A trip to Paradise

I’m not sure how we retain memories of our past.  We don’t study and try to memorize events that make us happy, it just happens.  Certainly we don’t wake up in the morning thinking that today I’ll do something amazing that I’ll always remember.  Taking inventory of my memory bank I find experiences from a long time ago when I was a child.  Times when life was much simpler, times when the only things in my pockets were lint and buttons but it didn’t prevent me from having fun.  I remember playing on the furniture jumping from sofa to sofa avoiding the floor because it was made of lava or quicksand.  One broken vase or knocked over lamp was all it would take to get us banished to play outside in the yard.  The fading sun would welcome the idea of chasing flashing lights in the sky.  Who would have thought a little fire fly could burn memories of happy times in my brain.  As I made the trip from central Florida to Venice Louisiana it gave me countless hours to reminisce.  Although many of my memories are just vague recollections of events, the overall feeling was of happiness.  I yearned to add more memories to my memory bank.

My friend David Sun called me a couple of months ago telling me he was putting a yellowfin tuna trip together and wanted to know if I wanted to go.  Without hesitation I was on board.  It wasn’t until the tires of the SUV stopped in Venice that it finally sunk in what we were about to do.  Two 12 hours trips offshore strictly targeting tunas.  He said we were going to throw plugs, do some vertical jigging, troll live baits, and chunk for them.  Both trips were arranged with Paradise-Outfitters.  Day 1 we were going with Capt Hunter Caballero on his 41′ cat and day 2 would be with Capt Scott Leger on his 32′ cat.

Day 1 the bite was pretty decent, I caught my biggest yellowfin tuna on a popper, about an 80lb fish.  We put a total of 10 yellowfins on ice that day that ranged from 30-80lbs.  We released a half-dozen or so small tunas and lost a white marlin in the prop.  Poppers and chunking produced most of the fish on day 1.

Day 2 Capt Scott wanted to run to a different area to target bigger fish.  He said we might catch a fish over 80lbs.  Quickly two of the crew members swore they would eat the heart of a fish that big because it would be their biggest one ever…..a promise they would come to regret later.  The day started off with big fish coming on live baits and some decent fish falling victim to poppers.  As the sun got a little lower in the sky we resorted to chunking to put a few more fish in the boat.  We ended that day with another 10 tunas on ice with two of them pushing 100lbs.  Despite the sore arms and backs I don’t think there was anyone on the boat that wasn’t smiling on the way back to the dock.  Both captains were extremely knowledgeable and easy to get along with.  I can’t recommend them enough.

As I sit here typing this report and editing photos I have vague recollections of all the events.  Maybe it was the lack of sleep, the constant action, the blazing hot sun, or the endless smiles.  However one thing I do know is that I have a general sense of happiness.  Maybe it’s just more memories to add  to my memory bank.


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