirmed that he did the right thing and had a great time. The trip home was nice and it was good to be back in Texas. I went to my Mom’s for a fish fry of all things and sent my sister back to Jersey and Rutgers.

Well, not the most exciting of stories as I look back on it. The fishing was hard, the cooking was hard, and the luck was hard. The good part is that the people, captains, crew, customers and friends made all the hard stuff easier to take. Thanks to all of you for including me in this fraternity. Until the next adventure……

Tight lines