WOW, let me tell ya, this year’s Independence Day was outstanding. I was fortunate enough to be in Texas, on the water and with many of my friends for a picture perfect day of boating, and water sports. Jefe’s Revenge was running perfect and I even achieve negative G jumping over a tugboat wake . We spent the late afternoon rafted up enjoying the cool waters of Nassau Bay; consuming many boat sodas and other adult beverages . As dusk we had a wonderful smorgasbord of dishes for supper and settled in to watch the fireworks show. Nassau Bay outdid themselves this year with the Fireworks. They were breathtaking and we had the prime seats at about 100 yards from the launch point. Following the show we settled in to stay the night on the water since I had an early day coming with an offshore trip for David Walters and his family.

Well that is when things started to fall apart. My good friend Scot Van A. was with us, and tried to get to sleep on the beanbags in Jefe’s Revenge…No joy, and finally Scotty had had enough and asked me to take him to the bank so he could go home. This was about midnight so we gathered everything up and headed to the dock.

As we got into Clear Lake, the Marine patrols were moving the fireworks barge back to its dock and had closed off the entire channel. We attempted to go around through the lake, but were stopped by a TP&W patrol for a safety inspection….at 0030. That took about 30 minutes, and then we finally made it the dock which was still pretty busy with all the traffic after the big show. Finally, we got the boat loaded and over to where Scot had parked around 0130. After I get him squared away and said my good-byes to AJ, I decided it was not worth trying to sleep since I had to be in Freeport at 0430 to meet the Walters. So I went and go my fishing gear, and headed to Buc-ees. Got there around 0330 and had the place to myself. Gassed up, got bait and ice, but was way too tired to eat. Then I crashed in the truck until David and them showed up.

David had his beautiful wife Patti, his Fightin’ Texas Aggie son Corley, and lovely daughter Jordan. Corley also brought his friend Charlie. We put in at Bridge bait and headed out to the Gulf. As we got outside the Jetties the wind gods were howling and we had about 4 foot seas, not a good sign, but the crew was gung-ho so we kept going. We drifted a few of the closer rigs with no luck. Then we hooked on to the Anadarko rig and ran deep lines for Snapper. We started catching a few when my world got turned on its ear . I started getting very dizzy and nauseous, and then suddenly it was on…full blown seasick, chummin’ over the side, head spinning, and sweats …not very fun. Fortunately, the Walters are seasoned anglers and took good care of themselves as I was laid out the front deck. We caught several small snapper, but had no luck with the free lines and Kings. After a while, I had lost track of the time, we moved on to other rigs, but the routine was much the same. Steady catching fish, just too small to keep.

Finally, the waters calmed down a bit, as did my stomach and we drifted a monopole close to the Rutherfords. Here was our best action of the day. Corley hooked up a nice king, fought him for a while, but lost him. We also had a few more hook ups, but only one 30” king boated.

Our last stop was the Wacker rig and we caught (what I know now is) a Little Tunny and Charlie hooked up on something that spooled his Penn 309, the line left the spool so fast I actually think we hooked a Los Angeles Class attack sub going at full speed. I’m guessing a Smoker King or Shark, but who knows.

We then made our way back Bridge bait, trailered the boat, cleaned the fish, then the boat. David made some excuse about catching a plane to the UK and left his family to do all the “after fishing” work, and they were great. On this day I was very thankful to have a crew who could fiend for themselves. David and Corley were really Captain and Mate on this trip. I simply moved the boat when needed. Still any day I go on the water and get back to the beach is a good day.

Tight Lines;