July 22, 2009
Recently, I was invited to go out on a fishing charter with one of our member companies. I was a little apprehensive, as I have never been fishing out on the ocean, but I was quickly put at ease and I believe everyone on the boat had a great experience.
After waiting a while for suitable weather on an open date, we eventually headed off to the Port Royal Village Marina and Capt. Wally’s boat, the Sea Wolf. We arrived at the marina, a bit bleary eyed but ready for adventure, just as the sun rose over Lady’s Island. Soon we were all aboard with our gear stowed in the cabin.
While we were underway heading down the Beaufort River to Port Royal Sound, the captain briefed us about the safety features of the boat and safety procedures that need to be followed while we were underway and while we were fishing. The wisdom of several of the procedures was demonstrated after we landed a few fish.
The sun burned off the high overcast and left just a few wispy cirrus clouds in the azure sky. The ride down Port Royal Sound to the Atlantic was a little bumpy but we were making swift progress and the two-foot swell wasn’t an impediment to our passage towards the Atlantic. Once we were out on the ocean and had arrived at our fishing spot, the surface of the water seemed to smooth out like fabric floating on top of a table. As we trolled around our fishing spot, it was easy to move about the boat; there was almost no pitch or roll.
The captain and the mate soon had lines out and it wasn’t long before we had fish landed and on ice. We were catching Spanish mackerel, and before the morning was over, we had accumulated quite a catch. There was plenty of fish for everyone to share.
Unfortunately, barracuda like Spanish mackerel, too, and we lost a few to those silvery fish with many big teeth. Some of the most exciting moments were when members of our party landed a couple of the barracudas. The fish were more than three feet long. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who pulled the fish in, so I’m not sure what they weighed, but they certainly seemed to put up a good fight. I just made sure I stayed out of the way of those teeth. I had seen what they did to the mackerel and that was enough of a warning for me!
After a successful morning at the rod and reel, we headed back to port. On the way we spotted a loggerhead sea turtle in the open ocean. Presumably it was feeding on the jellyfish we saw from time to time over the side of the boat. I missed it, but others on board saw a ray flip up out of the water. The ride back to the dock was smoother but equally speedy as the ride out in the morning. We were all pleasantly tired from our day of sun and sea.
I leaned over the railing on the dock and saw a variety of fish swimming around the marina, greenies, pipefish and even a couple of cow-nosed rays. Nearby, the mate efficiently cleaned and helped us divide the catch. We each bid good-bye to Capt. Wally and the mate, and headed home with fresh fish for dinner, eager to try our hand at deep sea fishing again.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the post before it goes live. I’ve attached the photos I’m including in the post, too. Let me know if your first mate has any reservations about me posting the photo where he is standing beside Dean Winnings and the barracuda.
Thanks again for your kind invitation. I really enjoyed the trip!