RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!





Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Deep Sea Fishiing In ALabama


                       Monday 1/20/2014



Joe and I passed up deep sea fishing in Oregon and Washington two summers ago and regret it. The cost was around $300 for both of us, so Joe shied away from it. We have talked for the last couple of years about going on a boat here in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area, but the weather has never been right for it. We put our name on a list to be called when a boat could go out and had enough people signed up. We had planned on going in November, but the captain called the night before and told us that the seas were not laying down like he thought they would, so it was cancelled. We got another call a few weeks ago, but we felt it was too cold, so we opted out. Finally we got a call and we agreed to give it a try.

We had to be at the boat and ready to sail by 8AM- which is a bit too early for us, but if you want to fish, that's when they go. When we got there we found I was the only female going. OK, what was I thinking!

We were going on the Southern with the Reel Surprises Charters, with 18 other men, 2 deck hands, and the captain. Because it was January,  the price dropped to $65 a person. All other winter prices are $85 each, and other non winter rates are $150 each.
Our 2 deck hands Steve and Chris cutting up the bait before we left. The Southern is a 65 foot Bonner and holds up to 22 passengers.

This boat with deep sea divers headed out before us.
As soon as the men boarded, they went and claimed a fishing rod by wrapping a towel around it. (which you need but we didn't know to bring). The fishermen used this rag to wipe their hands off after baiting their line. Because Joe and I didn't know these secrets, we were left with a tight corner spot that we could barely move, bumping into each other constantly while fishing Grrrrrr!

We left the docks and went through the Bayou Saint John waters.

In this area, we saw the waterfront homes that sit on the Orange Beach peninsula.

and the restaurant Tacky Jacks,



and a sand bar with a few birds on it.

We saw the Caribe Condo that sits on Bayou Saint Johns, and sits cross the street from the beach. For a 2400 sq ft condo that sleeps 10 people you can rent it for 1 week at $2500 the first week of March. Of course the price goes up in spring and summer.

We pass under the Perdido Bay Bridge to head out into the gulf.
Good bye Orange Beach.

View of the Perdido Bay Bridge as we head out to sea, and the Caribe Condo's to the right.

Looking at Orange Beach, west from the Perdido Bay Bridge.

When we left the temps were 50 degrees out. Our boat had a inside so I went inside and found a table to sit at. Joe stayed outside. After we boarded, we asked how far out we were going. Twenty miles we were told, which took 2 hours to get there. Wow, sure didn't know that. I guess you need to get 20 miles out before the ocean floor drops to a depth for deep sea fishing.

Luckily we only had 1 to 2 foot swells, so the ride was rough but it could have been much worse. When we got where we were headed for, the deck hands said a commercial fishing boat was in our spot, so we had to go farther away. I sat inside for half the ride out, but started to get hot, plus the ride was much more rough inside, so I went back outside.

The boat slowed and everyone got their lines baited and ready to drop in. Joe told me I need to put the camera away because I wasn't going to be able to fish with the camera.

One last shot as I went inside to put the camera away.

The bait we were using was squid.
So Joe baited his and my line, and when the captain said OK, everyone dropped their lines. My line had no sooner got to the bottom and I got a hit. The fish was giving me a good fight (for my weak girl arms), and I finally got it to the surface and Joe helped me pull it on board. I called "fish up" and the deck hand came over and said, "take a quick look because it has to be thrown back in"! What I thought. He told me it was a Red Snapper, and they had to be thrown back in. I found out later that this boat didn't have permits for Red Snappers. ( If you take the 8 hour trip, you can keep 2 Red Snapper- but the cost for that trip is $50 more). It was the biggest fish that I got that day, and I didn't even get a picture of it. Dang. It probably weighed around 5 lbs or better. Joe caught a Red Snapper also (not as big as mine), and had to throw it back also. Joe baited me up again, and I threw my line in, only to get another hit and I started to reeling it in. Fish up! The deck hand came over and he took off my fish, a Vermillion Snapper ( much smaller than my fist fish) and he threw it into our bucket. I asked Joe to bait me up and I got a look that let me know he was tired of not being able to fish because he was baiting me up all the time. I went over to the squid bucket and got a slimy squid and told myself I had to man up and do it myself or Joe would not get to fish. As I pieced the squid onto the hook, a big gush of liquid squirted and ran down my shirt and jacket sleeve. All day I smelt like squid Yuck! Joe caught a couple of small Vermillion Snappers, then the captain told us to pull up our lines because we were moving. Why? We were catching fish! The next spot was not so good. We got several fish that were too small. Joe had two small fish on his line once (our line had 2 hooks on them to bait), but they had to be thrown back. I got several also but they were too small and were thrown back. When we put our lines down, it went down 110 feet. Every time you had to reel it back in, it took forever to get it to the surface. I was exhasted after my first two fish, but I kept fishing. Each time the line went down you would feel hits in minutes, so it was a constant reeling it in from 110 feet. Most of the time they were too small, or no bait on them because the fish had taken the bait. The captain told us to bring our lines in again because everyone was getting too small of fish. The third spot was better than the second, but not as good as the first spot. At our 3rd stop, Joe said he didn't feel good, but he kept fishing. After 10 minutes he said he didn't feel good and put his pole in the holder and went to the middle of the boat. I kept fishing but everything I got had to be thrown  back. The captain made the last call and told everyone we had to pull our lines up in one minute. I went over to Joe and he was white as a ghost. His hands were shaking. I knew he just wanted to throw up, but he was holding it back. We had spent 2 hours fishing, and now it was another 2 hours back to shore. I didn't know how Joe was going to make it. After about 20 minutes Joe started to feel better.

I went up to see Captain Reuben ( he had told us we were welcome to join him up top). There were several other guys visiting with him, as we headed back.

The captain put me in the captain seat and I drove for a few minutes.

Picture as I drove the Southern. I gave Reuben the wheel back because I really didn't want to steer it any more. Too much responsibility for me.

As we headed back the deck hands cleaned the boat and fishing rods. This gives me another reminder of another suggestion if you go on this boat. Bring a folding chair. There is absolutely no places to sit on the open back deck. We had to stand the entire 2 hours going back. (One man had brought a chair, and enjoyed the ride home, as we envied him)


I did go inside for about 10 minutes so I could rest my legs. Joe didn't dare come in because if you didn't feel well, the inside would just make matters worse. I ate my lunch that we had brought, but Joe skipped his.

I asked the captain how to avoid sea sickness. I told him we had taken Dramamine, but Joe still felt sick. He ask when we had taken it. I told him, "Joe took his at 6:30AM and I took my at 7:00 AM". He told us we should have taken it the night before and another one in the morning. He also said the patches that you put behind your ear works better. Lastly he said you should not look at the water, but to the horizon. Joe must have been looking at the water too long while he reeled in the line waiting to see the fish as it came to the surface. A "No No" we were told!

It had turned into a beautiful day with a high of 62, full sun and no or very little wind.

Back to shores the deck hand call out numbers associated with what each one had caught.
This guy and his friend had the biggest catch of the day.

And then this was Joe and Diane's catch of the day.

This was the biggest that Joe caught. My Red Snapper was twice this size.

If you wanted the deck hands to clean your fish, it was 30 cents a pound extra. You also needed to give the deck hands a tip with a suggestion of 20% of your fishing trip cost. There was a tip jar on the boat, so Joe put our tip in the jar, but at the fish cleaning station, most of the men gave their tips there. They didn't seem to have change when you payed them, and there was no scales to weight how many pounds they cleaned for you, so you ended paying more. We think that is why the guy's had learned to give their tip at the fish cleaning station. Live and learn.

While we waited to have our 5 fish cleaned I watched the Great Blue Heron,
and the 3 Brown Pelicans who were hanging out for scraps.

When scraps were thrown, there was fighting among the 3 pelicans.

Soon there was 4 instead of 3.

The heron was not doing well at getting a turn at the scraps.

I  never knew the Great Blue Heron had a leopard looking neck/chest. I guess I have never got a close up of them like this.

After getting our fish cleaned, we headed for our car. As we walked, I realized how the day had effected me. The bottoms of my feet felt like they were all bruised, and my hips ached. I could barley get back to the car. When we got home all I wanted to do was to take a nap. (I never take naps). I laid down and was out. For the next 3 days my body felt like a Big Mac truck had ran me over. I also must have pulled a muscle in my back from the 2 hours of constantly reeling my line in. I am still having pain in the muscle under my arm on my back. After I woke up from my nap, we had this beautiful sunset. It had been a beautiful, fun, but exhausting day, but also a bit disappointing! When I was a teenager, my dad had taken me deep sea fishing in Florida. I remember catching huge fish (but I also got sea sick with a lot of other people on the boat. We had sea swells that were huge), so we thought that's what we would be catching on our deep sea fishing trip. Live and learn and ask questions before you go.

I have been turning off the nightlight lately to make our bedroom completely dark, ( I heard it improve sleep). Unfortunately Malley has fallen out of bed three times since. I met a person on our travels that had a Yorky who jumped off a couch and it broke it's neck and died. Mallery's falling out of bed has really concerned me, so I told Joe we were going to have to figure something else out. I had Joe anchor her kennel next to my side of the bed, so she would be with us, but safe. She is not real happy about it, but it is the only solution. The vet told me in November that she has cataracts and her night vision would be affected, hence she gets too close to the edge of the bed and down she goes.

Her bed sits on the very small end table next to the bed and on the edge of the closet. I can no longer close the closet door. The sacrifices us animal lover do for our pets. Mallery is 12 1/2 years old and has always slept with us, so she thinks we are punishing her every night now, as I have to push her in. It is so hard when  pets get old!

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