In Search of Big-Ass Fish


In August I tagged along during the Texas Legends Billfish Tournament on a boat called Catchin’ Up out of Port Aransas. Being that this was a money tournament, and because the money fish in Texas live a long dang way from the dock, we packed along our toothbrushes and called it a 260-mile roundtrip sleepover.

We were blessed with glorious weather during the days. But at night—when we needed to sleep? Not so much. From dusk to dawn, both nights, we had 4-5 footers running one direction and a 15-knot current running the other. Even with our chute deployed, we could never get the boat to turn completely downsea. Beyond that minor inconvenience (hurl) we ate well, the boat was fabulous, the BS level was quality, and we caught a few fish, to boot.

About 4am on our our first night, Bob Johnson was keeping watch when a juvenile broadbill snacked on one of the light stick rigs. A 50-pounder had won the swordfish pot the year before so we were hopeful that this one might also qualify. At noon the next day we put a wahoo in the box, and later we had a brief fight with a money fish. It wasn’t a huge blue, but a marlin release would have racked up some needed points. We had her on for about six jumps (during which I fired one frame) and then she was off.

When we got back to the dock we learned that we were no more wealthy than when we left. A 145-pound broadbill won that pot, and one of the boats had released 4 billfish. Thanks to Hank, Bob, Bucky, Hobbs, and Mickey for letting me hang out and shoot some pics.



Captain Bucky Bonner watching the spread


Sunset 130 miles from the dock


Bob Johnson setting rods at daybreak


My one image of a greyhounding pile of cash


Port Aransas locals watching the weigh-in

One Response to “In Search of Big-Ass Fish”

  1. Dan Terry says:

    Way cool stuff, Tosh. Diggin’ the new blog format.

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