What's Biting Report: 2015 Offshore Fishing Resolutions
Christmas is past; winter is here; and all I can think about is offshore fishing.
I think about the great days on the water last summer and anxiously await warm weather and calm seas. This is also the time for New Year’s resolutions, so here are my three offshore resolutions for 2015. Some resolutions I have every year, and some are new. Fishing resolutions are more fun than those relating to diet and exercise, so I recommend you write yours down. It’s fun after a season to look back at what you accomplished while having fun fishing.
1- Help someone catch their first marlin in the Gulf of Mexico. I will freely admit that I am beyond obsessed with marlin fishing in the gulf. If you fish with me, you are going to hear stories about catching marlin. I am not nearly as proficient at this as others that I know and respect, but I do have some serious ‘sticktoitness’ for trying to make it happen, and sometimes it does happen. It all came together for me this summer, and I was lucky enough to put two anglers on their first ever marlin and created a story they will tell for the rest of their lives.
My wife caught her first billfish this summer: a blue marlin on our boat to the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club Limited Tournament the in July. I had my brother on the boat (he caught his first marlin a few summers ago with me), a good friend (who I helped catch his first marlin in the Florida Keys a while back), and my dad was there to celebrate with us. Two weeks later a dear friend of ours also caught her first marlin on our boat. Hundreds of hours of trolling to catch those two fish, and we’d all go another hundred just to catch one more.
2- No more fishing in what I refer to as a ‘sucker bet forecast.’ This one is for sure on my list every year. I spend all week getting ready to head offshore and then the forecast changes. I know, I probably should stay at the dock. I’m not talking about an unsafe forecast; I am just referring to one that is uncomfortable.
I fish primarily from a 26’ center console boat, and the worst is the dreaded prediction of two to four foot seas. Two is nice. Four is miserable. There you have it. The classic sucker bet. It doesn’t look that bad at Perdido Pass, and I convince myself it will lay down at some point during the day. It doesn’t – ever. Instead, I take a beating, have no fun, and tell myself I’ll never do it again. This is the year I stick to it. That in itself is probably an even bigger sucker bet.
3- Take someone fishing for the first time. It doesn’t matter if it is from the end of the dock, along the side of the road, on a charter, or on your own boat. If you are reading this, you can most likely remember the person that took you fishing for the first time. For me, it was my dad in a pond in Illinois, and that one trip created a passion that has helped shape my life. Be that person, be somebody’s first and make that a recurring resolution.