Day 1 ~ June 3, 2013 – the Guy Harvey Magazine Ultimate Fishing Machine made its way north from Miami for the 14-hour trek to Biloxi, Mississippi.
Why, you ask, would we drag this beautiful machine away from the clear waters of South Florida to Mississippi where mud bugs and Mardi Gras are famous?
Well, it’s to mingle with more than 60 incredible fishing yachts at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic as they ply the deep blue water of the Gulf of Mexico (80-100 miles offshore) in search of big blue marlin and other monster pelagic fishes.
Also, it’s basically a week-long party where fishermen and gamblers (that’s a bit redundant) all gather to fish, bet, win, lose, draw and have a blast.
The one and only intrepid, Ozzy Delgado arrived with the GHM boat and now all we have to do is go catch some fish. We’re here for a week and the weather’s looking good. A Pub Crawl is on tap and lots and lots of fishing will ensue.
Day 2 ~ Mark it on the calendar – June 4, 2013 – that was the day that the Guy Harvey Magazine boat was fully sea tested. We’re were (and still are) in Biloxi, Mississippi staying in the Isle of Capri Casino, which is right on the water looking over the Gulf of Mexico. (Note: the Isle is being converted to the Golden Nugget and the construction crews are hard at it.)
Anyway, the wind was blowing about 15 mph and white caps covered the gulf waves like sugar on Frosted Flakes. Ozzy Delgado, GHM’s Advertising Director, is a hardy soul and used to rough seas but I’m an over 50-year-old dude who likes smooth seas.
Nonetheless, Ozzy and I made the call. Go for it!!!! It was no small decision because we were headed 50 miles offshore in search of beefy red snapper that hang around oil rigs.
To my amazement, the 29-foot Ocean Runner with the lovely Guy Harvey art wrap, cruised almost effortlessly through the three-to-four foot chop at 30 knots. Put it this way, I could actually sit on the steering bench as we blasted out. It was that smooth. Fortunately, we had a heading dead into the waves so that helped. The boat performed like a champion and we basically hauled ass to the rigs.
Unfortunately, our fishing skills and luck were lacking yesterday and we could only catch pesky three-foot long sharks so no snappers graced our Engel cooler or our dinner plate. The twin Mercury 300HP four-stroke Verados only burned about 50 gallons on the 100-mile round trip. That was counting the times when we were cooking at 45-50 mph on the calm water!
All-in-all it was an amazing shake down cruise even though we didn’t hook up like we wanted to. Of course, when we got back, the boys at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic (the real reason we’re here) were having a good ole Mississippi throw down with cold adult beverages, jambalaya and tuna ceviche. That took the edge off as we prepared for Day 3.
Day 3 & 4 ~ June 5 and 6th, 2013
The worst part about writing a daily blog is that you have to write it every day. I guess that’s why it’s called a daily blog. Whatever.
Anyway, I missed yesterday for very legitimate reasons that I will not elaborate on. Just be assured, I’m not in jail, I did not get mugged, I did not inhale, I did not have relations with that woman and I was not being monitored by the IRS (not sure on that last one).
However, I might have indulged in some cold beer and rum, known here at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic as a Dark & Stormy. Yes, it’s an extremely tasty mix of Gosling’s Black Seal rum and Gosling ginger beer over ice and with a twist of lime. Gosling is a sponsor of the Billfish Tourney and therefore a Dark & Stormy shadow has been cast over the entire region.
Not to mention, Wednesday night is the infamous Pub Crawl and crawl we did. I did not wear out the knees of my long pants because I was wearing shorts. My kneecaps did not fare so well. Photos to follow…
Today, Friday, some 60 fishing yachts pointed south looking for blue water and blue marlin and other species that might bring in the winning prize money. I relocated the Guy Harvey Magazine boat to prepare for tonight’s festivities of live music, drinks, grub and possibly some big fish showing up at the dock.
The GHM boat is now dead center in the action sitting high and mighty on the incredbily sturdy double axle All Marine Trailer and looking awesome. Just to turn some heads, I cranked up some Cosmic Funk on the Audiopipe stereo system and I think I shattered a few windows in the Isle of Capri – soon to be Golden Nugget – Casino.
Three large Bubbas scurried my way scowling ferociously at my musical choice so I quickly punched in the local Biloxi Country music station and was saved by Darius Rucker (formerly Hootie) belting out his rendition of Wagon Wheel. That stopped the good old boys in their tracks and all was balanced and harmonic in the world once again.
Let’s hope the fish are biting too.