How about a fishing story to help with the summer heat? Quite a few years ago, I was working as the mate on the late Buck Kempson’s 29 foot Phoenix sport fisher named the “Mermaid II” out of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. We had been chartered by a young man and his girl friend for an all day Gulf Stream trolling trip which put us about 45 to 50 miles off shore.
Buck had a history of heart trouble, but he always had his “Silver Bullet”, a Michelob light, close at hand. On this hot, sunny day the ocean was running a good 5 to 8 feet, perfect for presenting the bait to big game fish, and it wasn’t long before a flat line on a heavy trolling weight took a strike right at the stern of the boat. I immediately shouted, “Fish on!” to Buck, and then pulled the rod from the holder, set the hook and handed it to the client who had already climbed into the fighting chair in anticipation.
The funny thing was that this fish didn’t run hard or jump even though it was apparent from the rod action that it was a sizable fish. Within a few brief minutes, I had the fish at the back of the boat and was ready to gaff it as soon as I could get my hand on the leader wire. When I looked over the stern at the fish, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Right in the front of me was a 7 foot sail fish that was acting like a mackerel. These were so scarce back in the late seventies, that I shouted for Buck to come help me put him in the boat.
By the time that Buck made his way off of the bridge and back to the stern, the young lady angler had pulled the trolling weight up to the rod tip, and the fish’s head out of the water. The instant that Buck got his hand on the trolling weight, the line broke and left him holding on to that sailfish with one hand, and trying to hold onto the boat with the other. I grabbed Buck by his belt and held on while the darned fish decided to put on his first of several aerial displays less than 10 feet away! We finally boated the first sailfish that had ever been brought back to Inlet Port Marina, our port of call and long since gone. Buck was pasty white and had a sheen of sweat on his brow, but he was able to get enough meds in him (chased down by a few “Silver Bullets”) to get us home.
Old Buck has long since passed away along with quite a few of my other fishing buddies from Murrells Inlet, but I have some great memories, and quite a few stories to share. Speaking of which, If you haven’t yet read my novel “COUGAR!” check out the free 3 chapter read by clicking on the link above. You can order either the print version or an eBook from one of the following sites:
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