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Friday, March 11, 2011

The 62' SponsorShip launches with a BIG SPLASH

After three years of rebuilding, Team BIGFISH and the folks at SeaBrook Harbor launched the 62' SponsorShip just before Mardi Gras.

just in time to host the wedding of Johnette and Fred.

She still has a fair amount of finishing work on the inside,
but she sailed flawlessly and then made an overnight trip on Alligator point in Lake Borgne.
The launch, the wedding, and the overnight trip were a lot of fun. Special thanks to the gang over at SeaBrook Harbor, we couldn't have done it without them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Looking a LOT Better!

I still have a fair amount of finishing work to do, but the 62' "SponsorShip"
is coming along nicely. We are polishing up the exterior, running a few more wires, closing her up so we can start on the insides. The doors are even under construction by Team BIGFISH's naval architect, maritime counsel, and finish carpenter Justin Simpson. Even our good friends at SeaBrook seem to feel like we over achieved on the resurrection, I mean renovation of this hull.
Dropping Her in For the First Time

Finding Her Water Line
Danica & CT at Launching

She Passed all Tests, Now let's Finish Her Up!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

She will sail soon

Lot still to complete the BIGFISH 62. But a full time crew is working Mon thru Fri.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wed 6/2/10 Oil Patrol

Artful weather dodging today. We started with a large squall in our path.

To the left of USCG David Tynch's head you can see a water spout beginning to form.

For this time of year, the spout was impressive. Thick and able to make it all the way down.

Once the weather kicked we battened down cameras and hatches and went to work. We made the farthest travel outside of Chandeleur. We ran from Hopedale, to about 25 miles south of Biloxi and Gautier Mississippi. We turned South and we headed for Venice. The seas were solid 3 foot and sloppy. Even the 30 foot Twin Vee was getting bounced, but I couldn't imagine making the run in anything else.

We got as far as Gossier and a storm over the river started working our way. We made the turn back into the sound and headed back to Hopedale. No oil, no oiled birds. One shrimper working in the boom program did get injured today. I believe his name is Mr. Charles Robin. His fingers were caught in a winch I understand. Our prayers and best wishes to him and his family.

Back at it again tomorrow (Thursday). If I am not returning your calls promptly, please forgive and be patient. Depending on what time I get in, and what has to be done for maintenance and preparation, and making time for my family, I am limited in how much time I can spent on the phone and computer. if I am slacking in my professional and social obligations I hope you will do your best to understand.

Wed 6/1/10 Oil Patrol

Tuesday - The mission was to run the south end of Chandeleur on the outside. We made our way two thirds up to find the boat covering the inside was also (on their own) covering some of the north outside end of the island. We move out further and go south and then work to cover the open area of Breton Sound. This is where a lot of the patches have worked inshore.  We see nothing. On the way in we are redirected to Brush Island, an area where oil clean up is taking place on the shore. With that done, we head in. Upon hitting the dock we are met by the port director "Marty" who says we need to run back to the islands for a radio tech to install an antenna. 279 Miles according to the GPS.

Early Week 5/29 Oil Patrol

The operation is simple, but not very well publicized. I am part of a small group of recon boats. Along with the USCG, we scour the area for the stray oil and dispersant. The planes and helicopters can get the big stuff, but you have to be one the water to find the smaller patches (not really that small). These patches will break off from the fingers of oil and pop up in unexpected places. When we find them, shrimp boats with oil skimming equipment are sent to catch it before it hits any land. At the same time, Oyster boats and smaller support boats are putting up plastic and absorbent oil boom to protect the land.
These Pelicans, Egret, and Roseate Spoonbill nest behind the protective boom and our watchful eyes.

Unfortunately, you can't stop the Pelicans from feeding. Very few days are free from oiled Pelicans on the rock jetties of the MRGO. Usually, I only see one to three and Wildlife officials are getting better at catching them to be cleaned.

Ironlically, we came across an amazing rainbow stretching across the horizon. The weather was deteriorating, but we were in protected water by then and on our way home.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oil Spill Duty May 28, 2010

Today started like most, at least since the spill occurred and I began working with St. Bernard parish as a boat captain. We arrive (5:30 am), check in (6:00 am) , get a safety briefing (6:30 am), and then usually spend quite a bit of time waiting for the various agencies to meet, coordinate, and issue missions, radios, and other equipment for the day. I was again paired with Coast Guard reservist. Today was Cullen and Natalie. Nice people and professional. We started for Brush Island, this is an island we have visited several times and seen oil on the shore and dead birds with oil.

On the way orders changed to head for Comfort Island to inspect Boom surrounding the island. Upon arrival we found quite a bit out of place. A squall had apparently moved it. We made a report and then headed East into Breton Sound to look for signs of oil or dispersant. Lots of Dolphins around us.

There is a project underway to drive pilings from the Louisiana/Miss. border all the way across the Louisiana marsh. The piling driver is making great time as we watch him move across Breton Sound one piling at a time.
These pilings are being fitted with 41 inch Navy boom. They will serve as a primary defense should the barrier island rebuild take too much time or not come to fruition.

Shrimp boats stand by in Breton Sound draped with skimming boom instead of nets. Yesterday they were mobilized and later came into the MRGO for what officials call "Bulk/Outside Decontamination". Once cleaned they were re-stationed as sentinels watching for any oil trying to sneak into our marshes

On the way in we made a pass by the rock jetties of the MRGO. I have been passing each day to look for oiled birds. I have found several the past few days. Today there were two.

Each day is different. Some days, finding new signs of the spill is difficult. Other days the difficulty comes in NOT finding something related to this growing problem.

Right now there is something in the MRGO that is not explained. Deep under the surface are pockets of very dark or stained water. Samples have been taken and we have dropped buckets down, but no one can explain what the stuff is. It looks like particles in the water, but they are definitely not something you normally see in the channel.

Back at it tomorrow. Will post as often as I can.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Great Day with Mall Security

Rich, Mike, Jason,and Gene from Lakeside called for a day of Redfishing. The plan was to hit some big bulls and then pick up some "Grillable" Reds in the marsh. We headed to a few hot spots off of the MRGO and caught a few bulls. Then we moved into the marsh and spent the rest of the day limiting out on reds and catching a half dozen drum, a flounder, and even a few trout.The fish were caught on market bait and Berkley Gulp fished under a cork. BIGFISH Charters has accommodations across from the Breton Sound Marina and still offers the best fishing experience you can find anywhere. The number is easy 504-BIG-FISH or go to the web for videos, reports, photos, TV shows and more www.thebigfish.net

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Whale of a Day in the Gulf

Headed deep into the Gulf of Mexico in search of Yellowfin Tuna and some BIGFISH TV. We drifted the floater oil rigs and drill ships found about 60 miles south of the Mississippi River.
On board with me, Capt. Hunter Caballero, David Montz, Louie Harris, Denis Bechac, Glenn Bohne, and Woody the deckhand. We fished hard catching some beautiful yellowfin. Perhaps the water's cool temperatures affected the fish, none of them had a lot of fight to them, they all came to the boat pretty easily.
After the Yellowfin fun, we headed back to the Venice Marina only to run up on a pod of about 20 Sperm Whales. These guys were relatively small (30+ feet) but not too skittish and allowed us close enough to get a good look a few photos and a little video. Really exciting!

 Back at the dock Capt. Devlin Roussel brought in a freak of a fish. Not knowing what he had landed we brought the photos to Biologist and chief of the BIGFISH family Danica Williams. She  identified the fish as a very rare Longnose Lancet

Great day on the water, fantastic fishing, amazing sights and always something unexpected.

Thanks to Capt. Hunter Caballero and Paradise Outfitters. Today's Tuna were his first of 2010 our first for Team BIGFISH and a great start to the offshore season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cold and Cooperative Specks

Brandon and Marshall came prepared for a cold and slow fishing day on Tuesday. The father and son team didn't have to wait long as our first stop was our only one. 50 trout were in the boat by 8:45am.

Of course all of the trout were legal, but none we over 14 inches. Just a lot of good frying sized fish.

We spent a little time after looking for a few reds but didn't kill ourselves to track'em down.

Marshal (13) did a great job and we had a lot of fun. The fish are more cooperative than the weather right now.

Along with some great fishing, BIGFISH Charters also offers lodging to both charter guests and anyone else looking for a place to stay in the Hopedale area.

Call the number the fish is Breton Sound don't want you to know  504-BIG-FISH (244-3474)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Great Fishing and New Year's Resolution

The camera was offline for a while so I wasn't taking the time to post. Will get back to it with a committment to make 2010 a better posting year.

Fishing from Pt. A la Hache to the Biloxi Marsh is great right now. November charters were off the charts with some great catches and even better people. Here are a few of the photos. Please check out the weekly news reports on Fox 8 every Thursdays at 9pm and Fridays at 7am.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Two Boats, Lots of Fish

Dallon Weathers called Team BIGFISH to take a few friends in town for a bachelor party fishing.
A few late night owls rolled to the dock after daylight, but the late start didn't affect a thing. Heading into the Louisiana Marsh, we found A LOT of school trout and Beautiful Reds. We spent more time moving to get away from a bite (small fish) than trying to find a bite. The group was only keeping enough fish to take to the chef at Emeril's who offered to cook them at the restaurant.
With two charter boats, over 150 legal trout were counted. We had a few flounder and a dozen Redfish.
The guys called to say they had an amazing day, an incredible dinner, and planned to come back soon.

Dallon works on surveying the MRGO and you will likely see him on BIGFISH TV talking about the effects researchers are seeing after the closing of the waterway.

BIGFISH Charters also has lodging at the Breton Sound Marina for Charter Guests and Sportsmen looking for a place to stay.
Call the number the fish don't want you to know: 504 BIG-FISH (244-3474)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hopedale, La. - Fish Heaven

Short Runs and Hungry Fish, a charter captain's dream. Sunday the Hensons came fishing with me. Margaret Henson is largely responsible for BIGFISH getting the BIG-FISH phone number. She was a great help AND SHE CAN FISH! Husband Les, Son Steve did a great job holding their own, but the guest of honor was Bonnie as it was her first fishing trip. Les and Steve wailed on school trout, Margaret caught her fair share and then jumped on a beautiful 27 inch Redfish. A great day with 3 and a half limits of trout and a few Reds. Great people and great fishing.

BIGFISH Charters wants to take you fishing, please give us a call. We also offer lodging right across from the Breton Sound Marina for both charter guests and others. Give us a call 504 BIG-FISH.

A Pile of Fish

Capt. Ted DeAgano of Scales N Tales charters asked for a hand with a big party he had coming from Jackson, MS. We fished Delacroix and when the day was done, we didn't leave many in the water.

I started under the birds with three guys pulling in five fish at a time (two on tandem rigs and one single). With a load of trout we headed into the broken marsh and put 12 beautiful Redfish in the boat. Both Seth and David's first reds. We met up with Capt. Ted and Capt. Ahab and found they had boat loads as well.

The fishing is some of the best ever. BIGFISH Charters offers lodging for charter guests and anyone else needing a place to stay. Give us a call 504 BIG-FISH.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Specks N Reds in the Louisiana Marsh

David Montz from Seabrook Harbor invited friends in town from Florida to do a little BIGFISHin'. Along with son Jonah, the five of us headed off into the Biloxi Wildlife Management area. The first stop was a good one. The bite started slow but picked up nicely. With plans to make a short day, we knocked out 52 trout and went looking for Redfish. Throwing corks with Berkley Gulp along the shoreline of a favorite pond, we pulled out 8 Redfish and headed back to the dock.

An easy day and a great catch with a fun group. BIGFISH has lodging right across from the Breton Sound Marina and a first class charter service. Give us a call, (504) BIG-FISH.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Ran back into the Louisiana Marsh with Joe, Kenny, JD and Shawn. We made on stop for the trout and the moved into the nearest pond for the Reds. Folks say this is a time of year for "Transition Fishin'". So it was, the day started with thousands of white trout and then slowly the Speckled Trout started moving in. Before we knew it we had a box of hundreds of fish with about 68 of them being Specks. We moved into a pond and sight casted eight Redfish before heading back to the dock for a big cleaning. All of the fish were school trout. Our location was very close to the launch near a canal named for a Saint. If you know the spot, go get em, if you don't call BIGFISH and let us take you there.

NO LOVE for the FISH

Great day in the Louisiana Marsh. Amanda and her gang of Veterinarians and friends came out to do a little BIGFISHin'. We made it a one-stop day. With a boat load of specks and white trout. Eight gallon bags of fillets went back to the kitchen with Amanda and friends. The fish were close to the launch. Capt. Tony Grose helped me out doing a great job. Thanks to all.

BIGFISH now has accommodations available for charter guests and individuals wanting to come to Hopedale the night before.