Sushi in Panacea?

September, 2015

Panacea Fishing

As offshore fishing often does, the day started out early.  It was a pretty morning:

Panacea Fishing

Although I hate getting up early in the morning, I do love the sunrises leaving the harbor.  Great to be alive and on the water.

O Tower - Gulf of Mexico

Our destination this morning is "O Tower".  It's about 35 nautical miles from Panacea, but really only about 20 NM from Carrabelle.  A pretty long way.  I have been farther, but still, it is kind of a long way.  We are hunting grouper and snapper.

On the boat today is ("One Last Cast" Sam, Jim (about to get a nickname in this post), and Chris.

We get about halfway and the wind starts whipping.  I have a following sea, which means the wind is directly at my back.  I have learned to look behind me.  Yep - 4 to 5 foot waves crashing behind me.  Crap - it's going to be a very slow, long run back if this wind doesn't settle down.  I am quickly losing my "bay boat mentality" though.  4-5 ft waves used to scare the sh*t out of me.  Now - not so much.

It takes us exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes to arrive at "O" Tower.  I have never fished here.

O Tower - Gulf of Mexico

It is hard to tell from the chart above, but supposedly there are three small reefs there.  I like to troll over structure first -  so we do.  Immediately, something big hits the Stretch 30.  Jim brings it up next to the boat.  A huge Amberjack.  Just as Jim goes to lift it into the boat, he feels a small tug on the line.  Out of the water comes only a head.  Right below us is a 8-9 ft shark.  Blood everywhere in the water.  Damn shark.   It is truly amazing how sharp their teeth are.  Its not like they grab the fish and run with it, the just slice right through it like it's butter.

We start trolling again, and it isn't long before Chris and Sam catch two large Kings.  The sharks don't mess with them as much.  They go in the box.  Nice - two big fish in the box and the day is young.

I am still learning how to anchor and place us directly on a waypoint - especially in 5 foot seas, but I attempt it.  My 1st attempt - not so great.  My 2nd attempt - not too bad.  I get us directly on the buoy. Accurate anchoring is extremely difficult, but I am slowly getting better.  The key is determining an anchor heading using the compass and ignoring everything else your senses are telling you about the wind, the waves, and the current.  The compass is your friend when anchoring.

Sam catches a snapper.  Nice!  In the box.  There is plenty of structure below us, but all is quiet.  That bites (pun intended).  We sit here for a while, but no hits on our frozen or live bait on the bottom.  So eventually, we pull up anchor and proceed back to the tower.  We are the only people (fools) out here in these rough seas, so why not.

Recently, I had read in Florida Sportsman magazine (thank you editor guys, btw) a technique where you take live bait and suspend it from a cork about 10 ft below the surface.  I believe the magazine stated that this was a good technique during the calm days of summer.  It is definitely NOT calm today, but I tell my guys that I have a good feeling about it.  We are drifting right next to O Tower.

We are all actually watching the cork when it suddenly disappears and takes off.  And when I say, "takes off", I am not exaggerating.  The line is burning off the reel.

This is the most important part of the post, so I have to set this part of the story up correctly:

Way out here, I have learned from experience to use 80 pound test.  There are big fish out here and I hate losing them.  So all my deep sea reels either have 80 pd test or 60 pd Dacron line (Thanks Russell, that really is excellent, albeit expensive line).  But I do keep some spinning reels on the boat for casting.  They typically only have 15-20 pound test on them...  Anyway, I will now return to: The line is burning off the reel.  That line is only 20 pound test - that is the reel they used.  Really guys?

Anyway, Jim pulls the light tackle rod out of the rocket launcher and attempts to reel, but for some reason, he isn't making any progress.  I am doing my best to move the boat to keep up with Mr. Speedy Gonzalez fish.  Fortunately, the fish has bolted AWAY from the tower and not towards it.  I can hear the reel drag clicking loudly while Jim is furiously reeling.  Sam reaches over and (according to him at least), tightens the drag.  No improvement.  At this point, there is almost no line left on this reel.  Jim yells, "He's about to spool me".  Ironically, if we had had higher pd test line, we would have had less line on the reel and we would have lost the fish by now.

I gotta give Sam credit here, he actually grabs the line with his bare hands and starts pulling.  Pretty impressive, dude.  Meanwhile, I leave the cockpit, hand Sam some gloves, reach over and "tighten" the drag on the reel.  Jim then says, "Oh, the reel is working perfectly now."  Huh?  Okay, whatever boys.  Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy maybe?  The world will never know.

Just when I think us geeks are getting better at this fishing stuff......

Anyway, on with the story:

Now, the fight is on.  Jim is struggling to get this very strong fish near the boat.  He also has about 400 yards of line to retrieve, but he makes progress.  5-10 minutes go by.  I'm waiting for the line to snap at any moment.  In my unspoken opinion I figure there ain't no way this odd acting fish is being caught on 15-20 pound test.

As the fish gets closer to the boat, I get a glimpse of it.  Bonito?  That's what it looks like in the water.  This, btw, is a bonito: (They taste like crap)


But I have never seen a bonito as big as this fish.  I take another look.  No, it can't be!  It just can't be!  But the big "googly" eye is unmistakable because I just saw it on the cover of this month's Florida Sportsman magazine (which I haven't read yet on my dining room table):

We have caught a BlackFin Tuna!  Out of  PANACEA, FLORIDA!:

Panacea Fishing - Blackfin Tuna


So Jim, I am hereby giving you the nickname of "The Big KaTuna"!  We need to order coffee cups for you.  :-)

Fortunately, Sam has caught a lot of Tuna offshore in Louisiana and he knows how to"bleed the fish" near the gills.  In the box it goes!

If I drank beer on the boat, I would be almost convinced to have one right now.

What the heck was that fish doing in 70 feet of water?

One last story before I let you go:

We are still contending with 5 ft waves but it is time to head back towards home port, so as we leave the tower, we decide to troll a while towards home.  We are about 3 miles from the Tower went something big hits one of our Stretch 30's.  When you troll a lot like we do, you can tell the difference between a large fish and a small one by the way they hit it and the length of their initial run.

After the hit, this thing runs and runs and runs.  Jim manages to grab the reel, but just as he does, he almost gets out the words, "He is going to spoo".  But he doesn't finish the sentence.  The fish spools us.  That was a lot of line.  Sam and I look at each other and say the same thing simultaneously, "That was a big damn fish".  That is the first time I have ever seen a fish spool the reel on the first run without stopping.  No way it was a large king and definitely not an AmberJack.  Sharks don't hit stretches.  That only leaves Tarpon and, yep, I'm gonna go there, another damn tuna.  We will never know though.  Still, it was very interesting - and different.

I love it out here.

As we approach protected waters, the sun comes out and the waves subside to 0-1 foot.  Very nice now, so we take our shirts off, enjoy the sun, chat, troll some more and catch some Spanish Mackerel.  I'll eat those also!  3:30 p.m.  Time to head in.   The boys, understandably, are a little tired:

Panacea Fishing

I can't wait.

We arrive at the dock and as expected, I get asked the inevitable question,  "Did you catch anything?"

"Yeah, we caught some Kings and some Spanish and a Snapper".

Tyler (Macon's son) likes to give me crap, "Well, maybe someday Capt'n Hook will learn how to bottom fish".  Although he does have a point, I say, "Yeah, that's true.  Oh, did I mention that we caught a Blackfin Tuna?"  I smile.

Tyler replies, "Yeah, sure you did, suuuuuuurrreeeeeee you did, Capt'n Hook."

I make them put my boat on the rack next to the restaurant so people can see what we unload.  I take off the Spanish first, then the Kings.  Mind you, the Kings are rather impressive also.  They are NOT little Kings.  I hear a few "Oohs" from within the restaurant.  Then, I slowly, very slowly, remove the Tuna and hand it to Sam and Jim.

Now THAT gets everyone's attention!

Far be it from me to be theatrical though.  :-)

Here is our board:

Panacea Fishing

Okay, that is just Sam clowning around.

Panacea Fishing - Blackfin Tuna

As always, we don't have a LOT of fish on the board (I'll keep practicing), but Macon says they haven't seen a tuna in Panacea in over 10 years.

I'll take it.

Sam and I enjoy seared tuna at the restaurant that night, and the next night I serve rare, seared Tuna with soy sauce for Terri and Delaney at the dinner table along with grilled lemon and herb snapper, pan-fried, butter and almond encrusted Spanish Mackerel, and grilled King with Mango and fresh herbs.  If you are wondering, yes, it was all quite tasty.

Thanks Chris for doing such a great job cleaning the boat.  You are welcome back anytime.
And thanks, as always Sam, for taking great pictures and being a good friend.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Captain Marc Paul
Captain Marc Paul

God's True Test of Men

September, 2015

People often ask me - "Hey Marc, how do you launch your boat?"

And I reply, "By phone".

Years ago, I learned an excellent quote from Mike Wilson:  "Boat trailers are God's true test of men".

Many of my friends (Gene) will attest to that quotation.

I hate boat trailers.  Something always goes wrong when you pull boats on them.  When the day comes where I can't afford to pay someone to place my boat in the water from a lift, I will sell the boat.  Go ahead, make fun of me, but if you ever want to drink a few beers and watch an entertaining, free show, just take a lawn chair down to a public boat ramp on a busy summer day and watch people launch their boats.  Then, you will understand my preference.

I have a friend named Darrh Bryant (pronounced "Dare" who also happens to be a great dentist).

Like me, Darrh (sort of) enjoys fishing.  :-)

Anyway, he has a BIG Contender and he apparently isn't afraid to trailer it.  He is much more ballsy than I.  Recently, he and his friends (my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail) trailered his boat all the way from Tallahassee to the Florida keys for a weekend of fishing and lobstering.

I heard he blew a tire on the way down, but had it fixed within minutes.  Very impressive Darrh!

He created a fun video.  You can enjoy it here:

I'll be back with a new blog soon.

Captain Marc Paul
Captain Marc Paul


There are two months that I really don't care for:  February and August.  February is rainy, nasty, windy, cloudy and nasty.  Yes, I purposely wrote nasty twice.  No fishing in February.

August in Tallahassee is frickin hot!  The water temperature is 83 degrees for god's sake.  And the daily thunderstorms are not to be trifled with 30 miles offshore.

But I didn't want you to think that Capt'n Hook had completely disappeared.  I have been vacationing with my family in San Francisco; sending Cameron off to his first year at UNF; working at the office so that I can make enough money to return to fishing; working on the crack-shack in Panacea so we can have a place to stay AFTER fishing; and staying in the air-conditioning as much as possible.

We typically start fishing again in September when the weather cools off just a bit.  Some of my electronics are broken (i.e. the fishfinder keeps freezing), so we really have to get that working before we head back out again.  Always something going wrong on a boat.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this short video that was recently sent to me.

I love it!!!!!!

Click Here For Video:  Banana? I don't think so.

Enjoy the end of your summer folks.

Captain Marc Paul

Goals Are a BAD Thing

Hello everyone.

My family has been out of town on vacation for a few weeks now. (I had to work).   I have been all by myself.  So my friends decided to come up from Clearwater for the weekend and fish for grouper. We had a little fun in Tallahassee the night before.  Okay, mostly Nick did:

Panacea Fishing

On the boat this weekend is:  Jeff, Gene Jim, Nick, Marc & Mike (Jeff's friend from Clearwater).  It is Friday.  99 degrees with afternoon thunderstorms.  Extremely hot, but not bad conditions.

Panacea Fishing

I know what you are thinking:  "Now that is one motley crew of young studs".  I know, we were thinking the same thing when the photo was taken.

Our destination is V Tower.  It is about 35 nautical miles offshore. We head to a location close to V Tower.  I have never been to V Tower - and there is a reason for that - as you will soon learn.  We are seeking gag grouper because they are open in Federal waters.  It is kind of rough out here so even though we are only about 3 miles from V Tower, we don't make it all the way there.  We fish all day at various locations. We catch some rock bass and some key west grunts, but no grouper.  We catch some sharks on a reef, but no grouper.  We lose the very expensive Go Pro camera over the side of the boat, but no grouper.

But Jeff does catch a couple of cool AmberJack. Unfortunately, they are closed, so they have to go back in.  AmberJack are everywhere out here! Why they are closed is anyone's guess.

Panacea Fishing
 Panacea Fishing

We return to the dock with no grouper.  Grouper fishing is tough.  I don't have the best waypoints out there either.  Like they say, it takes time on the water.  I suppose.  Another way of saying it is: "I suck at catching grouper".

Jim heads home but the rest of us have a nice dinner at Mad Anthony's and drink one or two beers :-) and head back to the crack shack.  It sure is convenient having a place to stay down here so we don't have to drive all the way back to Tallahassee.  The shack still needs a LOT of work, but it is livable (as long as you don't require hot water - gotta get that fixed).

We get up early the next morning and head back to V Tower, but now, my fish finder is no longer functioning.  It is hard enough fishing for grouper WITH a fish finder, but without it, we are basically fishing blind.  And sure enough, we catch no grouper.  We do catch more rock bass and key west grunts though.

But we are VERY close to V Tower.  There is also a VERY large thunderstorm nearby.  I suggest we head back closer to shore.  Everyone else though, disagrees.


Because they know that many, many years ago, when I only had a 17 foot bass boat, I set a personal goal.... And that goal was: "If I ever made it all the way out to V Tower and fished on the other side of it, I would get a tattoo."  All my friends know this.

This season, I have actually been to S Tower (twice) which is considerably farther than V Tower, but in a different compass direction.

So the guys aren't about to let me turn back towards shore.  They also call me a few feminine and non-supportive names which I can't repeat here.  Now that is just plain hurtful.  We head directly to the Tower.  On the other side of it, one of the guys takes this shot of me to prove that we made it around it.  Dammit.  Don't believe what they say in all the business books:  Goals are indeed, a BAD thing.

V Tower - Gulf of Mexico

Since we are right next to V, we might as well fish!  We all drop down lines.  Nothing.  Well, not quite, I immediately get a big fish on.  I have the fish almost all the way up when someone on the boat says, "Holy crap, look at the size of that shark!"  We all look.  It appears to be about 8-9 feet. Big shark, no doubt.  Then, I get an odd tug on my line, but I can still feel the big fish moving around.  Huh, that was weird.  I keep reeling.  I bring up a half of an AmberJack that is bleeding everywhere.  The shark has bit him cleanly in half.  Well, that is a new one.

I'm not allowed to keep HALF of an AmberJack either, so I throw him back.  Immediately, a huge Barracuda starts tearing into him, and then the shark chases the Barracuda.  I actually feel sorry for the AmberJack (which is still alive and hopelessly trying to swim without a whole back end).  The shark returns and finishes him off.  There for just a moment, it was a feeding frenzy - and quite exciting.  I suppose that it was all appropriate for my 1st trip around V Tower.  On the way back in, Nick says, "Makes you wonder, doesn't it."

And I reply, "What's that Nick?"

He says, "We are definitely NOT at the top of the food chain way out here."

On the way back in, we kinda actually rescue a couple of divers who have surfaced too far from their boat and are being pushed farther and farther away from it by the strong current.  That was interesting also.  These guys were exhausted and the young girl (the only person left on the boat) wasn't strong enough to pull up the boat anchor to go get them - assuming she knew how to drive a boat.  It was actually Jeff and Mike's idea to assist since they are both divers and they knew the divers were too far from the boat.  Good call, gentlemen.

And this probably isn't worth mentioning in the blog, but shortly after we left V Tower, we were fishing at a spot near K Tower. (Not catching grouper).  Gene opens a box of CrackerJack.  You know the little prize inside?  Yeah?  He pulls it out and shows it to me.  Wanna guess what it is?  Come on....Guess!  Ironically, it's a tattoo sticker with a "V" on it. How cool is that!?  I stick it to the dashboard.  It will last for a while.

Anyway, now, dammit, I just have to pick a fish tattoo for my leg.  Here are two that I am considering:

I wonder if I should get one of an AmberJack getting eaten by a shark with a "V" on top?

I'm open to ideas folks.  Maybe another contest?

We returned that night and had a big fish fry at the shack.  Rock Bass and Grunts may not be quite as good as grouper, but they were still damn good.  Especially since Mike created this amazing batter with (according to him), only beer and flour.  I've gotta try that again.  That was awesome in the fryer.

So thank you very much to my pals for making the trip all the way up here.  You guys are cool and that was an amazing weekend.

Panacea - Mad Anthonys

For everyone else, thank you for reading.

Oh, and if you haven't checked it out yet, the website is making considerable progress at:  You will find ALL these blog posts there also.

I'm headed to San Francisco with the family soon.  Won't fish or post for a while.

Captain Marc Paul

"Captain, We Can 'Catch' As Many As We Like" - SJ

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

Hello everyone.

Here on Florida's Forgotten Coast, it's "Snapper Season".  Last year, snapper season was only open for nine days.  This year, a little longer, but not much: Two weeks - I think.

From Panacea, you have to go a LONG way to get to them.  Apparently, they hang out between V Tower and S Tower (See map).  Two far-away towers, btw, to which I have never been.  Except for bringing the boat back from Pensacola, I have never had the Century out that far.  From Apalachicola, S Tower is not that far, but that is an entirely different story from Panacea.  Bottom line:  S Tower is about 100 nautical miles round-trip from the Rock Landing Marina.  Whew!

We have a choice:  V Tower or S Tower.  V Tower or S Tower.  Well, let's see.  If I go to V Tower, than I have to get a tattoo.  So, S Tower (which is actually farther than V Tower and in a slightly different direction - it is.  :-)

It's Saturday morning.  The dock is rocking with lots of boats.  There is definitely excitement on the dock. ALL boats 24 ft or bigger are icing, fueling, preparing and chatting. I love this part!  I absolutely love being on the dock with all the other boats getting ready to go.  Sure, there is competition in the air - that is part of it - but there is also camaraderie.

The weather forecast is sunny and calls for 0-1 foot waves.  I'll believe the wave part when I see it. Every time we have been out this season, it's been 4-6 foot waves.  The wind is getting old.

Charmaine (Videographer) can't make it, so on the boat today is just the four of us:  Marc, Cameron, Sam and SJ (Sam Jr).

We head out. Sure enough, 0 - 1 foot seas.  Awesome!  Smooth as ice out here.  About time.

One hour and 45 minutes later, we arrive at S Tower.  Holy Crap - this tower is a long way from Panacea. But we're not alone - there are boats everywhere around us.

We start fishing and we catch some small vermilion snappers.  Not exactly what I drove 50 miles for. I start thinking to myself, "You're an idiot, why did you come all the way out here?"  Then, it happens.  SJ does it.  But it starts quite quietly.

Nobody is really paying any attention to him. He states rather calmly from the other side of the boat, "I think I got one".  I look over at him.  The first thing I notice is that his feet are actually leaving the deck.  The fish is so heavy that he is being lifted off the boat.  For some odd reason, I find this site rather humorous. (He does have a PFD on).    While chuckling, I do manage to say to his Dad, "Hey dude, I think he might need your help."

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

Although Dad assists, he lets SJ do most of the work. The pole stays under SJ's arm the entire time. You gotta earn the right to say you caught a fish that big.  After 4-5 minutes, the fish makes it in the boat.  15 pound snapper!  Wow, an amazing fish, SJ!  

Wanna watch him catch it?

Here he is right after he caught it:

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

Now you see why his feet were coming off the deck?  The fish is almost as big as he is.

Then, his Dad catches a similar one.  For the record (and we weighed both of them), SJ's is bigger!  "Who's your daddy!":

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

I don't think the kid stop smiling the rest of the day.  Which brings me to my favorite quote of the day.  SJ asks how many snapper we can catch, and I reply, "We can catch two snapper per person", and he replies, "Actually Captain, we can catch as many as we want, but we can only keep two".

Love this kid!  I name the waypoint where he caught it:  "S Tower - SJ".  Now he has his own spot deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

True, we didn't fill up the board with fish - I'm still learning how to do things out there - and we did go a long, long way, but I'm certain that a 10 year old kid won't forget a snapper that size for many, many years!

Fishing takes practice.  I still have a LOT to learn out there about bottom fishing - okay fishing in general.  Believe it or not, it is more difficult than you might think - especially anchoring EXACTLY on a waypoint in 100 ft of water.  Damn, that is difficult.  I look forward to telling you more about it on my fishing show!  

And kudos to my son, Cameron.  He continues to improve out there on the water. He is pretty humble about being helpful, but he has become extremely handy on the boat.  I couldn't have done it without him. I couldn't ask for a better father/son day. (Well, except for maybe the KC Chiefs game :-).  Cameron heads off to college soon.  He may not be a little kid anymore, but quality time with him now is time I won't forget for many, many years.  I am honored to be his Dad.  I will truly miss him, his energy, and his personality, when he leaves for UNF this fall.

I'm exhausted, but believe it or not, I will be back at S Tower on Monday as I will be taking WCTV Channel 6 News out on the boat, so I have another post to write in a few days.  I'll be back soon!

Just for fun, here are a few closing pictures:

                          S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

S Tower - Gulf of Mexico

Oh, and for the three of you who DO read my blog, we are making progress with the actual Capt'n Hook website.  The site has a LONG way to go to be ready for prime-time (we are just getting started), but if you would like a "sneak peak" at it, here it is:

As always, thank you for taking the time to7 read this post.

Be back soon.

Captain Marc Paul
Captain Marc Paul

Wife is a blog hacker.

Hey Capt’n Hook:
This is your wife.....
It took us forever to get to the coast.  The girls needed matching outfits, special hair stuff, only certain foods for lunch and, of course, a Starbucks stop. It was almost lunch before we actually got on the boat.

The boat is huge! It is so much bigger than I thought it would be. I had just stepped on when Marc – sorry - “Captain Hook” told me what to grab in case of emergency; which buttons to push; which station to use for the emergency radio; the first aid kit; and which bags to inflate in case he was incapacitated. The first thing he showed me was all the emergency rules. Remember, it's just me and two twelve-year old girls.  The emergency instructions are taped to the dash:
We get a few miles out, "Steer the boat" he says. You gotta be kidding me. Thankfully, Delaney says she can do it.
He then tries to show me how to fix “inriggers” or “outriggers” or whatever all that nonsense is on the back of the boat. 

Since I won't drive the boat I, apparently, have to do all the bits with the poles. I don't really fish either, btw. He taught me early in our marriage how to put a shrimp on a hook and cast my little line on my little pole into the water. I never progressed from there and -I'm okay with that! He's telling me to listen for the “zing” of the line so then I can set it, pull it in, pay out the line etc. "And you can help the girls do theirs too," he assures me. You gotta be kidding me.

About this time Delaney’s friend get seasick and is puking over the side. I view this as a sign from God that we should go back. But the little girl rallies and the Captain is determined we should continue to troll and catch something. Little does he know I'm frantically bargaining with God not to catch anything and nor for the Captain to become incapacitated. Thankfully, she pukes again and he makes the decision to go in. Whew, after three hours of getting out to the coast and 30 minutes of actually fishing - we return safely to the dock. 

But NOOOO - the drama doesn't end there. Marc disappears somewhere and the “water police” hook onto the boat (at the dock) and start asking all these questions. I keep telling them, "I know nothing about anything on this boat" but they refuse to leave. I figure that sounds suspicious as heck and I’m pretty sure they are going to impound this new boat.
So my lesson of the day was.....Never step on the boat again unless there are several other people already on it (i.e. Gene, Sam, Mike, Ryan) who know way more about boats than I do. My next boat ride - I will be sitting in the co-pilots seat with a good book.

I just read your “smiling” post; I know your blog login credentials, so I feel compelled to give my view/perspective to your followers.  Here goes:

Panacea Fishing

I kinda wanted to step back out. You have to understand, I know NOTHING about boats – nor about anything electronic. I can't even turn on our TV at home – no really, I can’t. The electronics console looks like an airplane dashboard:

Panacea Fishing

Marc finally returns. 

You gotta be kidding me! Who would have guessed they were just there to harass Capt’n Hook because they knew him!
The next "fish I catch" will be at Mad Anthony's restaurant, preferably grilled, and with a chilled glass of wine.

Delaney & Terri

Captain Marc Paul

Dude, Why aren't you fishing?

Blog posts are usually comprised of "words", but in this post, these simple "videos" easily explain why I am/we are NOT fishing today. 


Here they are.  Enjoy!

Capt'n Hook - not fishing:

Cameron - not fishing:

Thanks for "watching".  Come fish (or skydive) with Capt'n Hook soon.

Happy Memorial Day and THANK YOU to all our veterans. (That includes you Russell)

Captain Marc Paul
Captain Marc Paul

Smiling, smiling, kind of smiling, no longer smiling, smiling

I have owned the boat for eight months now and Terri (who is a fan of boats) has not yet been out on it.  Ooops. 

It is past time to take the wife on a fishing trip.

And as long as I'm taking the wife, I might as well take the daughter. (Delaney)

And as long as I'm taking the daughter, I might as well take the daughter's friend (Lexi).

Still windy here.  Have I mentioned that I am not a fan of wind?  Conditions are rough, but it is sunny.

Lexi tells us that she has been out on boats before so I decide to take them all about 15 miles offshore. (What I consider inshore). For the first part of the trip, they decide to hang out near the bow because they are enjoying the large waves and the crashing of the bow up and down. 

They are really laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves.

That doesn't last long as Lexi falls, bangs/cuts her knee and smacks her chin against the metal railing.  She is a trooper though after a little first aid on her knee: 

She is back to smiling.

Lexy & Delaney

I had actually intended to take the girls to K Tower, but it simply too rough for that.  After 20-25 minutes, we make it out to the area I want to fish (Camp Reef).  Thanks again Camp.  I show them how to drop the trolling rigs into the water; how to pay out the line; how to set the drag; how to test the drag tension; how to turn on the clicker.  Glazed looks ensue.  :-)

We are fishing a few minutes when Lexi gets that "odd look" on her little cute, teenage face.  I know that look.  It is easily recognizable on the water.  She goes from brown (tan) to green quickly.  Seconds later, yep, she is chumming for fish from her esophagus. Fortunately, I have never been seasick, but I have seen LOTS of people who have.  It really doesn't look like fun.  We give Lexi some water; she says she is feeling better and she is smiling again.

Hmm.  Rarely have I ever known anyone to recover from seasickness until their feet hit the dock.  But maybe, just maybe, Lexi will be different.  Conditions are still rough... 4-5 ft waves.

We fish for 5-10 minutes.  Nothing biting.  Lexi decides to chum for fish again.  Bless her heart. She is only "kind of" smiling now. 

Although we have only been fishing for twenty minutes.  We decide to head back.  It isn't a difficult decision by any means.  Anything else would just be cruel.

On the ride back, Lexi decides to donate to the Gulf of Mexico just a little more of herself.  She is no longer smiling:

Panacea - Seasick

Delaney and Terri still are.  They have never been seasick:

Panacea - Delaney & Terri

I'm just throwing a picture of myself in here from our trip, cause I can:
Captain Marc Paul

We return safely to the dock and after only 5-10 minutes with her feet on dry land, Lexi is smiling again, so the girls decide to have a little picnic on the dock next to the boat.

Until.....FWC shows up.

I am returning from the marina store and walking back down the dock when I see they have latched on to my boat sitting at the dock.  One of the dock workers asks me, "Marc, what is up with you and FWC?  They follow you everywhere."

My reply, "They show me attention when I shoot at them".

Anyway, I can hear Terri telling them "I know nothing about this boat, I know nothing about the registration, I know nothing about nothing!".  They are smiling patiently at her.

As I walk up, I see that it is Jason Marlow.  He is an FWC officer who I went to sea school with.  We got our Captain's licenses at the same time.  Jason is a really nice guy (although if you tell him I said that, I will deny it).  Trivia:  Jason knows more about sea life than anybody.  He is obviously enjoying my wife's discomfort.  (I like him even more).

Good to see you Jason (on left).  Let's see if you can catch me on the water next time!  Docks don't count.  I know, it probably isn't wise to challenge the FWC to catch me.  I never said I was the smartest Captain.  Oh yeah, what is the Coast Guard navigation rule again?  "Always speed towards the red and yellow lights and speed away from the blue lights".  Yes, I'm certain that is the Inland and International rule that we studied in sea school.  :-).  In this picture, I'm actually NOT in front of them, I'm just bigger and more muscular.

FWC & Captain Marc Paul

At Mad Anthony's, it is only fitting that I buy all of us virgin strawberry daiquiris.  Those things are awesome!  Although Lexi has fully recovered, I'm pretty certain it will be a long time before she fishes with Capt'n Hook again.  You're always welcome though Lexi.

Panacea - Lexy & Delaney

I'm pretty sure I still owe my wife a fishing trip. 

Great job on the photos, Terri!

I'll be back very soon everyone.  Thanks for reading.  Come fishing with me soon.

Captain Marc Paul
Captain Marc Paul