‘It's in my blood’ - Fish N Teem is at it again
Seated in the salon of what he calls his "retirement," Capt. Billy Teems still gets excited just talking about fishing.
"I'm just eat up with fishing," said the 59-year-old captain.
"I'll be here until I die. This is my retirement."
Teems, with help from the Landstrum family of Indiana, was able to secure a 52-foot boat in September 2013 which he has tagged Fish N Teem, again.
"This boat is solid. She weighs 60,000 pounds. She rides real good," Teems said of the charter boat that is docked at HarborWalk Marina. This is Teems' third charter to be named Fish N Teem.
In addition to being a good riding vessel, it can sleep six, has two bathrooms and "we've got hot and cold water. I don't like cold showers," Teems said.
Teems, who got his captains license at 18 in New Orleans, comes from a line of captains. His dad Frank Teems ran the Rip Tide for several years and his step-father, Bruce Marler a captain of 60-plus years, was probably best known for landing the first blue marlin out of Destin.
"I used to see these guys throw out these big fish on the docks when I was about 12 … I wanted to do that," Teems said.
Once he was old enough to get his license, he did so and then went to work for Bernice and Howard Marler Jr. running the How Nice and the Calypso.
He later worked for Capt. Tommy Browning on the Finest Kind as well as Capt. William Frank Davis on the Anastasia.
In the 1970s Teems got out of the charter business and started running private boats and fishing marlin tournaments in the Bahamas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
"Anywhere there was a tournament, I fished it," he said.
MOST MEMORABLE CATCH
While fishing aboard the private boat Dos Gris in the late 1970s Capt. Billy Teems with Jimmy Miles as his deckhand pulled in a massive blue marlin.
"We fought it for seven hours," Teems said.
After they chased it for seven miles, the marlin died during the fight and before they could get it in, shark started feeding on it.
"The shark ate about 200 pounds of it. One whole side of it was gone," he said by the time they got it in the boat.
The crew brought the marlin to the docks and when it was hoisted on the scales it weighed 435 pounds.
Teems said before it was chomped by the shark, it was thought to have been the largest marlin caught on 50-pound test in Northwest Florida.
The marlin now hangs on the wall in the 4141 Club in New Orleans.
When his son B.J., who is now captain of the Realin' Script, was born in 1982 Teems decided to get back into running charters. He ran the One of a Kind for about six years, and then he got his first Fishin' Teem, a 48-foot G&S Boat. Teems fished it until 1996, when he sold it and bought a 46-foot Hatteras and tagged it Fishin' Teem as well.
After a couple of years aboard his second Fishin' Teem boat, Teems got out of the charter business again.
"I started selling seafood on the side of the road in Montgomery," he said. "We'd sell 3,000 pounds of shrimp and fish in two days. I was enjoying life."
Teems said he sold seafood for more than a year, and then he went back to running private boats in 2000. In 2010, he settled back into the charter boat business and ran the Winter Wine until this past fall when he purchased his third and final Fish N Teem.
Teems' says he keeps coming back to the charter business, because he loves fishing.
"I just like meeting different people and taking them out to do something they haven't done before," Teems said.
Teems favorite fishing is offshore for marlin and tuna. However he likes his cobia fishing.
"I'm eat up with cobia fishing," he said. Teems, whose largest cobia is a 99.8-pounder, is entered in just about every cobia tournament in the next couple of weeks.
But marlin fishing is what really gets his blood pumping.
"Until this day when I hook a marlin, I still get excited. I guess it's in my blood," he said.