small bote, big nuts....

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by costefishnt, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. costefishnt

    costefishnt Cost Efish'nt³

    thanks to brett i am starting this thread. lets hear your moments of manhood in a small boat.

    I will set down and get all of mine together, but i promise you if it has happened in a gheenoe...i have done it. the only person who would have done more to, and in a gheenoe would be pugar, and he has some gooooood stories.

    post up ladies ;)
  2. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member

    Ok Here You go !  Got lost During the  "gheenoe Rally"You Could Look streight Down into The abyss Under the Bow Very scairy time ...

    Anybody Else Play "Chicken " Withe the Skyway Center Span ?

    (This is the actual Gps Track of That Day)


  3. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    This was my first try at stretching
    a boat to other than its intended use.
    I know that I lean to the extreme.
    But I avoid things that are flat out unsafe.
    The closest I've come to something like those Intruder nuts
    was taking a Sears 12' semi-v-aluminum gamefisher
    with a 7.5 Johnson offshore Key Biscayne
    for dolphin. I launched at Crandon Marina at 8 am and
    headed out Bear Cut then East. When I turned the corner
    at the North end of Key Biscayne it was amazing.
    It was one of those "glass all the way
    to Bimini" kind of days. I headed to my nearshore
    snapper spot and when I got there I just kept going.
    20 minutes running put me in blue water. Another 10
    minutes and I could see birds diving. Headed that way
    and came up on a big sargassum patch. I could see
    schoolies feeding so grabbed my larger spinner and
    a yellow bucktail, tipped it with shrimp, an fired
    out a cast. Couple minutes later had my first of
    10 dolphin in my cooler. They weren't big but
    10 4 to 7 pound dolphin is plenty of good eating.
    Spent another half hour catching and releasing before
    they turned off and I headed back in.
    Got back to the marina and unloaded the boat into
    the back of my truck. Laid the 7.5 on its back
    in the bed of the truck and loaded the boat up on
    the roof racks. Left the cooler on the tailgate
    and parked near the cleaning table at the
    East side of the ramp. There was a big center
    console already there and the owner was using the table.
    He was cleaning a nice batch of small yellowtail
    and mangrove snappers. I hauled my cooler to the other
    side of the table and when the first dolphin hit the
    counter his eyes snapped first to the fish, then to the
    12' beer can on the roof of my truck, then back to
    the fish. He asked "You found dolphin inside the reefs?"
    Told him "No, out in the blue."
    "In that?" as he looked again at the gamefisher.
    I grinned at him "Sure, why not, when it comes to boats,
    it's only how shallow the water is that counts.
    As long as I don't hit any thing I'm fine.
    Deep doesn't bother me, I'm only using
    the top 14 inches."
    He just shook his head at me.
    He thought I was messing with him.
    He finished cleaning his panfish while I cleaned dolphin.
    Before he left he looked at his big boat and my little boat,
    his container of fillets and my pile of dolphin.
    "You really went out in the stream in that?"
    "I go out in my center console and come home with these.
    You go out in a pond boat and get those. You spent what,
    5 bucks on bait and gas? I don't even know how much I spent"
    He climbed in his truck and left.
    I finished cleaning and icing down my filets, then loaded the
    cooler in the truck and headed home, grinning the whole way.


    I didn't know it then, but even before
    I was already doing more with less.
  4. iMacattack

    iMacattack busy, too busy

    brass... my friend pure brass ballz! Been out in the blue when it turned from glass to a.. well u know. Got hairy in and we were running a 25' Contender...

  5. costefishnt

    costefishnt Cost Efish'nt³

    awesome story brett. and dave, skyway has seen a lot of boats play chicken with it. glad you made it back safe.
  6. phishphood

    phishphood Beer is good, Beer is good, and stuff!

    Here's my down with the ship story. I worked with a guy swearing about the giant spotted bass in the Coosa River upstream from Montgomery,Al. I said hook me up, so we went. I knew this part of the river was popular with the white water kayakers and canoers, but what the heck. This guy grew up running the river.
    First trip went great. Spots, stripers and a couple giant bluegill. Needless to say, I jumped at the next trip offer to go with him and his son. He brought his biggest jon boat and his 9.9 Merc, but found out at the ramp he had only 2 life vests. What the heck, lets go for it.
    We motor upstream to the first run where the river level goes up about 10 feet in elevation to the next pool. Never been a problem before, right? Never had 3 adults riding in that boat either. Well, we get right to the top of the run where water is rolling over a boulder and take a nose dive. The boat is swamped within seconds and all I could think to do was grab my cooler and tackle box as the boat rockets out from under us. I look back at my buddy who still has this determined look on his face like we're going to pull out of it as he's still holding the tiller handle with water up to his neck. He finally let go and we all swam to the nearest set of rocks.
    Luckily, as we sat there trying to figure out how we were going to get back to the ramp 3 miles down stream, I saw the nose of the boat pop up and swam out and managed to drag it over to our set of rocks. We flipped it over, bailed it out and paddled our arses back to the ramp.
    We did manage to catch 5 bass on the float back. All I lost was a hat. The others weren't as lucky. Funny looking back, but pretty intense at the time.
    I would love to take my Gheenoe(and a PFD) back up there and give that river a run.
  7. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    didn't catch this when I posted in the not right thread...

    anyway,  me and my high school fishing bud did the same thing as Brett only we launched a 10' sq nosed jon boat off Dania beach, what later became John Loyd park. You used to be able to camp out there, run dune buggies and generally get out of hand like only drunken, stoned teenagers can. We had a 6hp evenrude for the boat and ran out to the gulfstream, which was only 1-4 miles offshore most days without too much trouble. At that time we were into free diving and spear fishing with hawiian slings more so we weren't fishing that hard, but did catch the usual stuff from time to time along the edge, bonito, cudas, small dolphin, etc.

    Several years later when I was able to buy my own boat, a 17' VIP center console with a used 65hp merc I used to fish alone during the week days because I worked midnight to 8am. Those days I'd wander all over the gulfstream on those glass calm days and was insight of Bimini more than once. I'd end up that far just running and gunning chasing Frigate birds looking for dolphin schools without paying too much attention to how far I'd gone. When I decided to head in I'd just run SW until I started recognizing the hotel skyline and figure out which way to get back to port. A couple times I left Haulover and came into Port Everglades because of the northward drift and needed to refuel. Looking back it was pretty stupid to do that, but I was a surfed-out, go for it kinda kid back then. Luckily, I never had an incident.

    A a few years later me and another fishing buddy of mine that I still fish with to this day went down to Key West with my 17' VIP for a long weekend. We ended up getting a late start on the road because I had made a splash well for the boat and it wasn't finished curing, actually the resin was still tacky as we pulled out of the driveway. :)

    Anyway, we got to Sugarloaf Key late Thursday afternoon and decided we'd run out to the reef at Stock Island light and see if we could catch some yellow tails for dinner. After a couple hours we didn't get any yellow tails, but we did get a few small mackeral. By then it was just getting dark so we decided we better head back in. Well we didn't go a mile or so from the reef and the engine started making a horrible noise (we later learned the lower unit seized up) and stalled itself.  :eek:

    Of course we diddled around a bit with no luck and realized we were out there for the night. To make matters worse, it was the winter time and a cold front had already passed, but the weather was in the mid 50's and the winds were out of the northwest at like 17-20mph and of course was blowing us offshore.

    Because we were over mostly mud and grass when we broke down, our anchor wouldn't hold, so we slowly drifted farther and farther offshore until we reach the reef again where the anchor finally took hold. It ended up getting very rough, with water coming over the bow every few minutes. I even ended up hanging my cast net about 10' over the bow to help cushion the porpoising some.

    We maydayed on the VHF but apparently were never heard and also flashed our Q beam at the beacon at the airport there at Stock Island. I didn't have flares either (that was the first purchase when we got back. I bought the Orion Kit in the orange twist off tube, which my buddy and I named the "hard-luck a$$hole saver kit" from that time on, we still ask each other if its onboard for a laugh)

    So me and my buddy John took turns sipping Old Granddad and bailing water all night. On the off-shift we'd try to catch a nap by laying on two throw cushions to keep us dry off the deck. By morning we knew we weren't gonna die, but we sure were miserable, wet and out of whiskey. There were mackeral sky rocketing all around us but neither of us had the energy to throw a spoon at them.

    Being Friday morning we weren't too sure how many boats we'd see out there, but by 7:30 or so a few boats finally started showing up. And maybe the 3rd or 4th one noticed our flailing distress moves and radioed the CG, which came out and towed us in about an hour and half later. We were stuck out there 14 hours before the cutter arrived.  :cool:
  8. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    3 of us had spent a June morning diving the pass through West
    Featherbed Bank spearing grey snapper, Not little 10-12 inchers
    but 18-26 inchers. We'd chase them up and down the ledges on the
    North and South sides of the pass and often enough to make it
    worthwhile, put one in the cooler. During the mornings fun
    we had to be careful not to hit the snook that were mixed
    in the with school of snapper in the shade of the ledges.
    That's where it began. Jerry and I decided to come back that
    evening to try some rod and reel action on the snook.
    In a 14' aluminum jon boat with a 10 hp merc, we left out
    of Matheson Hammock before sunset, headed South.
    Live shrimp in a cooler/livewell, food, drinks, radio
    and the usual assorted odds and ends that make a snook
    jaunt interesting, banging across South Biscayne Bay.
    It took about 45 minutes to get to the pass and anchor up
    about 150' NE of the shoal warning marker at the West end.
    We had caught the last of an outgoing tide and had to drag
    the jon boat across the exposed turtle grass to get into
    the channel. As the sky went dark and the tide changed,
    fishy sounding slurps could be heard right where the
    incoming tide bumped up on the flat at the end of the
    channel. We could just see it at the edge of the light
    cast by the stern light.
     We caught fish. We caught a lot of fish.
    Snapper, cuda, blacktips, snook, ladyfish, little tarpon,
    We used every lure in our tackle boxes and it didn't
    matter how old or nasty, if it landed at the bump
    over the edge, we caught fish. We were having such a
    great time we didn't notice the wind change, or the chop
    building in the channel. What we did notice was the flash
    and then the thunderclap to the North of us. We talked it
    over and decided that it was blowing to the SE and the
    storm would miss us. We kept believing that right up until
    Jerry's line wouldn't settle to the surface of the water
    after a cast. The line was being held up by static electricity.
    From his rod tip the line arced upwards above our
    heads then arced back down to where his lure was floating.
    We could see the line in the lightning flashes, hanging there,
    10 feet plus above the water and staying there. We looked
    at each other and we knew we'd, ahem, fouled up bigtime.
    We zipped our lines in and lay all the rods on the seats
    horizontal along the gunnels and started getting everything
    packed up and put away and strapped down. Even pulled the
    stern light pole down and lay it flat. I had my foul weather
    jacket with a hood on and Jerry grabbed the tarp and wrapped
    it around him as his own personal tent and sat on the floor
    in the bow. The wind picked up and shifted to the NE and blew
    us up on the flat and the anchor hung on the ledge and there
    we stayed. Rain came and the lightning was hitting the steel
    channel markers of the ICW to the East of us. There was almost
    no time from strike to thunderclap. I was sitting on the bottom
    of the boat bailing rainwater over the side and watching
    lightning hitting the steel markers and each strike was
    getting closer. Do I need to remind you that a steel shoal
    marker was about 150 feet to the SW. During the next 10 minutes
    lightning hit the markers at the West end of Featherbed bank
    so many times that it was like a strobe effect with stop motion.
    And in the middle of that storm, at 11 PM in a 14' aluminum boat,
    anchored in a pass through West Featherbed Bank,
    just East of Black Point in Biscayne Bay, with the wind gusting 40,
    these words were yelled to me:

    "Brett, I'm not scared of the one with my name on it!
    It's all these bolts addressed: To Whom It May Concern!"

    And now you know the rest of the story.
  9. tom_in_orl

    tom_in_orl Founder of Microskiff, Member of the Gheenoe Army

    Once or twice a year a few of the members of the forum plan a camping trip in Everglades National Park. Most of them you know. Me, Weedy, Captnron, Zero Gravity, and Deerfly. There are others too. Last fall Deerfly couldn't make it down in the morning to head out with the group. We were headed to Watsons Place which is a good 18 - 20 mile ride. I decided that I would return that evening to pick up Deerfly and lil' Deerfly. The ride back was uneventful. It gave me a chance to confirm that I could follow my GPS track while it was still light out. As I made the trip by myself I made mental notes of the shallow hazards that existed along the way.

    I arrived at Everglades City fairly early. Early enough to have a beer or two and some dinner before they arrived. Once they were there the sun quickly set and we were committed to making the trip in the cover of darkness. It quickly became apparent that we would not be able to run full speed for several reasons. At 25-30 MPH it was very difficult to stay exactly on your GPS path as you navigated the turns. As a back up to our GPS navigation Deerfly had spotlight duty but this was only a minor help because the bugs and fog would illuminate in the beam and make our visibility worse when we were running at about 12 MPH or faster which is the planing speed of my LT25. The spot light was only effective mostly after we decide to slow down to an idle speed to try and find a few known hazards or the wilderness waterway markers.

    I don't remember how long it took us to get to camp but I would have to guess it was in excess of 2 hours. That was more than double the usual 45 minute ride out. It was one of the most intense navigation experience I have ever had yet it was also one of the most exhilarating too. There were no other boats out there that night and I have to guess that is probably the norm. Its way to hazardous for regular nighttime navigation. This is confirmed by the number of markers and other objects that appear to have been run over and knocked down. Keep in mind there is no help if you encounter problems. Cell phones don't work out there. My marine radio has a range of only a couple miles at best. Most places are under water. High ground is sparse. Sometimes miles apart. The mosquitoes are thick.

    Amidst all of this one of the most vivid memories comes for each time we slowed the boat down to avoid the hazards. The slower periods were filled with Deerfly's story telling. His personal accounts of being back there many years before. Sometimes with people who are now part of the history of Florida, Everglades National Park and its fishing heritage.
  10. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    funny I forgot about that already.  :-? that was a great ride bro  :cool:
  11. costefishnt

    costefishnt Cost Efish'nt³

    Here is a quik story, and the big nutz wasnt from a small boat in any water. I had an old 74 lowsider and a paddle, i was probably 15. Early on saturday mornings I would pull it to a pond about a mile from my house. The only issue that i would encounter was a steep hill on pavement, the old rough kind of pavement. Being i couldnt leagaly drive I would hold the old metal grab handle on the bow and pull it with my bike. the good news is usually I would get somebody (prearranged) to pick me up at the end of the day as there was no way i could get it up the hill.

    So anyway, early one saturday I am pulling my boat to my little pond it was still dark and of coarse I am staying off any major roads as getting caught would have been uncool. I make it to the hill and as my butt takes a big bite out of my bike seat i begin the down hill ride, gentle breaks applied then one of my break pads falls off.....i ate it pretty good i must say. the boat didnt care and after rolling over me it proceeded down the hill unattended all teh way to teh end. the end by the way was a mean old SOB who used to yell at me for fishing in the pond. i put a nice big dent in his old LTD.

    The cops kinda laughed as they radioed the dispatch to call my dad yet again :( I ended up paying to have the old rust bucket of a LTD repaired, which was never repaired. I decided on that day, after about 10-15 trips with no issues, that I would not attempt pulling a boat with a bike again.

    i still have some road rash scars on my knees, and my butt hurts from where my dad kicked it all the way home too!

    I got plenty more stupid...errr i mean big nuts kinda stories. Will post another soon. brett, deer, post some more. I know you got a lot!!!
  12. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    I was just changing over from sweet water fishing
    to salt when I received an invite to fish Hell's Bay
    in Flamingo. My bud had a 14' Woodson trihull with a 25 Merc.
    He normally used it for bass fishing Okeechobee
    but had been with his brother to Flamingo in
    another boat and wanted to go again. I was told all
    I needed was my tackle, food, drink and warm clothes.
    He had everything else under control. I'd never been to
    Flamingo, so one cool morning in December we launched at
    the ramp on the North side of the marina. This is where
    I was first introduced to the pleasures of the salt marsh
    mosquito. As we got out of the car he tossed me a can of
    bug repellent and said "put this on, you'll need it."
    He was right. We headed North up a narrow canal,
    and under a bridge. He had a chart so I traced our route
    as we went, learning the names on the chart as we ran up
    the Buttonwood Canal, then NW across Coot Bay to Tarpon Creek.
    We trolled his mirro-lures through the creek but no fish.
    Got plenty of hits from mosquitoes though. Applied more bug
    repellent. Entered Whitewater Bay and headed North. He and his
    brother had been exploring back in Hell's Bay  and had
    found some ponds back in the mangroves. We pulled into
    one of the mangrove creeks that had a turtle grass bottom
    and clear water and idled in. We were greeted by more of
    Flamingo's finest. Applied more bug spray. Took a while to
    meander back in. Had to bend mangrove branches out of the
    way to get through but finally got into the pond he wanted.
    I was introduced to the pleasures of lots of tiny tarpon
    and snooklets on tackle designed for bluegills and yearling bass.
    The cool weather let us wear jackets, long pants and sleeves
    so we only had to OFF our hands, faces and ankles. The mosquitoes
    weren't bad in the open water of the pond where a North breeze
    blew them away. We even joked we were so far back in the sticks
    that the mosquitoes couldn't find us. We had a good morning
    with a bunch of small fish, some catfish and 2 decent snook.
    At 1 we decided to head in. The engine wouldn't start.
    He pulled plugs, checked hoses, checked wires, checked fuel,
    checked the battery but couldn't find the problem.
    He tried everything including banging on things and swearing
    at the engine. Didn't work.  We had a canoe paddle and it was
    getting late. Paddled to the entrance to the pond and into the
    mangrove creek. Turned out to be faster to grab a branch and pull,
    than to try and paddle. So we pulled our way, branch by branch,
    SW'ly towards Whitewater Bay. A 3:55 pm I commented how lucky we
    were that there weren't many mosquitoes, that the OFF worked great.
    At 4:05, I regretted saying those words. It was like the thing
    fire ants do, wait until they're all ready, then all bite at once.
    The swarm of mosquitoes was so bad that you couldn't breath.
    My friend wrapped an old shirt he found under the seat around
    his head, leaving only his eyes visble. I was so desperate that
    I rinsed the catfish slime out of the fishrag and wrapped it
    around my head. OFF had no effect. I think the mosquitoes liked
    the flavor it added. We emptied the can on ourselves. Did no good.
    It was past 8 by the time we cussed, swatted, screamed and pulled
    our way to Whitewater Bay. You'd think once we hit open water
    the mosquitoes would leave us alone. No, there was no wind,
    they kept coming. We took turns paddling towards the SW,
    swatting mosquitoes, and swearing never to go out in another boat
    that didn't have a second motor on board. After midnight we saw
    running lights coming from the NW and he started waving the
    flashlight that was onboard like a madman. An old guy in a
    small cabin sailboat with no mast pulled up, asked what we needed,
    tossed us a line, and started towing us in. The exhaust fumes
    from his inboard almost killed us, but it did slow the
    mosquitoes down. We sat, drank warm water, and swatted bugs
    during the long tow back through Whitewater Bay, Tarpon Creek,
    Coot Bay and the Buttonwood canal. It was near dawn by the
    time we got the boat on the trailer. The mosquitoes never
    let up. We headed home in the car, itching, scratching,
    bitching with every inch of skin that hadn't been covered
    puffy with bites. The skin around our eyes was so puffy
    it made it hard to see. We survived. And we went back,
    because the fishing was great. But first I established
    some basic rules for boating salt water.

    If fishing anywhere I can't walk back from in less than an hour
    the rules are as follows:

    1) Always have 2 engines on the boat that run the same fuel
       (trolling motors are not good enough)
    2) Second battery to start engine and power lights.
    3) A Headnet to keep biting insects off my head, face,
       ears and neck.
    4) Gloves to keep them off my hands.
    5) More cold drinks than you think are necessary.
    6) A variety of dry food stashed away
    7) No bugles corn chips.(see rule 6)
    (that was all that was left at 8 that night to eat.
    A handful as a snack was OK, but we were so hungry
    we ate the whole boxful. Yechh! I still can't eat them!)
    8) Always attempt to fish with someone who can cuss
      with imagination. The same five words over and over and over
      get old real fast.
  13. costefishnt

    costefishnt Cost Efish'nt³

    brett, i can not wait to meet you.

    when i was about 25 i was in between gheenoes. My last one had been broken in half...(another story later) I had picked up a 15' or maybe 16' coleman flat back canoe. This is a true plastic boat. I had a very old 3.5 gamefisher motor that i used to not only weigh the @$$ down in the back of the truck, but as my main power. anyway, my best friend and i would fish every single day, rain or shine, hell or high water. when i got home one friday i told him the wind was up, but we needed to hit moores pond (indian river east side...due east of kennedy point in titusville for you foreiners)

    we were removing this hunk of crap from the back of my nissan hardbody pick up, and for some reason or another we dropped the bow hard on the ground at kennedy point. keep in mind, this is the most basic of boats and made of plastic that is not fit to cover a CD. The drop resulted in about a 6" crack about 3" below the rails at about midships. I am a man of principle, and i had commited to a fishing trip, and i just happened to have some trusty electrical tape. we taped said crack, and launched.

    Now if you remember I said the wind was up. Straight out of the east. If you have never launched from kennedy point when the wind is up from any direction then you may not understand what we were fixin to attempt. A singe fish fart can create 2' rollers coming out of KP. The 20+ mph winds on this friday really had the area around the wave break a little f'd up to say the least, but hey, I SAID WE WERE FISHING DAMNIT!!!!!

    that ol 3.5 had 1 speed. uber f'n slow. we made our way towards the small cut to head east, we were met with solid 4' washing machine slop. No worries though, i had put tape over the lil ol crack, once we got out and across the channel we woud be good...yeah right. as soon as we commited and got the bow of this little POS out of the cut the tape came off, the bow went under at least 1' of water, but dangit we were pushing through. hell we already went past the point of no return. My buddy brian was scooping water with his hands, i had the lil motor at full throttle (@ 6mph) and my buddy was pale, huffing for a breath and soaking wet. we made it to the channel, barely.

    this is where things get a little funny. we had already made it across the worst part of our soon to be epic fishing trip...or so i thought.

    the motor died. the lack of forward momentum presented a nice new issue. the water was now coming over the back. sides. oh and the front too. we decided to jump free of the POS boat to get the weight out, and that we did. we were being blown back in the general direction we had come from, so this was our silver lining, however trying to swim while holding a bucket of water is rather hard.

    Needless to say we made it back to the ramp. loaded the pos plastic boat back into the truck and headed home with our tails between our legs.

    wet, cold, and pissed that we missed out on fishing time we tried to figure out what we went wrong despite the fact that we were idiots. turns out the motor was not the problem. gas and water do not mix well. cracks in the side of plastic boats covered in electrical tape doesnt bode well in rough water either. i salvaged the motor for use on the next gheenoe, but i called my older brother and sold him my POS plastic boat the following week......what? i only charged him 50.00!

    listen. if i wanna fish there isnt much that can stop me. That day however stopped me....ahhhh good times. ;)
  14. FlatsSteeler

    FlatsSteeler Well-Known Member

    17' Mako 90hp Merc OB......49 miles out to the monster Ledge off of the coast on NJ, 2 guys and a compass :eek: no other nav equipment .........every weekend.....No sense being stupid if ya don't prove it..........
  15. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    A little explanation is required for the next few of my stories.
    I was getting bored with the 12' Sears semi-v beer can
    and one Sunday morning a used '74 13' Boston Whaler was for
    sale in the paper. By 10 am that morning it was in my folk's
    back yard. Sold the old 25 hp evinrude off of it for parts,
    it was smoked. Sold the 12' aluminum boat and the 7.5 Johnson
    and started restoring the Whaler. The previous owner had been
    using the boat to haul trash to the dump. Stripped everything
    off down to the bare hull. Bleached all the hull surfaces to
    kill all the mildew and leaf stains. Applied rubbing compound
    to bring back the gloss, inside and out, and waxed it 3 times.
    Built new bench seats with storage underneath and a front deck
    for sleeping or fishing. Built a new side console and rebuilt
    the pulley/cable steering. Refitted the bow and stern eyes and
    rewired the nav lights. Put a bimini top on it. Rebuilt the trailer
    Then bought a brand new 35hp Evinrude 2 stroke pull start.
    There are people who consider whalers to be overpriced
    hardriding hulls, and there's some truth in that.
    But that used 13 was a great "next" for someone who'd been
    fishing in a 12' beer can. I had a 2hp 'rude from a sailboat
    I owned that fit perfect on the port side of the transom and
    when necessary would push me home at 4 mph. I kept the 2hp
    stored under the front deck on cushions until it was needed.
    I would go anywhere in that skiff under almost any conditions.
    If it was calm I was running like a skipped stone. If it was
    rough then I trolled where I was going, but I went. Like deerfly,
    I saw the top of the Bimini lighthouse many times and not always
    on calm days. It's only 55 miles from Crandon Marina to Bimini.
    Most times I traveled offshore alone because my buds didn't feel
    safe offshore in a 13' boat. I used the whaler for diving and
    fishing from Miami Beach to the Turner River and never felt unsafe
    because of the size of the boat I was in. I figured if the Coasties
    can use a 13 whaler as a lifeboat then I was fine. But, that meant
    that I sometimes pushed things a little far on occasion. The whaler
    is not an excuse for those occasions, but it made me feel secure at
    the time. There were many of "those" occasions.
    The following is one of "those" occasions:

    Jerry and I, yes the Jerry from the thunderstorm, he seems
    to end up involved in a lot of my foolishness, discovered that when
    cleaning the mornings catch on a flat North of Soldiers Key
    sharks would show up to feed on the carcasses. Not big sharks,
    Just some nice 3 to 8 footers. Being single adult males,
    thinking things through was not our strong point.
    So we decided that on our next trip we would bring some heavy tackle
    and enjoy some shallow water shark fishing. I've always enjoyed
    catching fish that after you got them alongside the boat,
    half the fun was figuring out how to remove the hook without
    losing useful body parts. So on the next trip we had a thumb
    thick trolling rod with 400 yards of 80lb braided dacron on a
    big Penn trolling reel. We'd rigged 15' of heavy wire to swivels
    and the biggest hook we had. The hook was something scavenged
    off a pre-rigged ballyhoo that had been left after an offshore trip.
    We'd read articles that said the tail of a shark would rub through
    a fishing line during the fight. Couldn't have that happen,
    ergo 15 feet of wire. Well, we went out and caught a batch of
    grunts and yellowtails first thing in the AM. Then anchored on the
    flat North of Soldiers Key, and started cleaning fish.
    The biggest grunt body was hung on the "big" hook then hand thrown
    (couldn't cast it) down current in 3 feet of water. It ended up about
    40 feet from the whaler. We kept cleaning fish. The rod jiggled
    and I got to winch in a 3' lemon shark. Took a little while to get the
    hook out. Released the little lemon, rebaited with another grunt carcass
    and back to cleaning. A bit later the boat changed position, hard.
    There was a monstrous cloud of silt and some thrashing in the water
    where line went. The thumb thick rod was bent sternward in the rod
    holder that was through bolted to my aft bench seat. The drag started
    to give but we couldn't get the rod out of the holder. I grabbed a
    boat cushion and tied it to the end of the anchor rode. Uncleated us
    and tossed the cushion overboard. Free of the anchor, Jerry got
    enough play to lift the rod out of the holder. I put a fighting
    belt around his waist and he put the rod butt in the socket.
    I put the food cooler on the front deck and he sat on it with his feet
    braced on the bow and off we went. No, I wasn't running the engine.
    The 13' whaler with the motor up was going wherever the shark wanted.
    It came out of the silt cloud and having seen "Jaws,"
    we both said at the same time "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
    We were hooked up to a bull shark that looked as long or longer
    than the 13' whaler. We didn't know that sharks that big came into
    water that shallow. The drag setting on the reel was about equal
    to the drag of the boat as it was being towed by the shark.
    For more than an hour the shark went wherever it wanted and
    we stayed about 75' behind. It would run out some line and Jerry would
    winch us back. We'd get close enough to see the top swivel break
    the surface, and the shark would thrash a load of water at us and off
    we'd go again. We crossed flats and channels, ruined
    other boats bonefishing, and scared the cr*p out of a family swimming
    by their boat. We had an audience and we were generally having
    a great time. I don't think the shark even cared if it was hooked.
    I think it just was annoyed by us following it around. It just cruised along,
    with Jerry hanging on to the rod. Jerry were sure it was tiring out
    and he was gonna have a world record. It just took us where
    the heck it felt like. After being towed around for more than
    an hour we ended up back at the channel near where we started.
    The shark dropped to the bottom and stayed there. Jerry would
    muscle it up, and the shark would muscle him down. The shark
    just eased back and forth across the channel and ignored us.
    When Jerry had developed blisters on his cranking hand, and his
    arms were cramping up, he remembered reading that if you can grab
    and control the leader the fish is considered caught. Well, we
    were right over the resting shark in 10 feet of water. The noon sun
    cast the shadow of the whaler on the bottom and the shark was a foot
    or more longer than the shadow. We had 15 feet of leader, Jerry swung
    the rod tip towards me in the stern and I reached out and put my hand
    around the swivel and leader, and counted to 5. We judged that by
    the rules we had caught a shark bigger than the boat. I snipped the
    wire as far down as I could reach and we were free again.
    Tilted the motor down, fired up, headed back to my boat cushion and anchor.
    Jerry continued to sit on the cooler holding the rod. I grabbed the cushion
    and recleated the anchor rode. I had put everything away during the fight
    and we still had a few more fish to clean. Jerry continued to sit on the
    cooler. This is the conversation that followed:
    "Feel like catching another one?"
    "Why not?"
    "Can't move my hands."
    "Well give me the rod."
    "Why not?"
    "Can't move my arms"
    "Well climb down here and sit."
    "Why not?"
    "My back hurts."
    I was starting to grin at him.
    He snarled at me "Don't you dare start laughing."
    "Why not?"
    "Cause then I'm gonna start laughing and my stomach hurts!"
    That was all it took. I bust out laughing, and Jerry tried
    not to but ended up laughing and groaning in pain at the same time.
    I pried his fingers open and put the rod away.
    I finished cleaning the few fish that were left and watched the little
    lemons and bonnetheads finish off the carcasses. Jerry finally slid down
    from the food cooler and sprawled out on the front deck.
    I took us home slow cause Jerry would cuss at me every time we
    bumped over a wave. As we eased back to the ramp we decided to
    set a new rule for fishing. If you can't stop it with 20 lb test line,
    we didn't want it near the boat. Oh, did I mention that 13' whalers
    are a rough riding boat.  It was a 20 minute ride, and Jerry is a very imaginative cusser!

    Thinking back on it now, I can honestly say we were never
    in control of the shark that morning. Does that mean the
    shark gets credited with a release on us? Think about it,
    the shark had control of the leader for a lot more than 5 seconds,
    and we were the ones that cut the wire to get free.
  16. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    It takes me awhile to type these "events" up.
    Hunt and peck is as good as I can do with a keyboard.
    Most have been retold and laughed over on fishing trips, so many
    times, that all I have to do I get the punctuation and spelling down
    right. I type 'em in notepad and save them until it reads on paper
    the same way its been retold so many times. Here's another:

    Most folk's wait all year for mini-season to get their
    lobstering done. I find that mini-season is just too crowded.
    I always arranged a week of my vacation to fall the first week
    of commercial lobster season. While the rest of the world was
    at work, I only had to share the waters with the commercial
    trappers. I got my limit of bugs each day, Monday through Friday,
    with just a few hours diving and then spent a few hours running
    around in the 13 whaler either offshore trying for dolphin,
    or exploring new reefs. It was during one of these hot August
    vacation weeks that I found something new to play with.
    Waterspouts, yep, saltwater tornadoes. Large and I,
    Large being the nickname of another fishing bud, had already
    put 24 bugs in the box, and speared a couple of nice hog snappers
    to go with them. I was coming back to the surface from
    chasing a grouper around a head and saw Large giving me
    the topside signal. We stuck our heads out of the water
    and Large pointed off to the East. Coming our way was a dark
    cloud, and underneath it a column of swirl that went from the
    glassy Atlantic to the cloud. Large leans further to the
    extreme than I do, but in this we were in full agreement.
    We were going storm chasing. Back in the boat, anchor and
    dive gear and flag stowed, off we went towards the storm.
    When you watch a waterspout, it usually follows the direction
    of the prevailing winds. It dances back and forth under the cloud
    and slurps up a column of mist and when you get close enough
    you can hear the sound of the water being sucked up. We got
    close enough to hear it. We had circled in from the SE side
    and were underneath the cloud. The spout where it touched the
    ocean made a sound like a very long sheet of paper being torn.
    And it was raining where we were, a very warm light rain.
    Salty rain. The water being sucked up from the ocean was coming
    back down right on us. We chased the spout for about 10 minutes
    until it just feathered out and disappeared. Conditions were just
    right because a short time later Large pointed out another one.
    We ran in behind that one too. I know we were being idiots, still,
    ya gotta admit getting close enough to hear the sound of where the
    spout meets the ocean is highly entertaining. And who knew salty rain.
    Yeah, I know, I'm not quite right, but don't you wish you'd been there.

    On the ride back to the Homestead ramp Large commented:

    "Y'know, its a good thing there weren't any portugese man'o'war
    floating around where we were."

    "Yeah, so?"

    "A spout would just blenderize them into liquid. Think what that
    would feel like coming down on ya in the salt rain."

    No, I'm not gonna think about me the heebie-jeebies.
  17. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    mini season, eh?

    Curtiss, does getting run over by a 23' boat on plane while free diving for bugs during the mini season count as boating war story? If so, I got one for ya...
  18. costefishnt

    costefishnt Cost Efish'nt³

    yeah, i'd say somebody had some nuts, or nearly lost them!
  19. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    yeah, that's a lot closer to the truth than you probably realize. :eek:

    talk about a character building experience, I'll try to draft up the details at some point here...
  20. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Jerry, RB and I decided we needed to go lobstering.
    We launched the 13 whaler at Homestead Bayfront Park
    at sunrise and cruised around the NE side of the
    Arsenickers and then South down the ICW, then caught
    the angle that skinned the edge of the Broad Channel
    sandbar to the mouth of Angelfish Creek. As we entered
    Angelfish, RB looked back and says "better get moving."
    There was a big offshore sportfisherman with a 3 story
    flybridge coming through behind us. My whaler could do
    25mph with the 3 of us in it. This privately owned
    cruiseliner was doing 30 and pulling a 2 story wake.
    I already had the throttle pushing into the carb. I had
    no more go to go. We were bouncing through the
    ripples in Angelfish Creek and the warwagon was catching
    up fast. I felt the port quarter start to lift as the
    cruiseship caught us. Portside I could see a wall of white
    fiberglass with varnished mahogany trim and multiple
    floors of portholes pulling ahead of us and as I watched
    we rose up to a height where I could see over
    the transom into the second floor salon. Really nice teak flooring.
    Jerry and RB scrambled to the port side trying to balance
    the whaler as we were lifted up onto the first wave of
    the warwagon's wake. I've done a little wake surfing but
    this was new. Power wake surfing. We lifted to the crest
    and the bow of my whaler was being held up by the wind
    coming off the face of the wave. I've gone over the falls
    backwards before, wake surfing, I knew what was coming.
    It didn't. Up on the oxygen mask level of the flybridge
    the "Captain" had finally deigned to notice our little dilemma.
    He throttled back just as our situation was going critical.
    RB had slipped, falling forward, Jerry was throwing his weight
    on the port quarter, and the wind coming up the wave face paused
    just as the wake crested. RB looked up from the cockpit floor
    just as the bow dropped and the bottom fell out "Oooooh Sh****t"
    We fell down the face of that wave going faster than any
    unmodified 35 hp Evinrude/13'whaler has ever gone before.
    We blew out onto the flat at the SE corner of Angelfish and
    skittered into a 1 foot chop coming over the bar.
    I could feel the spray from the wake as it broke behind us,
    or maybe that was sweat coming off Jerry, it was hard to tell.
    After clearing the sandbar I pulled back to neutral.
    Looked back and saw the "Captain" wave at us. He throttled
    up and went.
    After checking our skivvies for a fresh shipment
    of bricks, the laughter started. Laughing where
    the tears run down your face, ya can't breathe and your
    stomach hurts. All morning long, while we chased lobster,
    even under water we'd laugh. I almost drowned laughing.
    We couldn't look each other in the eyes without bustin' out
    laughing. Every time it started to calm down, one of us would
    mimic RB's "Oooooh Sh****t" as we ripped down that wave and
    start us laughing all over again.

    As Curtis puts it "Ahhh, good times..."