Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shark fish'n the Glf of Mexico

Nice trip to Walmart....not a problem in the world. That' a positive statement.

Now for the negative side the same story, the trip to Walmart sucked.

I walk. Not very far, but I am walk'n. Ain't no way I'm gonna ever see a mile, but I been do'n me some walk'n.

Fell out the door. Landed in a plop on the ground. Positive side, I got up. Negative side, I spend half a hour lay'n on the floor.

It's hard to think positive when there are so many negatives. Like right now, I'm try'n to recall a story.

One more thing, my vision is go'n haywire. Little boxes an' grid things float'n round in my eyes.

Now for a story......*think'n....will they like this story*.

Johnny was build'n a boat in his garage. It was bout 1967. Me an' Joe would meet up over there at Johnny's garage to assist with the fibreglass'n an' stuff like that. Probly drink up a few cold ones too. It gonna be a pretty boat, but that sucker ain't gonna be in the water for another year or two. An' we been talk'n bout go'n fish'n.

Preparations was made for a fish'n trip. Reels was oiled up an' respooled with 120 pound test fish'n line. Rust cleaned off some really big fish'n hooks...a coffe can full of homemade sinkers (nuts an' bolts). Five foot long stainless steel leaders was constructed. We go'n "big fish" fish'n.

Joe come by with his boat the next morn'n with a little 32 cal. revolver strap to his side. Hmmmm, what that gun for? We load that boat up with all kind of fish'n gear...3 poles, a tackle box, a case of beer, a 5 gallon gas can an' a paper bag of sammiches.  Always go prepared with a refresh'n meal when ya go fish'n.

We launch the boat out on the Texas City dike an' we head due east to the open seas....we go'n shark fish'n in the Gulf of Mexico. Before I go on further with this story, all this fish'n gear is loaded up in a little 16 foot aluminum flat bottom "jon" boat with a 15 hp or 25 hp Johnson "putt putt" pull start motor on it. An' I do mean "putt putt". It's gonna be a long day.

As we ease our way through the Galveson bay we see many sail'n boats, fish'n boats, shrimp boats an' a few ships headed to an' from Houston. That little motor never miss a stroke as we enter the into the gulf...wide open "putt'n" all the way. A few cold ones an' Galveston is sit'n on the horizon....way the hell back there. There ain't no other boats way the hell out here. We are all alone. Sit'n in a tiny speck in the Gulf of Mexico under a blar'n sweat produc'n hot sun.

Hand lines are throwed over the side to catch us up some "shark bait" fish. Yeee Ha...we fish'n. My hand line tightens, then it starts sing'n, yank slap out my hands....poooof, gone, just like that. That were one big "bait" fish  I betcha a dollar. Enough small fish is finally catched up, so's switch over to our heavy duty fish poles. We lay back an' sip up a cold one just so's we look like full fledge fish'n people in case somebody happens out this way. It's a macho thing amoungst fishermen. Ya gotta look like a fisherman. The first clicker goes off with a hi pitched whine, Johnny is got a fish on. A big ass fish. It's a shark. One big spin'n leap out the water an' that shark is gone....pooof, just like that....done break that s/s leader.

I get my first bite.....spills my beer grab'n holt to that pole. My line tightens, I set the old rusty hook....I got a fish on. A couple jumps an' it's ascertained, I got me a shark on the end my fish'n line. Ascertained is a yankee word. Just thought it would be cool to use it here. Southern folk don't usually use words like that ya know. Bout the third jump, my shark is slap gone. He break my s/s leader. Now let me tell ya why those s/s leaders are 5 foots long. Just in case ya ever wanna go shark fish'n. When the shark clears water on a jump an' makes a spin with his body, your leader forms a little loop. When that loop tightens up, it's gonna break. Almost guaranteed. Most often it breaks right up close to the hook within a foot. When ya reel yer line in, you simply put another hook on an' you now have a 4 foots s/s leader. I mean, like shoot, that's common sense.

My next shark is brung up to the side that little boat. He's bout maybe 4 foots long an' that sucker has got a mouth full of deadly look'n well maintained teeth. The shark is calm, just lay'n there on top the water.....tak'n him a rest break I would rekon. I'm gonna reach down there an' unhook that little shark off'n my fish hook.....release him an' catch me up a bigger one. As I reaches my hand down to release the hook, that shark is eye ball'n my every move. Poooof....just like that, that shark comes slap alive, mak'n a "wide open mouth full of teeth" attempt to chew my dad gum hand off. Beat'n his head up against Joe's little boat a few times, Joe shoots that sucker dead. Put's him on a rope an' says...."we gonna be eat'n shark steak tonight". *Think'n it was a "blue tip"*.....hell, I don't know.

With all our leaders broke....an' "cold ones" run'n low, we heads back to the Texas City dike. Shark in tow.
"Hey look, that guy just catched a red fish". We anchor up an' we red fish'n in nuttin flat. A red fish is a "red drum" by name, pretty good eat'n, but nuttin like eat'n a spotted sea trout (speck). Take my word for it, I know what I'm talk'n bout. I'm wored slap out an' a bit on the tipsy side, I lay back in the bow of the boat....fish pole in hand. Ok, another tip for anybody that wants to go red fish fish'n. When ya lay back in the bow of a boat, make sure your reel in in the clicker position an' ya ain't got that sucker in gear. I hears a couple strained clicks an' my fish pole is fly'n through the air a hunnert mile a hour, hits the water an' that sucker is slap gone....poooof, just like that. Look like a torpedo go'n through the water.
In 1967, $200 is a pile of change to replace a lost fish pole an' brand spank'n new reel. 

Before I left Texas City in 1970, Johnny was still work'n on his boat. Joe had blowed that little "putt putt" Johnson motor up, divorced his wife an' sold the boat an' trailer for $50. I wonder where they are today. Probly dead 'cause they was both older than me.

Ok, just for fun, I Google search on Johnny. It seems he is still alive an' living in La Marque, Texas just outside of Texas City by a couple three miles. Aged 77....this could very well my my "shark fish'n" buddy Johnny.


  1. "Ascertained is a yankee word. Just thought it would be cool to use it here."

    Ha, ha. I like the way you tell stories. Could listen to you all day. Very good blog you have, Billy Bob. Very good.

    1. Ditto to that, Sissy. Billi Bob keeps us well entertained, doesn't he?

  2. You better try to get in touch with Johnny and see if he ever got that boat finished. . .

  3. Great story Billy Bob. Thanks. Max from Illinois.

  4. That was some good fishin' story hope you enjoyed your shark steaks.