Captain George Strate of the Mayport Princess is one of my all time heroes. He whips the 68 foot Princess between a cruise ship, and a shrimp boat with a few feet to spare, and then parks her crosswise, on a dime, with all kinds of screaming tide. No bow thrusters, nothing.
I have long pondered on what’s the difference in fishermen and people who like to fish. Believe me, they are not the same thing. Many years ago a super nice guy who shall remain nameless started fishing with me. He has been with me through a half dozen or more offshore boats, and he’s the perfect companion on any trip.
I am as fed up with federal government intervention into our fisheries management as the next guy, but here I am calling for us to pay more money, and buy another “license” to bottom fish for the species in the snapper grouper complex.
Dean Burnett, Vice President of Yamaha Marine, is a great guy, and a good friend. He was about as excited as he gets last week, when he was debuting the future of outboard power from Yamaha. He was addressing a bunch of us outdoor writer types at the Yamaha test facility, and what he showed us was borderline unbelievable.
Suddenly the stories of fishing the DA III were right there in front of me. There was my daughter and I holding up her first sailfish. I’m so glad the camera focus was poor. You couldn’t see the seasickness in her face, or the tears in our eyes. Uh oh, there’s our first blue marlin…
Brad Reed was as good a childhood friend as a young man could have. We first fished together off Jacksonville some 40 years ago. We barely had a truck between us, what we did have was capable of pulling a 16 foot non-seaworthy boat to the closest ramp, from which we would run way too far offshore.