Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ole Ben Got me a Wondering

Ole Ben’s blog yesterday got me to a wondering and reminiscing about some of my old fishing experiences and stories I have heard. Now, I want to state that everything in this blog is true unless stated otherwise. . .

I worked a contract job on the east coast of N.C. and one of the fellows that I worked with and whom I considered a good friend, loved to go offshore fishing. He had a big Maco open fishing boat just shy of 30 feet long with two 150 hp Evinrudes. Long enough to usually be able to get on top of two or more waves at a time and that makes for a smoother ride the 25 or 30 miles out to the Gulf Stream and the same back in.

Anyway, let me get to the point. Ben mentioned Cobia in his blog and that reminded me of my friend’s story. I may not remember it correctly, but I know one of my readers may know this story and he has my permission to correct it.

The way most offshore fishing trips start out is the catching of live bait. In the inland water-ways inside the inlet at Carolina Beach, there were always schools of Menhaden around. My friend would spot a school, head toward them, and stand on the bow of the boat with his net while the boat drifted up to the school. He had a huge throw net, much larger than anything I could handle, but he could throw it and it would open up and land over the schools of fish.

Although I can not remember if it was him or one of his fishing buddies that threw the net in this story, I am inclined to believe it was him because very few people could handle such a huge net.

There is a rope that you attach to your wrist with a slip knot that keeps you from losing the net. The net was thrown with perfect precision over the school of Menhaden, but was not known to the thrower was that a large Cobia had been feeding off the school and that is why they had come to the surface. The net fell over the Menhaden and also over the large Cobia. As the lead weights around the edges took the net down and over the fish, the rope was yanked hard to close off the bottom of the net.

Then all “H” broke out. The poor fellow didn’t expect what was to happen next. He was yanked right off the bow of that boat and into the water. Of course that Cobia headed down into deep water, dragging the guy along behind. The force of the large fish pulling this fellow tightened the rope around his wrist and he could not get it loose. He fought and fought and when he had used up all the air in his lungs, he thought that he was going to drown. One last huge effort, and he got loose and headed up and broke through the surface gasping for air.

He lost his expensive net and it took him awhile and at an expense to replace it, but at least he survived to fish again. Wonder what goes through his mind every time he throws that net after that experience?


  1. I didn't use my net off short but in the Bay,HOWEVER the guy who owned the offshor boat that I went with carried a 22 fifle to kill sharks we hooked . And one day when we hooked a pair of Ling, as we got the first one up alone side and pretty much worn out,,he shot it to make sure it was dead before we attempted to boat it.. Worked out ok, EXCEPT he also put a hole in the bull of the boat!! 30 miles off shore. yes,the bilge pump kept the water level low enough and we got home, but sure gave him hell about it for weeks!!

  2. You know Ben, I have heard stories about guys shooting holes in their own boats, but never have I known anyone that did that. Heard about snakes dropping out of trees into small boats and guys shooting holes all through the bottom of the boat trying to get the snake.

  3. Remind me not to ever use a net in a boat! ;) I went out with an ex-friend one time in his old boat. We were in a fairly large lake a d a long way out at the time and the engine died. He tried and tried to get it started but no luck. Unfortunately we had a jug with us and had been sipping on it heavily and he had gotten so drunk that he decided he was going to sink the boat right there because he was so pissed off at it. He kept going for the plug and I kept dragging him away from it. Between some physical altercations and diplomacy I finally convinced him that that was not a good idea. I finally managed to get the damn engine started and we made it back to the boat ramp. Needless to say I never went boating with him again. Notice I also referred to him as an Ex-Friend.

  4. David, you were a good friend to him. Kept him (and you) from visiting Davy Jones's Locker. You know old Jones throws the key away when you get there.

  5. Wow! Now that's a fish tale! This is my first time to visit your blog. It sure won't be the last. I've seen and read your comments on several of the blogs I follow but just never made it over here. I hope you don't mind if I tag along for the ride. Stop over at my place one day if you get the time.
    Have a great day!

  6. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to tag along. And that was a true story, by the way.