by Capt. Tom Bailas
A Day in The Life of a Charter Captain – my alarm goes off at 5:15 am. I get out of bed with my body aching from fishing 18 days in a row. I step outside to see a stiff breeze out of the Southwest. My first thought in my mind was, my body is about to take on another days beating. After fueling the boat and getting bait and ice the boat is launched into the water. I rig the rods, wipe the boat down and ready to start the day. Trisha, my wife and mate on the boat shows up with our breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the day. We greet our customers and away we go! Today our customers are from Minnesota and they previously fished with another local captain from this area and I can see they have little expectations other than having a good fun day on the water.
Our first stop of the day is strictly based on catching some live bait. Within minutes after chumming the cigar minnows are behind the boat in the slick of chum. After only 20 minutes, we had the bait well filled and blacked out with enough bait for the whole day. Our customers were wanting some fish to eat and take back home with them, so my next stop was to a hard bottom in about 50 ft of water. They proceeded to catch fish for over an hour. Their catch consisted of lane snapper, mangrove snapper, and a few black sea bass. The next target for the day was a big fish they could take pictures with or even mount on the wall. I run about 7 miles to the north and started to slow troll the live bait over some structure areas. Within minutes one of the rods screams!!!
The ladies on the boat always go first on the rods. It is good luck! She takes the rod and fights the fish for over 20 minutes. We get it to the boat and it is a huge kingfish which is now in the boat on ice. Now the excitement is really building as her boyfriend is ready to catch a big one too! After tossing out another bait on a rod, it immediately got inhaled by another large fish. He starts fighting the fish and within 15 minutes another huge kingfish is in the boat. We ended up with 4 more kings and they were thrilled! The two largest weighed in at 45lbs and 51lbs. I proceeded to clean all the fish they caught and wrote up the paperwork to send to Gray Taxidermy to have the fish mounted. May is a great month to catch just about every species of fish that swim in the Gulf of Mexico.