Surprise 1: A Fishing BuddyMy family and I were staying in New Orleans during a spring break trip. I had heard great things about fishing in the Gulf of Mexico so I decided to charter a boat for a half-day trip. My son Ransom likes to fish but is not as avid as me, especially when the trip requires a very early start while on vacation. I invited him to go along and was pleasantly surprised when he agreed.
Surprise 2: A BreakdownWe got to the boat launch in good time, met the captain and headed out. We had to run quite a ways down the marsh channels to get to open water, and then another 10 miles or so to get to the fishing spots. We had just gotten to open water for the last part of the outward trip when the motor overheated and cut off. I had visions of spending the rest of the morning waiting for a tow boat and no fishing.
Fortunately the problem was that the lower unit of the outboard had picked up a piece of plastic bag that was blocking the water intake. Once it was cleared we were on our way.
Surprise 3: Oil Rigs Can be SmallI knew we were going to be fishing around oil rigs and I had a mental picture of the giant deepwater rigs. It turns out we were in only about 10 feet of water and fishing around small unmanned rigs that rose up about 10 feet from the surface of the water. You can see some in the background behind our guide and my son.
Surprise 4: Gulf Fishing is Better Than I DreamedWe caught a ton of big redfish, along with black drum and sheepshead. All were on light tackle, and all were a blast to catch.
I caught the last and biggest fish of the day, which was a Jack Crevalle that weighed about 40 pounds.
We released most of the redfish, but our guide kept the black drum and sheepshead to cook up for the poor and homeless in New Orleans. Here's our haul.
For more pictures and a movie, please see “Prayson and Ransom catch BIG fish!”