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Fishing Trip From Hell!

The fishing trip from hell
It was in early november, 1963 when I left the docks of aransas pass, texas enroute to Fort Myers beach Florida as the captain of the Miss Carolyn, a 68 feet trawler owned by George ******, Scoop and Hilbert's brother. He was the independent owner of the boat.
When George offered me the job as captain of his boat I jumped at the chance and immediately accepted his offer. George had run the boat since it was brand new and it looked like a good boat on the outside and I thought that George had kept it in tip top condition. I was soon proven to be wrong in my estimation.

I had two crewmen aboard. One was, Bob, the rigman, a young 21 year old country boy who was a native of Aransas Pass. He was a stocky guy who seemed like a decent sort when I first hired him. The other crewman, Chick, was a 50 year old friend of Scoop and Hilbert who he had known from Long Island New York. Chick was a very hyper person who kind of reminded me of Don Knotts. He drank a lot but always stayed sober aboard the boat. He had recently been divorced and was a general loser who I felt pity for.
He would jump every time he heard a loud noise.
I decided to try fishing on my way to florida along the texas and Louisana coast. We did not catch much shrimp as we were dragging towards Louisana. The season in Texas was over and it was slim picking every time we hauled in a drag.
When we got to Galveston Texas we hit a good catch of white shrimp which are caught during the day instead of night like the texas brown shrimp are. From Galveston we started dragging until we reached The port of Sabine Pass, Tex/LA. It is on the Sabine River which is the border of Texs and Louisana.

We started catching the hell out of shrimp there but as luck would have it a ferocious storm came without warning. It was Nov 18, 1963 when it hit the coast of Texas and Louisana exactly where we were. It was not a hurricane but there were hundred mph winds with it. It was a freak "perfect "storm. What it was comprised of was two northers hitting at the same time. One from the Northeast and one from the north west.

We did not have time to get into the docks so I decided to ride it out. It came with a sudden fury. We hardly had time to get the nets aboard. There was tons of rain with the storm.

the waves were so high that they looked like three story houses in the night. The wind was howling so fiercely that the nets were blown overboard and got into the propeller. Now, we had no engine power. We dropped the anchor at sabine Pass which is about fifty miles to the east of Galveston.
The storm lasted all night as we dragged anchor from Sabine Pass towards Galveston. Suddenly the boat started leaking like crazy about three o'clock in the morning. The Engine shut down and we lost power to our bilge pump which was powered by the main engine. I called the coast guard afor assistance and they sent a plane which dropped us a bilge pump. Our auxillary bilge pump which was gas powered was not working.
As soon as the coast guard droped us the pump we unpacked it from a fifty gallon steel drum that it was enclosed in and tried to start it. Murphy's law kicked in again. It was unbelievable but the gas can full of gas enclosed in the barrel was filled with water instead of gas. I guess someone had stolen the gas and replaced it with water. I had some gasoline on board but it would do no good now since the bad gas had already been absorbed into the bilge pump engine.


Ever since we had left the docks at
Aransas Pass, Texas Bob kept trying to talk me into helping him with a scam back in texas when we returned there some day. His sceme involved conning a church in rural texas out of money. He never told me many of the details and I never asked because I had never had any intention of doing such a thing.
I just played along to find out what his plan was and then drop a dime on him.
When the pump did not work he and Chick started freaking out. Chick went to his bunk and hid under the covers crying. I got Bob to go down into the engine room to try to help me start the pump. The water was up to our kness down in the engine. Bob got down on his knees and started praying to God to help us. I told him to wait until we got the bilge pump going before he prayed.. The reason the pump in the engine room did not want to start is becuase of the rain that soaked it by blowing through the hatch into the engine room.
I am not ashamed to say that I was sillently praying too. I said to God, Please God if you help me I will try to be good. I told him I can't promise to stop being a horny young man but I would stop when I got older. I knew better than to lie to God. I knew I could not stop being lustful.
Just then I had an idea. I took a can of our gas and threw a bunch of it onto the bilge pump gasoline engine and then lit it on fire. The rain was falling so bad that there was no way that the engine room could start on fire. After a few minutes the gasoline fire heated the engine and dried it off enough to get the engine started. That is how we kept the boat from sinking as we dragged anchor during the storm.
Our boats radio would not transmit but I was able to receive communication on the coast guard channel, 2182. At one time during the evening we heard a distress call from a vessel calling the coast guard.. The captain was pleading for help as he drifted toward the beach. He was saying, Mayday, mayday, please somebody help us. I am shing my spotlight. Can anybody see us?" I saw them but there was not a dam thing I could do as we drifted on past them a few hundred yards offshore of them. I later learned that the crew of five did not survive when their trawler ran aground near the beach and they all drowned.
Finally at dawn the storm stopped. The sun came out on one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen. We were at the mouth of the galveston ship channel. We flagged down a passing vessel which called the coast guard for us. They came and towed us into galveston harbor.
Aftr getting the boat fixed we left Galveston and made our way east along the coast of Louisana. Night fell and murphy struck again. Another horrible storm blew up but this time we were barely able to make it into Cameron, Louisana. After we tied the boat up we made it to the nearest bar. When we walked in it seemed like the people were in a very festive mood. I asked the bartender, as I orderded our beers, " what's going on? He grinned at me and said, "Kennedy was shot dead"
Nov 23, 1963.

My radio


Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Jan 21, 2009
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Great story with a good "punch line!":applaud


DP Veteran
Jan 25, 2012
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Good story, I have been caught in a storm or two, fishing the north jetty.
It usually involves fishing too long, and a ugly trip home.
The winter Gulf can be some of the roughest water anywhere.
When the northern fronts stop and turn around, the waves get big with a short period.
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