Captains dodge storms, shark for good catches

Tina Harbuck

If it’s not the dolphin or shark, it’s storms that our local captains have to deal with in order to put their customers on fish.

Many times dolphin follow the charter and party boats around and tries to snag the fish right off their lines. And if it’s not the dolphin, it’s the shark.

As a matter of fact anglers on the Backlash with Capt. Chris Kirby got “sharked” on Tuesday. Deckhand Kaleb Blackburn said they had a couple of red grouper on line that were snapped off by a shark.

“All we got were two heads,” Blackburn said.

Although they lost their grouper, they did pull in six big amberjack and several mingo and white snapper.

Texas, Mississippi and West Virginia anglers on the Vengeance with Capt. Mike Smith and Capt. Matt Pearson came in with three amberjack, some big mingo and white snapper.

“It was ugly out this morning we had to dodge the storm,” Pearson said.

They even encountered a shark or two.

“It took six of us to get it to the boat … we kept handing the rod off,” one of the guys said.

Pearson said the shark was about a 7- to 8-footer and weighed about 250 pounds. Once they got it to the boat, they cut it loose. Word is they hooked one more.

A few more boats ventured out on Wednesday.

Arkansas anglers on the O Sea D with Capt. Jeff Jones landed a couple of king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, mingo and white snapper. Captain said they snagged the mackerel while trolling live baits.

Illinois anglers on the Silver King with Capt. Alex Hare loaded the top rack with mackerel as well. Hare said the “mackerel were chewing.” He said they saw a lot of small ones as well.

Wisconsin anglers on the Only Way with Capt. Curt Gwin came in with a pair of king mackerel to go with their mingo and white snapper.

Capt. Harold Staples and his group from Mississippi filled the nails behind the Al-Lin with mingo, white snapper and a few bonito.

Capt. Joe Quaranto of the Silver Lining along with deckhand Larry Jordan took a group from Pennsylvania and Ohio out for a big catch. They came in with three big amberjack, Spanish mackerel, a mahi mahi and several mingo and white snapper. The guys on the trip were so excited about their catch, they were ready to again right then.

Texas, Pittsburgh and Memphis anglers on the Full Draw with Capt. Brantley Galloway came in with three king mackerel, mingo and white snapper.

Texas anglers on the First Light with Capt. Steve Haeusler pulled in black snapper, amberine, mingo and white snapper.

It was good to see several mackerel in the mix this week. Capt. Staples, who has more than four decades at the helm under his belt, said one of the captains back in his early days used to tell him the king mackerel start to show up the third week of August. Well here we are … and so are the mackerel.

Hopefully they will get a bit bigger and more plentiful in days to come.

See you at the docks.

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