I took a little trip on The Reel Deal Fishing Charters the other day with my ole’ friend Captain Carl Griffin. I met these fellas at the docks of Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, SC at 4:30 am and boarded the Reel Deal 2, a 26′ Seaking, with a crew of six including the Captain.
They seemed to be a little unnerved at first that someone from Guy Harvey Magazine was going out in the boat with them and they weren’t sure if I was just going to be dead weight with a pen and camera in hand or not.
I believe that I proved to these guys that I could hold my own. It was a beautiful ride out with no sloppy chop even in the jetties. There is nothing better than watching the sunrise over the water with the hum of the outboards and saltwater spray on your face.
We started seeing signs of life in this Lake Atlantic when we got about 20 miles offshore with a school of Spanish hitting the top of the water. We were tempted, but were rigged up for a little bottom fishing and kept on pluggin’ all the way to the ledge, which is about 65 miles from the Charleston Harbor.
Two of the guys were brothers from West Virginia and a couple guys from the Midwest. I have to say that I was confused by the choice of socks with flip flops that were worn by some and had to voice my opinion on that. These fellas wouldn’t be allowed on my boat with soggy socks that were squid juice laden.
We stopped 10 miles short of the ledge in the Captain’s little honey hole and dropped lines in 150′ foot of water and didn’t take us but a second to start hooking up! Tried to get the Captain’s numbers off the GPS but he holds them sacred. The fun began with the constant sound of drag going off and grunts coming from every direction. It is funny that we all started off as strangers in the morning and by days end we were all familiar with each one’s idiosyncrasies. When you are that far offshore, you should hope that you all get along well. You can’t just leave the room.
Barry…aka…tangled lines, had a hard time staying off my rod. Nate from West Virginia, with the accent to prove it, would get real quiet when he hooked up with a fish and even a big 54lb Reef Donkey aka Amberjacks as some people know them. I, on the other hand, develop a little tourettes when I hooked up with one of those things in the 40lb class. Shameful what comes out of my mouth sometimes when I get excited. The West Virginia brothers love to eat them so I endured the fight in their honor. They are fun to catch, I have to admit.
I have spent plenty of time bottom fishing in my life but I have to say that this was the best time that I have ever had doing so. We caught a wide variety of fish, bagged our limit and had plenty of laughs along the way. We caught plenty of black sea bass, pink snapper, triggerfish and a slippery – – – – (man’s part.) I have never seen one or heard of one before this trip. The Captain offered me $20.00 if I could hold onto it. I was determined that I would not be defeated my this slimy devil but ultimately the fish won and the Captain kept his money.
I would highly recommend if you are in my neck of the woods that you take a trip with The Reel Deal Charters! They have a fleet of 7 boats that range in size from flats to offshore, a staff of 14 and 6 captains to choose from.
They certainly know where the fish are and won’t hesitate to put you on them!