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Had the pleasure once again of fishing w/ Custom Charters, LLC and Captains Tommy & Eric Pellegrin out of Cocodrie yesterday. We got the call that they needed some help reeling in some fish for a video shoot, so we made some calls and were able to make the trip. We were surprised when we arrived to see the “Reel Life” sporting its new configuration of triple 300hp Suzuki outboards, instead of the old diesels. Boy, has that boat changed for the better! Speed and ride are much improved for the yellow workhorse!
We knew it was going to be a crazy day when we are riding out through Lake Pelto and feel a “thump” and hear a strange noise from the top of the boat. The world is minus one less seagull today following a mid-air collision between the bird and Capt. Tommy’s big VHF antenna. The bird lost! Cruising at 38 mph, we made it to the fishing grounds in no time, drifting over one of Custom Charters underwater wrecks they fish on a regular basis. The big old “endangered” red snapper were waiting for us! It was announced early on that if it was not double digits, it was not going in the box. We all knew quantity was not an issue, so we keyed in on quality. Within 30 minutes, we were done! Even with throwing back legal fish and re-baiting, we never worked up a sweat. The cameraman actually had to tell us to slow down so he could get more footage, it was that crazy.
After finishing off the snapper limit, it was off for amberjack, but we ran into an old mangrove hole on the way out. A quick stop produced 7 big mangroves, then throttles down again for the amberjack. It wasn’t long before the bruises started. Parts of my body are bruised from wrestling these hard fighting fish that shouldn’t be bruised - lol. These were not just ordinary amberjacks, these were the “call your momma, I’m hurt” fish! After fighting one of these fish, you needed a 20 minute rest period just to catch your breath and get the feeling in your arms back. With the limit of only one per person, we were glad when we had the last one in the box!
Next stop was a rig for more mangroves, but also looking for a scamp or warsaw grouper. We were not disappointed there either, since we fought mangroves on top, while a few lost their tackle to something BIG down deep. Then it happened! That unforgettable grunt from a man holding a fishing pole after a big grouper inhales a live hardtail somewhere in the dark deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. After a few choice words, lots of sweat, and burning muscles of the angler, the monster of the deep hits the deck. The seas were flat, the water was blue, and company was great!
Once again, the hardest working charter captains in the Gulf of Mexico did a fine job capturing some of the best eating the world has to offer right off the coast of Louisiana. If you ever want to reward your staff, or you’re looking for a great gift idea for a couple or group, you will not be disappointed by the trip you book w/ Custom Charters in Cocodrie.

August 14, 2009 at 12:54pm
A comment titled: MCY in response to a report titled: Captains License Upgrade

Young Memorial Vo Tech in Morgan City. You won't regret it!

August 17, 2011 at 3:13pm
A comment titled: depends in response to a report titled: Offshore Leader Connection

Live baits are drifted w/ a snelled hook, usually Ultra Points. Trolling lures are run after I tie in a sampo swivel for quick changes. I use different knots on the swivel, mostly a nail knot.

August 03, 2011 at 4:05pm
A comment titled: Time! in response to a report titled: Offshore Leader Connection

You by all means certainly can use the needles to make a knotless connection on the bottom shot also. I find that the double uni knot very strong, and since it is only used as a backstop to slippage, I went with the faster uni/uni knot. Afterall, let's be honest - if a fish dumps all 550 yards of braid and you haven't stopped him, one more knot on the bottom shot isn't going to matter - he's taking it all!!!!!!!

Really, it takes several minutes to do the knotless connections and I just did it to save time.

August 03, 2011 at 3:33pm
A comment titled: my specialty!!! in response to a report titled: Offshore Leader Connection

Very good topic and question sir! Here's my 2 pennies.

The new hollow core/spectra braids are the best thing since sliced bread in the bluewater community. I use 80lb Hollow Ace by PowerPro and have been completely satisfied and suprised how it has changed our fishing. We have actually seen an increase in our catch, but is it because of the line, or is it we are getting better as anglers???? Not really sure of the answer, but we will take what we can.

Using the hollow braids is great, as long as you rig them correctly. For instance, the braids will slip drag on the smooth spool so you need to leave a small portion of mono on the bottom (bottom shot). If you don't, the whole spool of line will slip while the actual metal spool of the reel does not. Next, connect your braid to the bottom shot with a double uni knot and wind on your braid. On my 30's, it takes all of a 550 yard spool. I have the needle kit to make the knotless connection from the braid to the 'top shot' of mono. It is important that you use a top shot of high quality mono to allow for stretch of the line while fighting a fish. If you don't you will pull more hooks by tearing the fish's jaw/flesh by going straight braid/fluro. I put about 60-80 yards of 80-100lb mono as my top shot. Since there is no knot in this connection, it does not cause a 'lump' in the spool when it is reeled over by the top shot.

Once the top shot is in place, I put about 15 yards of 80lb. flurocarbon for those days when the tuna are shy! I connect the mono and flurocarbon with a double uni knot also, since the lump of the knot is only on the first couple of wraps in the reel and it passes through the line guides easy. Like I said we have been catching more fish, can't say if this is the reason, but I have no problem locking down the drags now.

Also, if you need some connections done, give me a email and I can assit you. The needles are pretty expensive to buy just for a 1-time application, so bring me a 6 pack and we can shoot the bull while I hook you up. Hope this helps. Last time I checked, each reel had about $170 of material in them!

August 03, 2011 at 2:59pm
A comment titled: This is what we do! in response to a report titled: destroying oil platforms

To shed more light on this topic, I have decided to chime in. This is what we do at my office, commonly known as a 'decommissioning program' in the industry. And to answer one question quickly,'yes, it is controlled and regulated by the BOEMRE'.(Formely MMS).

With the current environmental laws and regulations set in place, it is easier, faster, and cheaper to completely remove MOST platforms than it is to 'reef in place'. Some of these platforms have been out there for 25-40 years and the paints/coatings fall into a category of 'hazardous' now that the EPA has been re-writing their playbook for the last 20 years. It is not the position of the oil companies to do any harm to the fish when taking out a platform and nothing is done w/o approval of the BOEMRE. Since the Deepwater Horizon incident, even more red tape is involved. At times, certain parts of the structure do require the use of explosives, mostly detcord. However, this is by far the minority and alternative cutting measures are the norm.

As far as the situation of leaving a standing structure, well wishful thinking. A platform requires 'aids to navigation' and as long as it is standing, someone will be responsible for their care and upkeep to avoid collisions. Now, the oil companies do not want that liability and the state does not have the money to cover the cost, so what do you think has to be done? Remove the platform is the only choice. Reefing below the water line also requires forethought since that area will never be allowed to have a pipeline in it for future development. Lots of thought goes into these things, sometimes we just have to play the hand that is dealt to us.

Hope that helps!

June 29, 2011 at 10:13am
A comment titled: Awesome guy in response to a report titled: Hog hunt

Todd, we have had the chance to meet Jim last year when he came meet us on a hunt in Acadia Parish. He is a great guy and really trying to get a handle on the hog problem. We provide him with blood samples for his testing, and I hunt w/ a biologist from USFW that communicates with him on a regular basis. He represents Slaughter well!

Can't wait to see the article.

May 27, 2011 at 8:55am
A comment titled: Great Trip! in response to a report titled: Catch of the Day

Thanks for a great time! We really enjoyed ourselves even though it took a few days for the soreness to wear off!
I won't let Bryan forget about the pole he lost either!!! The kids enjoyed that story..

August 18, 2009 at 8:49am
Boutte, LA

We have decided that our toys won't be making the trip with us to the new house on the move Memorial Day weekend. Up for sale is a pair Sea Doo GTI 155 four stroke PWC's. They are both in exceptional shape with roughly 120 hrs on each or less. The trailer is a EZ Loader, with poly slides for easy launching and new tires installed in June 2017. Oil bath hubs, and working lights, with treated wood platform for ice chest/storage. Both ski's have the Rotax four stroke engine which have been well maintained with Royal Purple synthetic oil. Ski #2 has a new fuel pump and runs great. Ski #1 has a tow bar for pulling tubes/hydra slides. Ski #1 does have a no crank/no start situation and will be going to Lafayette Power Sports this week for repair at my cost. Please don't waste your time or mine - no Pay Pal, trades, Jamacian bank deposits, or other crap. If you are truly interested in seeing these skis, call or text 337-384-1578, if not, scroll down to the next ad. Thanks and have a great day!

May 15 at 7:50pm
Boutte, LA

****UPDATE- Moving and don't want to take with us***Will take payoff which is less than 15,500! SUPER CLEAN**2012 Laredo 5th wheel with big shower and rear living area. 1/2 ton towable and easy to set up with electric leveling jacks. Central AC/Heat, new water heater, electric awning, queen size bed. Perfect for pipeliner or out of town worker! Located in Crowley, LA and available immediately. Asking $16,500- call 337-384-1578.

January 17 at 12:01pm