Hardcore Fishing Stories: Best Fishing Days In Inclement Weather
Fishermen love to weave hyperbolic tales of their fishing expeditions that sometimes seem to get more unbelievable over time, or after a few cocktails. While these outrageous stories are certainly entertaining and good for a laugh, some of them are indeed true, accurately capturing the harrowing conditions a crew found themselves battling while still trying to fight their primary objective—the fish.
HMY’s team of world-class brokers has experienced their fair share of crazy excursions, whether fishing in a tournament or out with clients, and these experiences help them learn what works and what doesn’t in extreme conditions. This kind of firsthand experience is invaluable to HMY’s customers who are looking for the perfect sportfish to fit their lifestyle.
Those experiences also lead to fantastic stories, one of which comes from HMY broker Jerry Gilpin, a 20-year marine industry veteran, captain, and sportfish aficionado.
12 years ago, at the Bahamas Billfish Championship in Harbor Island, Bahamas, Jerry encountered the roughest weather he’s ever fished in. “The conditions were absolutely horrible and had no signs of getting better,” he said. “Seas were on average 12’-18’ and the waves were breaking across the entire channel to get out.”
On the first day, participants anxiously waited and watched to see who would be the first to brave the rolling swells to officially kick off the tournament. When they did, things got a bit hairy.
“The craziest part of each day was watching the line of boats in front of you and behind you try and time the swells coming into the cut and some boats just missing the mark completely,” said Jerry. “One boat in particular had a dingy come loose and smash into the bow of the boat. Another boat had their deck hatch blow open which flooded the inside of the staterooms.”
Jerry and his crew were fishing on hull number 1 of a Jim Smith 52’ flybridge—“Osprey”—powered with a pair of Daewoo diesel engines, which helped them slice through the rolling channel and finally get to fishing. Once Jerry and his team were set up, catching the fish became just as exciting. There was no way to back down on fish in the harsh conditions, so most fish had to be caught with the boat going down sea, putting captains’ skills and crews’ teamwork to the test.
In the end, they toughed it out and made it through the tournament unscathed. But, Jerry says, “The experience, once it was over, would be considered fun. The experience while being there, and out fishing, was not fun. It’s one of those tournaments you look back on and question why it wasn’t cancelled.”
No matter the fishing situations HMY’s customers find themselves in, and whether they’re on a 2006 64' Weaver Boat Works Sportfish or 2011 42' Viking Open, the biggest priority should always be safety.
“Having the right equipment and procedures in place can eliminate the possibilities of a major accident,” Jerry states. “The boat should always be maintained in shipshape and Bristol fashion and it’s imperative to be prepared and have a plan for the ‘what ifs’. This includes going over safety drills and making everyone aware of where things are located and how to access them in the event of an emergency.”
Whether you’re looking to chase the giants dozens of miles offshore or want to enjoy day trips with casual fishing, HMY’s brokers will work tirelessly to find the perfect boat for you that ensures safe and prosperous fishing. Start your search today!