First off, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. On This first post I’ll tell you my backstory and how I evolved into the fisherman I am today.
I am the youngest of three brothers, raised in Alabama by our parents who were pastors of a small-town church. Our dad raised us to hunt and fish for food. In 1995 we moved to the coast of Mississippi, where both my mom and dads family were living. So began my addiction to saltwater.
My paternal grandfather was a shrimper, and a doggone good speckled-trout fisherman. He lived on a street named after him that was less than a quarter mile from bayou Cumbest. It wasn’t uncommon for him to go out at daylight, catch his limit of trout, go home to eat breakfast, then go fishing again to catch another limit.
My maternal grandfather was a commercial oystercatcher and net fisherman. I honestly can’t remember ever being at his house when he wasn’t eating fish, cleaning fish, or getting ready to fish. He fished out of boats he built himself, a trade he learned from his father. I was with him when I caught my first saltwater fish, a hardhead catfish.
Early on, saltwater fishing, for me was buying live or dead bait and soaking it on a Carolina rig for white trout, ground mullet, redfish, and any other accidental fish that happened to swim along and pick up my offering. Specifically targeting one species of fish didn’t start for me until I “accidentally” bumped into a bull shark while fishing with live bull minnows. The shark wasn’t very big, only about 30 inches or so, but it tested my tackle, which was suited for the mild mannered white trout. Finally after nearly destroying my tackle and wrecking every rod on the boat the shark came boat side and like a champion grabbing a trophy, I hoisted the shark into the boat, grinning from ear to ear as I finally had landed my “fish of a lifetime”. Now, looking back that catch wasn’t very impressive but it had a very lasting impression on a 12 year old kid. From then on I was a hardcore, die hard shark fisherman and wouldn’t try for anything else.
On into my teenage years my middle brother Kenny, had just got a bass boat, a 18 ft. hydra sports. He invited me many times to bass fish with him and started teaching me how to rig and fish with artificial lures. Soon thereafter we would compete in a few tournaments together and even win some. Well, he won them, I mainly was along for the ride.
For 3 or 4 years I left saltwater fishing completely to chase after bass. It was just easier using artificial lures. Then, a buddy asked me to go fishing with him and his dad out to round island. I accepted, and soon thereafter was hooked into a bull redfish that had inhaled a Gulp! Alive, new penny shrimp. I fought the fish for several minutes, but just as we were about to net the fish, it tore loose from the hook and waved goodbye with a tail as big as a broom. Heartbroken and sad, I declared I would, one day, return and finally catch a redfish on an artificial lure.
By 2011, I had built up a small tackle assortment. A few jig heads, speck rigs, some Deadly Dudleys, and Gulp! shrimp. Now it was on. I chased redfish during the winter time when I wasn’t duck hunting, with very little success. A few short fish was all I had to show for my effort. Watching some videos on YouTube revealed things I had not tried before. So I went out and bought the equipment to finally start catching fish consistently. No go, it didn’t work. Then a tip from my uncle suggested using a topwater lure, but it was already too late into the year, the redfish had moved out. Winter of 2012 brought life back into my redfish dreams with a redhead Badonkadonk lure and a 19 inch slot red. Saltwater began pulsing through my veins as I caught redfish after redfish that winter.
The addiction has set in. I’m a salt angler now.