With the Bass Master's Classic coming up in February, I got to thinking about times I had traveled to Louisiana. The Classic is in Shreveport, which is in the northern part of the state. I have never been to Shreveport and am looking forward to the Classic there. I have been to New Orleans several times, and like most, have enjoyed the food and good times.
I remember one time, back in 1990, several of my friends and I decided to go deep sea fishing. The plan was to go to New Orleans in a motor home and then drop down to Empire, Louisiana where we would charter a boat. I had been salt water fishing a couple of times, but nothing like this--40 miles out in the Gulf to fish for yellow fin tuna. I was both excited and a little apprehensive. I'm here to tell you, I love boating and this was a whole new adventure.
I might have known I was heading for trouble the moment I met my friends at the motor home: #1-- the guy responsible for the whole week's beer supply brought Keystone Light. I'm not a fan of light beer, much less Keystone Light. We are from Missouri, where's the Budweiser?! #2-- we ran out of gas somewhere in Mississippi. The same guy who brought the Keystone was driving. He said he wasn't paying attention to the gas gauge--probably due to the Keystone Light. Anyway, we finally made it to New Orleans.
The plan was to stay in New Orleans a couple of days then head to Empire. This was another bad decision--too much fun in New Orleans. We left New Orleans with a lot of headaches.
We arrived at the dock in Empire at 4:30 a.m. and boarded our charter fishing boat. The first thing the captain said was that there were wind warnings for the day--35-45 mph winds with thunder storms later. That was mistake #3. I should have predicted what was to happen, but I had already forgotten about the Keystone Light and running of gas. Now I was about to experience how rough the sea can be.
The plan was to go out 40+ miles and fish for 36 hours. We weren't even out to the Gulf when my buddies began feeling the effects of two days in New Orleans. The further out we ventured, the rougher the water got. That boat was doing some rocking and rolling. With that, I looked at the faces of my buddies. I saw white then green, and I don't have to say what happened next. The bathroom was busy. I have never been sea sick, but being around my buddies was all I could take. I've never seen people this sea sick. Needless to say, the bathroom was a wreck. And we were to be out for 36 hours.
My friend Fred had been on this trip before so he was fishing and having the time of this life.. About the time our buddies came up from the bathroom for fresh air, Fred was sucking the juice from the heads of crawfish he had bought. That sent most of them right back down to the bathroom.
To make a long story shorter, we caught a lot of yellow fin during the daylight hours. Around dark the weather really turned bad. The captain was doing his best to control the boat and make sure nobody fell overboard. He even tried to tie up to an oil rig, but the water was too rough. I was already wondering what the rest of the night had in store for us. We rode the storm out, all above deck because the sleeping quarters were below deck with the bathroom.
Come morning the storm had passed and we had all survived. The Captain asked how many wanted to cut the fishing short and head to shore. It was unanimous. When we got back to shore, I literally kissed the ground. I swore I'd never do this again, especailly after two days in New Orleans. We all headed back to the motor home with a lot of yellow fin tuna and most of the Keystone Light.