Took my son, Gray, and three of his friends from Fort Smith, Arkansas, fishing with Capt. Andy for their senior trip. The winds and seas were high and rough, but once again, Capt. Andy came through. He picked the right rig, and we limited out on red snapper in 30 minutes. The boys really enjoyed the experience of being in the Gulf and riding the surf with Capt. Andy. He is an extremely savvy and safe boat captain. We appreciate him starting the day with a prayer and ending the day by cleaning a limit of fish — no matter what the weather does. Gray has had two memorable trips with Capt. Andy. Now his buddies — Mason Fowler, Kolby LaBorn and John Spradlin — will have their own memories of catching fish and living the experience of fishing out of Venice — Sport Fishing Capital of the World!
Fort Smith, Arkansas
First let me say Capt. Andy and Chris took the 6 of us out when no other captain would. I took my company on a sales goal trip and the captain I had booked backed out saying the seas were too rough..Not Andy he said it will be rough but we will catch fish,and catch fish we did ……8-10 seas and rain and we kicked butt. Rock on Capt. Andy and Chris I would fish with y’all in a hurricane –these boys know what they are doing. Again thanks for the awesome weekend trip.
The Woodlands, TX
Well, the fishing trip was a blast! Fished for almost 15 hrs straight. Got a crapload of mangrove snapper, some yellowfin and blackfin tuna, and a few Bonita. Captain Andy is one hell of a captain. If it wasn’t for his persistant determination we wouldn’t have gotten any yellowfin. They just weren’t there at night. Got them that morning though! Pictures will come soon!
This past week, I once again had the pleasure of fishing offshore with Captain Andy and his deckhands: Baby Kyle and Baby Floyd.
Our three-day fishing rampage began Sunday evening with an over-nighter at one of Andys favorite floaters (which shall remain nameless to protect it from over-fishing, from out-of-state weekend warriors who care less about supporting the local Venice charter captains and more about stuffing their out-of-state freezers on tips from those who do support the local Venice economy – me). From the onset, this experience did not disappoint. Tuna busted the surface from dusk till dawn and we wore ourselves out jigging, popping and reeling in fish. We even took time to grill burgers and gaze at a sky full of stars (mostly so Id know where the hell I was).
At first light, we moved to another floater and immediately hooked up on a 60lb yellowfin, which pretty much topped off the fish box, causing Andys 26 Glacier Bay Catamaran to list every time we made a right turn (for lack of a proper boating term for turning right). And of course, given that it was past June 1st, and not past July 18th (this year), Andy convinced me that we could in fact fit more fish in the cooler by topping it off with a limit of red snapper. And so we did, on the way in.
On day two the weather was beautiful and we decided to go tuna fishing again, early. We were the first boat there and hooked up immediately on a nice yellowfin that I could barely bring to the boat (given my exhaustive physical state from the over-nighter). Fortunately, adrenaline prevailed and we were on our way to another successful day of tuna catching, or so it seemed. Thats when tragedy struck. On the very next hookup, the leader knot blew out part-way through the fight, and we all watched helplessly as one of Andys no-fail circle hooks swam away, attached to the lips of a freed tunaforever (or until it corroded and dissolved, whichever comes first). Shaking our heads in disbelief, and grasping at the emptiness of that awkward – dark – moment, we pouted. Then we blamed. Of course, it was the deckhands fault. It was his knot that failed. Damn that Baby K__e! (who shall remain nameless).
Moving forward from the tragedy of the morning, we decided to try live bait in the afternoon. That notion panned out immediately, and it wasnt long before we were fighting another sizable yellowfin, then another, and another. We even hooked up with a popper, which we bid adieu to when its knot gave way after a blistering run towards the 2000 bottom. Damn that Baby K__e! (who shall remain nameless). All in all however, it was yet another successful excursion, and our fish box was full by evening.
On our final day, we all agreed that snapper fishing would work out best for those of us left standing. And it certainly did, as we were greeted by 3 waves and a steady south wind right out of the pass. Going long for tuna on this day would be painful (but less so in the cat than in a Contender). It didnt take long however to fill our limit of beautiful red snapper, and we headed in early, happy to have time to prepare a lunch fit for kings.
In retrospect, it seems I always have the time of my life fishing with this group of captains and first mates (and I have fished with many over the years). To complement their offshore knowledge and experience, they work tirelessly to produce a catch of fish, often staying out late to ensure customer satisfaction. Over the years, we have developed a friendship that builds on the experiences of our times together. I reflect fondly on these memories, eagerly reading their reports and viewing their photos, until we meet again. May it be soon.