From all of us Shore Thing Charters, we would like to say THANK YOU to all of the men and women of the armed services. We hope everyone had a great Veterans Day, I know we did...
Capt Darren(spelled Darien) has been fishing a group of young men from Keesler Air force Base this year. Capt D has gotten very close with these guys, and he asked if this year we could invite their squad to come fish with us for Veterans Day. In years past, we have done trips with Soldiers Angels and Wounded Warriors(Fantastic Organizations). Well, we figured since most of these guys were either just getting back state side or about to head overseas, they might enjoy a lil R&R with the smelly kids from Bayou Caddy.
Eighteen of our nations finest joined 6 of our boats n captains for an unbelievable day on the water. The weather was perfect and the fish were hungry. We picked the boys up at the new Bay St Louis Harbor. The good folks at WLOX News(Doug Walker, Al Jones, and Lee Field) showed up at the dock to do a nice segment as well. Reporter Doug Walker even hopped on our boat for the day. He was able to get footage and stories for the guys for Veterans Day appreciation piece. It aired on the 6 o-clock news that night! The fishing was just as good as the company. All of the boats began the morning, fishing together enjoying the melee. The boats were literally casting into the same pile of fish. At one point, the boys on Capt Jimmy Rays boat and the boys on Capt D's boat were fighting the same fish! A big sheepshead had eaten baits from two different hooks, cast from two different boats!
It was a real treat having everyone close together. You would see a trout flying over the side of one boat, and hear the cheers. Then, a drum or sheepshead would be splashing next to you and pretty soon everyone was hollering for other boats to get the fish in. Later in the morning, a few of the boats broke away from the pack to explore other areas in the Bay. Our boat was after big fish, and lady luck was on our side. Pfifer had his first big sea monster run him into a pilling and break the line. Next cast, and he was able to settle the score. We got it all on video and he landed the biggest fish of the day. Safe to say, Capt Jimmy Rays boat(Joe, Chris and Nick) annihilated the rest of the fleet for the most fish. Capt D's crew was accusing him of using "special shrimp" because every baited hook that went in the water came back with a fish. They were pushing maximum density on specks, whites, drum, sheepshead, ground mullet and flounder. My boat, along with Captains Kenny, D, Ray, and Matt's crews all did amazing. The fish pile we put on the bow of Capt Kenny's boat, at the end of the day, was impressive to say the least. Even with 6 knives going, it took a while to clean, but we were very proud to do it.
The one an only "Granny" Greasser was waiting for us back at the dock. Granny had arranged for the VA in Biloxi to transport several veterans to fish off the pier in the new BSL Harbor. Many thanks to the volunteers from the VA and the United States Coast Guard in assisting with that task, I know those gentlemen appreciated it.
After we finished cleaning their catch, the Airmen all walked up to The Blind Tiger Restaurant. TBT owner, Thomas Genin was serving FREE hamburgers and cold beers to ALL ACTIVE OR VETERAN MILITARY PERSONEL. Thomas and TBT manager Scott Southerland were also nice enough to let Wally Thurmond(Southern Anglers of Mississippi) and "Capt Gizmo" set up a tent and serve fresh jumbalaya . We got word around 6pm that TBT had served close to 300 Hamburgers, and were still going strong. GREAT JOB GUYS!!!
The Keesler Airmen we had on the boats were so appreciative, but it paled in comparison as to how grateful we are for what those men do for us. All the guides were trading pictures and thank you texts late into the evening, well past our bedtimes. We were all just glad the fish and the weather were so cooperative. It truly was an incredible experience for everyone.
Yes, we also had some insanely good trips to the LA Marsh this week. Just gonna have wait a little longer for that story. This report and one more big THANK YOU is strictly for the people that keep our country safe and free. Happy Veterans Day!!!