Fishing out in the GOM oilfields

Years ago when I started working on OSV’s out in the gulf. I fell in love with all the great fishing! I carried a full tackle box or two with 2-4 types of fishing rods and about 20 lbs od cigar minnows. Anytime the opputunity presented itself, I was fishing. Most of my crewmates were as well. Often I would stay and work extra hitches if the fishing was good at the rigs we were running to. If it was bad I would pull another hitch on a different vessel until I found a crew that liked to fish and locations were the fishing was good. I remember my captain or mate having a little black book with underwater wellheads that we would stop over to “change the racors” because we had some “dirty fuel”. That would give us enough time to make a few drifts over some snapper honey hole, then in we would go. I often made more money catching red snapper than working. Back then AB’s made about $75/day and you could get $1.65 pound for red snaps.
Anyone have any good fishing experiences to share or update on policy of boat companies now days? I will be heading down the bayou looking for work soon and am starting to get my head into what all I need to bring or can bring. If I walk onto a boat with a fishing pole and a modest tackle box am I going to get my ass handed to me or is it still part of boat life to bring along a pole? These knife stories have me thinking times may have changed?

Anyway here is one of many fish stories.

I tied these two milk crates togeather full of chopped up bluefish and jacks and floated them out all day with a gallon jug tied to it trying to catch this 12-14ft foot hammerhead that had been hanging around the rig for days. When I finally hooked him with my rod that night he fought like a SOB for quite awhile. I was the only crew member up at the time. After what seemed like hours I got him close enough to the side of the boat were the roustabouts from the rig who were off loading had the crane operator lower a 6x10 mettle basket into the water and when the hammerhead swam over it the crane operator would raise the basket and try to “net him for me”. After several attempts it seemed like the whole rig crew was leaning over the side watching us try and catch him. Unfortunately the crane was electric and moved very, very slow. Eventually we took a piece of 3/8ths poly-pro from a life ring and made a slip knot which I stood in and passed up and over me, down my pole and around the hammer’s head when I got him along side again. Then we were able to pull him up on deck with the rig crew cheering me on. I ran inside and woke my crew mates and grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of me sitting on his back and holding his head up. We all thought he was dead! All of a sudden he began to flop and role around on the deck with me flying about 4 feet above him! When my feet hit the deck, I was running at full speed to the other end of the boat! Everyone had a good laugh at my expense. I tried to cut his teeth out and clean them up to have a souvenir but after a few days of having his head displayed on the end of a spike pole and dragging them behind the boat in the wheel wash we decided it wasn’t worth the smell and chunked it overboard.

Anyone else have a good fish story or two?

Well, the old saying about “the first liar ain’t got a chance”.LOL!

The most memorable catch I had was a deer! When I was a kid working on a utility boat, we lassoed a deer swimming across Freshwater Bayou. We dragged it a few minutes until it was dead…or thought it was. When the old engineer and I started to skin it out, it came alive. As it flailed around on deck, the engineer twisted his knee getting away and I got a bloody nose and 2 black eyes. I’m not sure if it was the engineer or the deer that got me.
I wonder what an accident report would look like in today’s industry…Oh yeah, the deer got away.

I could get diarrhea of the fingers on this one…:rolleyes: