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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the story, Pilar, sorry for the delay, twice I had the story almost written and the power went off and I'd forgotten to hit Save and lost the whole thing and had to start over.

It had been a harrowing week. Nothing would go right. The starboard engine in my boat that I've been fighting with for the last year finally up and died. We left the PM Basin and the last two grand worth of mechanic time seemed to have worked. My Luhrs jumped up on plane and with the rpm set at low cruise of 3000 rpm the boat was cutting through the water at 21.8 knots. But, as we neared the jetties, I looked down to see the temperature going up and the oil pressure going down. I feathered it in and headed back, but when I used the engine to back into the slip I could hear a rod knock, knock, knocking along.

The next day Pilar and I go out on his boat and run up to the rocks NE of PM and managed to pull a somewhat pitiful limit of 16 or 17 inch snapper apiece. They were hard to find and hard to fish. The wind was blowing one way and the current was running the opposite. The seas were 3 feet or so and sloppy, confused, pitching, awful. Chumming wasn't working and anchoring to run a chum line into a set of rocks was just impossible. We came back in with my jaw lines tight and my lips in an upside down "U". Of course, Pilar, being the virtuoso of optimism, was happily humming away to himself as he watched his autopilot take us back to PM. I was staring at him with glittering eyes and wondering just how many fishing rods I could ram into which of his orifices. Sideways. He's one of those types you could throw into the foulest pig wallow you can find and he'd climb back out wondering aloud to himself if this stuff could be used as a fish attractant. he frives me nuts. Scream, Curse, Throw Something, ANYFRIGGIN'THING!! Nope. sheesh.

We take the next day off to rest and let the seas subside, the forecast promises better. Yea, right. Friggin' Weatherman. I go to my slip and kick my boat. Friggin' boat. Pilar calls me on my cell phone and tells me we should go deep tomorrow and try that old sunken shrimp boat that we fished during the PM Tournament. I pulled the 2nd place snapper off of it, would have been first, but the friggin' snapper threw up everything he'd eaten in the last week after I'd put him into the cooler. When we got to the weigh-in dock, I reached in to get the snapper and pulled out this ball of stinking slimy goo. Women were fainting and children were crying at the sight and smell. I had to wipe the friggin' thing off to weigh it in. That was another friggin' day. I had hooked into 5 or 6 very large fish suspended above the wreck and in trying to stop them from getting back to the wreck, the stinger hooks on my Snapper Slappers had been ripped from the lures. Bye, bye, fish! The last ime it happened, I cut the line and threw the lure as far as I could and chased it with a long loud description of it's ancestry and it's lack of proper pysical attributes. The snapper I did finally get in the boat and wieghed in at the tournament, was decidedly less pull, hence smaller, than the others who'd whipped my posterior section, chewed up my Snapper Slappers, and spit them back at me. Needless to say, I was in one foul mood. I had to listen to Mr. Optimism all the way back in babble happily on about what big fish we'd hooked into, and what they might have been, probably Amberjack, boy if they were snapper they were huge, huh? We'll have to come back and try them again someday, huh? ...... snarl.

I set about getting ready for the rematch. I took a dozen of my favorite Snapper Slappers, cut off the stinger hooks and re-rigged them with heavier 49 strand cable and heavier wired hooks. Alright you friggin' fish, let's see you rip these babies apart.

Dawn arrives and we set out for the jetties. Of course, now one of his motors decides to act up. I'm about to get up and kick it, when Pilar smiles and tells me he changed the fuel filters in the motors last night and it's probably just a little air in the lines. I aim a scowl at him that misses and knocks a pelican out of the air in a cloud of feathers and it crashes into the Gulf. Sure enough though, minutes later it quits missing and hiccupping and settles down to a steady hum. Curse his friggin' engines! They're so friggin' quiet I can't tell if they're running half the time, friggin' Hondas anyway. We break the jetties and lo and behold the seas are flat! Well Whaddayaknow? It's about friggin' time! Pilar aims the Glacier Bay, sets the autopilot, and away we hum into the distance, the only real sound being made by the two hundred or so rods bristling from every orifice on the boat. We sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir whistling their way thorugh a concert. Just because he bought this boat from McGolfer, he thinks he has to bring a store's worth of rods along too. And, what's worse, now he's got me doing it. We carry very light rods rigged to catch baitfish with, light rods to catch chicken Dolphin with if they appear, medium rods rigged to catch visiting Ling with, rods rigged with medium Snapper Slappers, heavier rods rigged with larger Snapper Slappers, rods rigged Carolina Style for snapper, heavier rods rigged Carolina Style in case of Tuna, rods rigged for Sailfish, heavy rods rigged for Amberjack, and even heavier rods rigged to bring down charging Rhinos in case we encounter any whilst at sea. We're friggin' ready, Man!!

We stop at a couple of shrimp boats and load up on chum and trade beer for shrimp. Finally we make the wreck. There she is on the sonar, lying in 180 feet, with a nice bunch of fish suspended above her. We throw a marker buoy on her and heave to, to see which way the boat will drift. We slowly drift Westward in the light stirrings of wind. I drop a piece of bait overboard and watch it drift off the opposite direction. Friggin' Perfect! Again, the trick with the wind blowing one way and the current running the other. Can't anything ever go right? We decide the drift is slow enought that we'll try and drift fish the wreck. We run above the wreck, let down our lines, and BANG, I got a fair snappr on. I'm using my heavy snapper rod and I make short work of him and in the cooler he goes. I hurry up and put another 8 inch Mullet on my Snapper Slapper and let it down, stopping and dangling it every 10 feet or so for suspended fish. It makes it to the bottom and I work it back up. Nothing. We run back above the wreck and start over. Nothing. Once again. Nothing. Then the wind quits altogether and the steambath begins. Another drift. Nothing. I switch my heavy rod for a much lighter medium action one with a smaller Snapper Slapper, maybe the smaller lure and lighter line will work better. Nothing. Then the current quits. The Gulf's surface becomes an unrippled mirror, I can hear my flesh sizzling and the torrent of sweat rushing across my eyes is make me near blind. I decide we should chum our brains out and see if maybe we can get the fish feeding. I fill the chum bag as Pilar goes to work on the Chum Churn. Once I get the chum bag over I start cutting up bait into pieces. I throw a handful overboard and watch it slowly disappear into the depths, straight down. We set out drift lines, deep lines, and I try casting out little 3 oz. Snapper Slappers and swimming them back to the boat at different depths. Nothing. Zero, Zip, Nada, Nyet, Friggin' Nothing. We do this for 2 hours. Nothing. We must have used up 80 pounds of baitfish and zip. Finally, I look at my watch, almost 2 pm. I look at Pilar who for once is looking somewhat crestfallen. Suddenly he brightens. "Well", he says, "at least we can go explore." "Explore? Explore What?" I say. I'm thinking to myself, I'll explore alright, how 'bout a gaff up the Wahoo, explore that! This was your friggin' idea, Bub! I figure the day is done. Let's go back in and get cool. We'll get back to the dock and pretend we didn't even go fishing, just a little pleasure cruise, that's all. We'll hide the 1 snapper we got and quietly clean it in the backyard so nobody will notice. "You got us out here in the middle of nowhere," I growl at Pilar, "There's not another piece of structure out here for 20 miles, we're in no-man's land, not even the shrimpers come out this way, look what happened to the last one that came out here," I said, pointing towards the wreck below us. Pilar smiles, I hate it when he does that, and says, "No, I've got a bunch of old numbers I took off an old shrimper's hang chart and converted, and there's a couple of spots out this way." "Alright," I said, "At least we'll be moving and get some air moving around us."

We take off and 3 miles later Pilar powers down and begins circling trying to find the structure that's supposed to be there. Nothing but flat featureless bottom. He powers up and heads off for another set of numbers. Five miles later we arrive to find more featureless bottom and no sign of fish. We try a third with the same result. Nothing. I venture forth the opinion that perhaps these numbers are ancient and whatever use to be there back then has now sunk into the sand and is gone forever. Pilar smiles and I think to myself that perhaps I should cut him up before I toss him overboard. "I'm sure we'll find something," he says happily, "here's one about 14 miles NE of here, we'll try that one." Maybe I should try putting him in the chum churn. Well, at least it's cooler when we're running and I settle in as he powers up.

45 minutes later the alarm goes off and Pilar flips off the autopilot and powers down to idle. As we slowly move toward the supposed structure, I'm glumly watching the sonar screen with less than hearty enthusiasm. I can see we're in about 240 feet of water. Suddenly the screen turns bright green in the middle and large red blobs start appearing in amongst the green cloud. I about choke on my drink I'm sipping on as I try and spit out the word, "FISH!" My heavens, they're everywhere! "Take the helm while I get a buoy ready," Pilar happily says. All thoughts of retribution and mayhem upon his head suddenly disappear. We cross the center point and while I see nothing on the bottom, the clouds of fish still keep coming. They're all suspended from 100 to 150 feet, and more and more red blobs are appearing. I start circling the boat to come back on the center point and I can hardly tear my eyes away from the sonar screen to watch the GPS needles. I have never seen so many large fish in one place. As I cross the center point, Pilar pitches out the marker buoy and I heave to and watch to make sure it unravels properly and doesn't run out of line before the weight hits bottom. It does and I watch as the buoy drifts slowly until it locks up. And, then I notice the buoy is like water-skiing on top of the water on a heavy current flow. I start to circle again to look for the structure these fish have got to be holding on, but Pilar suggest the heck with that, let's get the lines in the water. I pull the levers into neutral and grab my rod I was last using, slip on an 8 inch Mullet and toss it over.

The line pays out for a few minutes and suddenly the line jolts and begins to race off. I slam the lever forward and try to set the hook with a mighty heave, but instead I get slammed downward until the rod smacks into the top of the gunwale. A very heavy fish streaks downward ripping off line. I push the drag all the way down and the fish doesn't slow a bit. "Hold together, hold together," I beseech the snapper Slapper. Well, I figure there's at least no structure down there for him to tangle up in, so I lighten up the pressure a bit. finally the fish slows and I begin to try and lift the rod. The rod is bowed from the reel seat to the tip that's almost in the water. "Oh, ****, I've got my light rod," I think to myself. I hear Pilar grunt and I turn my head to see him bow up as he sets the hook on a fish. "Big fish," he says as he smiles at me. I don't mind at all, he can smile all he wants, YAHOO! We're into Fish! He gets his fish up before me and it's a beautiful big snapper of about 14 pounds. Finally mine comes to the surface and I can see it's an Amberjack of about 25 pounds. Pilar appears and gaffs him and slings him into the boat. "God Bless that Pilar," I say to myself, "always there when I need him, what a wonderful guy!" We leave the two fish in the bottom of the boat, hurriedly hook on Mullet and throw the lines back over. "Friggin' idiot," I say to myself, "I forgot to switch rods." BANG, BANG, we both get slammed and the fights are on. This pair manages to cross the lines a couple of times and we're frantically handing rods back and forth trying to get them untangled without losing the fish. We get them both up, more big beautiful red snapper, hotdog! I see Pilar out of the corner of my eye lash out with the gaff, one hand on the gaff, the other on the middle of his rod, and his legs wrapped around the rod hanle and reel. He slings the snapper over and into the bottom of the boat. He wheels around and sinks the gaff into my snapper and slings him over. We both jump on the fish in a rush to get them unhooked and get the lines back out. I go off into my own little world as I'm kicking big snapper out of my way as I'm trying to get to the bag of Mullet, get one hooked on, and get my line back out. BANG! Another jolting hit as I'm letting line out and I slam the lever down and the rod tip pitches towards the water. This one' bigger. I'm struggling to maintain. I've still got that friggin' light rod and my feet are slipping on the blood and fish goo all over the bottom of the boat as I'm trying to follow my fish around the boat and not step on the fish littering the bottom of the boat. I've got mine half-way up and I glance over at Pilar. He's standing there, rod bent to the water. Only the fink has slipped into a fighting belt and harness with the straps from the harness hooked to the reel. My reel. He's got my heavy rod! He has a slight peaceful smile on his face as he calmly leans back and then reels down. I'm meanwhile struggling to stay upright as my fish keeps trying to wrench my light rod out of my hands and I keep falling to my knees as I trip over fish and goo. I look back up at Pilar calmly forcing his fish up. "What the heck," I think, "he can have my rod, I'll give it to him as a present for finding this spot. What a great guy!"

I finally get my fish up, another beautiful snapper in the 17 pound range, and Pilar reaches over and gaffs him and tosses him into the boat without hardly pausing with the fish he's fighting. "An amazingly talented man," I think to myself, "What a wonderful guy!" I slip in the goo, set my foot down on a fish and crash to the bottom of the boat. All of a sudden, Splat! a big snapper lands on my chest as Pilar heaves his fish into the boat. I just lay there, winded, drenched in sweat, every muscle in my body screaming at me in very foul terms. I raise my head up and peer over the snapper flopping up and down on my chest. I swivel my head around counting the snapper strewn across the floor of the boat in heaps. "Eight Pilar," I croak, "we've got our limit, time to quit." "Not yet," he says, "I still haven't got an Amberjack." "You want an Amberjack, my friend, I'll get you an Amberjack!" I pick myself up off the floor of the boat and scrape some of the blood and goo off of me. I go back to the helm and swing the boat back for the center. I realize then how far we've drifted and never left the fish. They're still bright on the sonar screen, but no red showing. "I'll go back until I see red on top, those have got to be the Amberjack," I tell Pilar. "Okay," he says, "tell me when." I fast idle towards the center, get into the red blotches on the screen and tell Pilar to drop. In thirty seconds he gets walloped and the pull fest is on. He gets the Amberjack up in fairly short order with his harness and bucket and straps and all, and I sink the gaff home and pull the fish onboard. "Now, we're done," he says. "Cool," I say, "I'm going to lie down here now, would you mind pouring some cold water on me and then pitch me into the fish locker with the fish and ice so I can have a nice rest?"

On the trip home, forty some miles, I sit in a washed out stupor, every once in a while pouring another cold water down the outside and inside of me. Not Pilar. He's thinking with that smile on his face. Love that smile, means he's thinking. "You know," he says, "I don't think those fish have hardly even seen a hook before. We're way out here in the middle of nowhere, in between the pathways that most boats take to go back and forth to the deep spots like Colt 45 and such, and we're in between the zones that the Port Mansfield people fish and the Port Isabel people fish. Nobody ever comes out this way. And we never did find what all those fish were holding to. something's down there, small problably, but the only feature for miles and the fish stay glued to it. "What a brilliant guy," I think to myself, "always upbeat, always thinking, never gives up, always willing to go the extra step to find something different. A hell of a fisherman and a helluva great guy!"
 

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Sharkey,

That was one of the best fishing reports I have read in a long time! Heck, I felt like I kicked your boat for ya'! LOL. Nice job guys!!!

Junior

Semper Fi
:flag:

Every day kill just one, rather than today five, tomorrow ten . . . that is enough for you. Then your nerves are calm and you can sleep good, you have your drink in the evening and the next morning you are fit again.
â€" Colonel Erich 'Bubi' Hartmann, Luftwaffe.
 

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That was a dam* fine read Sharkey. Perhaps the best I've read. Well done sir, and nice fishing too. Now, 2 questions- where's the pictures and where's the invite, lol. Very nice story.

wishin4fishin
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The best report for a long, long time....

..not the biggest fish, not a bill fish with photographic evidence, nothing for the purist super heros, to snipe at, but the closest report to the type of fishing that I enjoy. ..........Don't stop, please keep them coming.

steve

PS. Play safe. If you try trolling, which we all do, and a bill busts your spread, recover all lines immediately and go fish some bottom structure for snaps or grouper. Don't risk incurring the wrath of those who feel they are more worthy of catching that fish.
 

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so which boat is yours at PM? I was down there over Labor Day and saw several glacier's.

we were in a 30' HydroCat - "Whole Life II"
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Can't miss Pilar's Glacier Bay!

His is the 220 with gold trim and a large top on it w/ a tent of curtains and bristling with rods like a porcupine.
Unless I'm mistaken you were in the boat of the Grand Master of Insurance & Fishing. I wouldn't give any more than 3 legs to have that catamaran, what a beauty and what a ride! I got to climb around on it when he first got it, to say I was impressed would be a massive understatement. I really haven't talked to MB since then about how it's working out for him. I'm afraid I'd ditch my Luhrs and run out and buy one. I traded in a perfectly working GB 220 for the Luhrs and I've regretted it ever since. I wanted more room, and got nothing but trouble instead. Wish I'd been smart enough to do what he did. Well, live and learn. Give us a shout if you see Pilar and I humming around, I'll be fishing out of his boat for awhile until I can come up with another dump truck full of money to fix mine again.
Fish often, Fish well
Sharkey
ps. In the pix, I'm the outstandingly handsome one with the beard that looks like I combed it with a blender.
 

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jeepers creepers that was a hiarious story. put a weeks worth of fishing trips together and you could have yourself a novel!!!
 

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yep - MB is my uncle.

Were ya'll out over the Labor day weekend? What is the name of Pilar's boat? I don't rmember seeing one with curtains - but I usually remember boat names.

I think he might want to sell it already. I think he said he wants to get a 38' Contender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A 38' Contender?

Why doesn't he just get himself a nuclear powered guided missile frigate? Lordy, the rest of us will have to carefully watch our 6's and pull over when we see him coming through the air! Well, he does like to zoom doesn't he? As long as he's having fun I suppose.
Pilar's boat has the name 'Catatonic' written in gold on the rear area of the sides, it's kinda hard to see, doesn't stand out well. Just look for my beard waving around, I'm easy to spot. Not too many bushes going out to fish!
Say Hey! to your Uncle for me!
Sharkey
 

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santa clause

the bearded one is the wonderful sharky he is a real trooper for hanging tough on my manic fishing tripes but who can argue with a great fishing partner
"though we fish on a slow under powered boat we say bring it on for we were not built for speed but for pleaser" hope we can get a party together down mexican way with some of the die hard's some time
 
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