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Using ballons to follow a school of fish

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I am told there is an old method of tracking a school of trout by tying a balloon to a fresh caught fish and releasing it. The fish will return to the school and the balloon will be visible for the angler to follow. Does anyone know anything about this or has used it?

Thanks
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I think it is still illegal to do that.
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...hate to pop 'ya balloon but in most cases schools follow each other...stay calm,cool and collected and try not to get too radical...it's suppose to be a sport ???...cheers
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I never was aware of the legality of the technique, however long ago we would use that method when fishing
the shoreline. We'd take a nice size fish (2 pounder) that was lip hooked and with a pre rig of a small steel perch hook that would rust out quickly if we couldn't retrieve the balloned fish. we'd hook him behind the dorsal fin with 6# line about 10 feet long and release it. It would swim right back into the school and you could watch it go down the the beach. When the bite would play out, we'd move ahead of the balloned fish and achor up and get right back on the bite. When we werfe done we'd cast to snag the ballon line and released the balloned fish for it's efforts to our day. I havent used this method in about 30 years.
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heard the balloon tale many times years ago , never used a balloon but use to cut the line above the cork and let'em swim , when it came time to move on , you would run down the cork and retrieve the fish , no thank you , in the box ------ I got mixed feelings on this one , I think it disorientates the fish , the old timers , like my Grandfather , use to talk of a safety pin , line and cork --------------- my favorite old school thing was fishing the sheen , when you were running around I was always looking for a sheen on the water , looks like gasoline , purple , gold , silver in color , when the trout were into the bait , they will eat till the regurgitate their food and re eat it or go after more , their stomach juices float to the top of the water , I actually got to see this in action as years ago I had 2 - 300 gallon fish tanks in my house , one was set up as a Louisiana reef had specks , reds , croakers and what ever else I would catch in the trawl , I would go off and do this now days as I would bet it is illegal , I would feed them grass shrimp , drop a hundred in the tank and it was on till every one was gone
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   JOHN C.
THIS TOPIC brought back many, many fond memories...WE DEFINITELY USED the 'balloon-method' in days/months/many years gone by!!! Back then, my dad did not have a motor---he would oar the rented skiff from Benny Laumann (sp) (Hwy.11-Irish-Bayou area) chasing the ballooned fish. John Castelluccio, Jr.
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I really miss the old days , I am 57 and started fishing when I was 5 , then by myself and captain of my own boat at 13 , I never had a drivers license but had a boat , I use to get relatives and friends to pull it , fishing is nothing like it was when I was younger , back then you fished boxes not limits , if 2 people didn't catch 300 fish in a day then it was not a good trip , ------ something else we did do a lot of , and is kinda like the opposite of marking a fish and following the school , was chum to bring them in and keep them there , would either keep the by catch from the shrimp trawl while catching our own live bait or cast net pogies or mud minnows , and had a hand grinder , would grind the fish , crabs , small shrimp , would put some into a screen tube like a minnow trap and let it over the side the boat and shake it up and throw a hand full over every now and then , I use to freeze the stuff in plastic containers and bring it out on trips , it really helped to bring them in and keep them around ------------------ another old school thing I did was had the tail of a trawl sewn to a crab net ring , we would catch so many fish that you would just throw the fish into the ring and they would stay live till you were ready to leave that spot and then ice them down , they stood alot fresher and you used less ice , it was hard to get into the boat if you let it fill up , had a hammer head shark about 8 ft attack the bag full of specks while sitting on Battle Dore Reef in 3 ft of water once , that was pretty exciting , remember getting soaking wet , ripped the bag up pretty good and almost lost a load
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   Dr. Spot
fishfiles, thanks for sharing. The fishing today is still very good, but the younger folks probably can't fathom how it REALLY used to be. Yes, we counted icechests. Live bait often was not sold, you had to catch it. Often, it didn't matter, the fish were that plentiful. Sometimes all you needed was a slaughter pole, no fancy tackle. The only caveat is we didn't have the size restrictions back then, so the only throwbacks were the really small fish. The size restrictions are necessary today to let the fish spawn and maintain what we have.
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   CaptJS
Sorry boys but I have to disagree with the good old days. Cop Cop Smith a legend in Hopedale was my teacher and we fished for many years I am 77 now Cop did not get up one day at 85. We were commercial fisherman and he and his brother had a camp at Hopedale and Irish Bayou. One we had no trolling motor, no title and trim on your motor. The fishing equipment we have to day is miles better than the so called good old days equipment. Most of the trout back then that were caught were 12 inches or less. PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY BUT BELIEVE ME FOR MY MONEY I LOVE THE FISHING OF TODAY AS I CATCH MORE FISH IN LESS TIME THAN ANY TIME OF MY LIFE. A 20 mile run now takes about half hour years ago this was a 2 hour or more trip and no cell phone to call if you needed help or call a friend over. We had a trolling club at Benny Larmann's in irish Bayou and no one would believe the trout we caught but back then it was trolling only in the lake can't do that now and I miss that. Think about this I watch football in my boat or can watch a movie if I want, talk with the wife and with the push of a bottom move my boat left or right and people say the good old days. Just the idea that you are never out of touch with help or family is something we dreamed about and now have.
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   Dr. Spot
JS....I would trade almost all of that (except for the safety and convenience of a cell phone) to experience the incredible fishing of the 1960s and 1970s again. The boats and fishing tackle we had in the 1970s were 'good enough', and we just learned the marsh and used maps (no GPS). No doubt the conveniences have improved, though. I use them, too.
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   CaptJS
No problem but I love all my new toys and sure don't want to go back. The time table you talk about was when the old 20 Merc. was king and a 13ft Boston W along with the Yellow Jacket. Now compare that to a 23ft Sheartwate with a 250 . Ps Saw where said 300 trout just think of the ice chest we had back then. My old ice chest could not hold ice for a half day and ice was always the problem in a fishing trip. Until the plastic ice chest came we had to put the trout in Frank Campo's(life long friend) well to keep 25 trout was a problem. Most fisherman did not have boats and you rented a skiff and putting your motor on was a true adventure. Some places had the hulk type guy that would do it for a tip. Benny Larmann at Irish Bayou would let us have a special skiff for 30dollars a month. If we did not call the night before he was able to rent it out. Agree with you on cost in the good old days Mrs Campo counting out 100 shrimp and giving you what remained in her counting net a dollar a hundred. Pip's place where Cop Cop keep his boat in garage 13 for 30 dollars and launch was free.
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   lanco1
I saw just the tail end of 'count boxes not fish' days. It was fun, you could go in the hole at seabrook and catch 1-2 icechests of 11-16 inch croakers in an afternoon. Catching 8 boxes of white trout in east bay ect. It makes for some amazing memories but really in retrospect I think a lot of that was commercial fishing legal or not. My dad sold fish through his dads corner grocery, back when you could sell whole fish! Try walking around the block giving away whole fish now! I remember the day my uncle taught me to fillet trout. They had been in empire and filled an 84 quart ice chest with 9.5-12 inch trout! Do you know how many half pounders fit in an old 84 qrt igloo! I don't think gear is infinitely better now than regan times and I like my cell phone more when on the deer stand. We always had radios in the boats and the trucker talk was fun. I catch enough fish to keep the family happy these days and I actually just stop lots of times at a dozen or so. I am glad to have seen the last glimpse of 'the day' though!
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   lanco1
I do miss REAL rat reds fried! Even now my dad says 'this is the size we use to look for' whenever throwing back a 13-14 incher!
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   CaptJS
These were the boats everyone wanted in the good old days.
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   JOHN C.
FOR ME (now 68 yoa), No one mentioned that we 'shared' those good old days with our parent(s) and deep down would really love to experience many of those times again with them in the outdoors...BUT...REALISTICALLY WHAT WE NOW HAVE ARE THOSE MEMORIES that will never be erased from our mind until we die cherishing those 'good-old-days-memories'!!! Hopefully, we have instilled memories in our children/grandchildren and then in the future they will be recalling 'the good old days' as they knew them...John Castelluccio, Jr. ps...I still miss my dad!!! : (((
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   lanco1
Amen John C! I am fortunate to still hunt and fish with my dad several times a month (at 66 he can out marsh walk, out shoot and outfish my 20 something BIL) . But I miss both my grandpas, and some of the old guys Huey Daigle especially. I was talking the other day with my dad about this character ' Old Man Breaux' (fished winter in east bay in his 90's) who would dump out 6 boxes of fish at the end of an east bay trip and split them three ways BY SIZE! I don't know how my dad tolerated that stunt but all those days even though I was in grade school stand out in my mind (as do many since). Hopefully I help some freinds and family make memories like that too from time to time.
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   CaptJS
John so true but I talked about Cop Cop Smith my old fishing pal. I meet him as a young college student no boat and no idea of fishing. Cop and i fished every week and anytime I could get off work he was retired. After he died I never went back to Hopedale and found a new area Lafitte. Cop loved to make long trips and we fished all over Breton Sound never see another boat and I always think how he would love to have had a GPS. I have 3 sons and we have fished every Thanksgiving for the past 45 years.
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I remember back in the day when unless you had at least 3 boxes of fish you kept your mouth shut. Also remember fishihng the Elmer's Island Beach and leave 3-4 pound trout biting because we were fishing 'Rodeo' to of fish the close Fouchon rigs for 6-7 pounders. Also remember fishing during December and January in the Sandy Point rigs and filling two 144 qt. Igloos of Pompano days in a row untild we could lift a fork to eat, getting $4.25 a pound for them on the hoof. Now during the summer I dont hesitate to make a 100 mile round trip to catch a limit of fish I like. It was great to have seen that part of our resource before it gets wiped out by the diversions.
ARRIVE ALIVE!!!!
P.S Long Live Cop Cop's 233 Formula, greatest 23' boat ever built….hands down….legendary.
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Secret , After your PS I realized who CopCop was , we know each other well but not really , one morning at the break on dawn in the late 70' maybe early 80's , I was on the fish at Battle Dore #58 , left like 4 in the morning to be first there , I see a boat coming across the Black Bay from a long ways off and heading right for me , there is not another boat in sight as far as you could see on a clear day , he pulls up so close I could go over his boat 40 ft with a cast and he cuts off my cast , so we have word , he tells me ' he has been fishing here for 20 years ' , I tell him ' I was here first today and you should at least stay out of my casting range ' , so he starts catching fish and rubbing it in on me as my bite stopped , so I start throwing over his line with my treble hook under a cork , which was right where I was casting before he pulled up , and hooking his line and pulling the fish off , tangling him all up or breaking the line , started a very heated , hostile verbal war , he finally gets feed up and picks up the anchor and did 2 circles around me at slow speed causing the biggest wake he could , well needless to say the favor did not go unrepaid , it went on for a couple of years between me and him , every time I was running by and I seen him without another boat next to him , I don't care how far out my way it was I would go do circles around him and screw up his spot , then next trip he would be running across the bay and see my boat which was easy to spot as was his , he would swing a turn and come right at me and do circles , I can hear my ex-brother-in-law saying ' there's 20 year man , lets go wake him up ' , I remember taking my hand and flapping it across my mouth and doing the Indian War Dance , wooooooooo! , it was a lot of laughs , I remember once I seen him coming so we picked up the anchor and moved off the reef and let it drift , let him wake me and move back onto the spot , I have to say I never even came close to having a more lasting feud with anyone in my life , as I am a pretty easy going person !!!! I wonder if anyone of you'll old timers here might remember being on the boat with him and got waved by a Sport Laffitte
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   CaptJS
Spent many days on that boat not a good fishing boat but a great ride in heavy seas. We spent most of our time fishing off the oil barges. Cop and I fished the flares all the time. We would put over a anchor with a large crab float on the end. Then all we had to do was hook up and unhook. Try setting one in Brenton Sound with a heavy sea or pulling one up with a major storm bearing down on you. Think those plastic ice chest could be more in the present than past. Like I said in the old days ice was a major problem believe me. Breton Island had a store inside the Island with ice etc. Guess you guys forget no one went fishing until live bait was being sold. There was on plastic baits only the Shad Rig with a small bit of shrimp. First plastic bait was the Spec a GO Go then the Sassy Shad and then the Grubs. The bass fisherman first secret bait was a strip of leather dyed black. Then the plastic worm took over. Alcedo was the first spinning reels then the old Mitchell 300. Catching shrimp off the lake front was fun but not all the raw sewarge problems. I loved the old days but again I don't want to go back only wish my old buddies could see what we have today. PS Boys there was little or no winter fishing like we know today. Like I posted our sons have been fishing Thanksgiving for over 45years. When we first started no one was open I mean no one now it is a full parking lot. GI always had some fish but Hopedale and Shell Beach is what I am talking about. No one left the dock without fresh shrimp.
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Old School you didn't have the technology they have today , not having it made you a better fisherman as you actually had to think , it was not the rat race that it is now , more respect was given and received for the most part , you ran your own show and wasn't a follower , the best part was you could drink beer on the boat all day long and on the ride home in the truck as DWI wasn't like it is today , and the limit was not enforced , I was hard core meat machine and I learned to get more pleasure out of the quest for fish then the fish ,the catch is like a by-product of a good trip , it?s about planning your trip , executing it and being successful at it , navigating and knowing where you are at and being able to see like if there was no water and you were looking at every channel , ledge , reef , knowing what combination of conditions will trigger the bite at what spots , what time and using what technique and the most important part , being there when it happens

Ever hear that song --- Video killed the radio star ---- well I think the Internet killed the fisherman , note I didn't say killed fishing and as that also might be true , it is a different discussion , but the internet killed the art of being a fisherman , today a lot of people are not really fisherman for say and more a catcher , they read where to go , what to use , what time to be there , a follower , one trick pony , no back up plan , and lost if the GPS goes down
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Fishhfiles;
I too get much enjoyment executing my trip, or 'the loop as I refer to it. I still primarily navigate using my compass. I do have a good GPS on my boat but usually only use it if i'm running in the pitch dark using the bread crumb line to avoid hitiing small wellheads, or when I'm trolling to acurately know my speed. Reading the water is a big part of my fishing since most of it is along the shoreline and small changes in the bottom topography equate to 'structure' and thats where the fish are. Glad I can still do it before the diversions drive us offshore to fish trout on the west bank.
ARRIVE ALIVE!!!
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   e-man (R)
Computer killed the courteous fishermen. In the day those that didn't have the time or the know how to find their own fish stayed home or went with someone who knew. Now they have more money and more leisure time . they buy a boat and read the internet to find an area. then they go out and pull up on any boat they see catch a fish. (usually not knowing anything about how to approach a fishing boat or area).
we did an experiment one day out behind grand isle. we pulled up on a point and were catching nothing but hard heads on sparkle beetles. before we got the 3rd fish in here comes a boat. screams up and starts throwing. catching hard heads here come 2 more boats. By the time it was over there were 8 boats around that point catching nothing but trash fish.

As for the old days and ways. Those who have been going to the island for a bit will remember The cajun hide away at do Gris.
we used to park there and walk across the hwy and pay grandma Cheramie $2 each to walk down her pier to get to the pit behind the camps.
6 guys would take 3 ice chest and leave a bunch of chest in the van / truck. Fill the first ice chest 2 guys would take it across to the hide away and filet those fish and ice them down. they would go back to fishing .Then 2 other guys took the next chest full. etc etc etc.
we would come home w/ 5 - 8 ea 48 - 54 qt chest full of trout fillets. Fill all our freezers w/ what we thought we could eat and sell the rest to the fish mkt.
The older guys will also remember when you bought lures they came stapled to a card . One trip down the ONLY lure they would hit was a silver hammered wobble rite spoon. if you had that lure you caught every cast. I just happened to have 2 cards of them in my box.
The guys i went with got one and tied it on and started catching . there was another group of guys there not catching. one of them walked over to see what we were using. i showed him . he offered me $20 for 1 spoon that then was less than 2 bucks . i took it. next thing you know here comes his 3 friends w/ 20 dollar bills in their hands. I took $20 and gave them 3 spoons. $40 i could live with but $80 was a bit to much.
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I remember one time at Bayou la Crowe in the winter time , there was a guy next to us and he stopped fishing and was just watching us put 2 at a time every cast in the boat for a while , we talked with them and they was out of everything and had nothing to throw at them , he said they was enjoying just watching us put the hurt on them , I threw him 2 double rig beetles and both boats nailed them till you couldn't see the cork any more ------ I always gave the shrimp I had left over to the boat in the area when I had enough fishing

----My Grandfather was a Yugoslavian oyster fisherman with 12 other brothers and sisters that were all born on the bayou at the camp that was originally built around 1900 and still stands today but no longer owned by my family , when he died in 1976 his obituary said born in Bayou Cook , La. , he started to take me fishing when I was 5 , left out of Empire in his 20 ft flat bottom , v-bowed wooden skiff , 33 hp that started by cranking a knob on top the motor , I think it was called the Evinrude Aqua Lung , took and hour to get to Quarantine Bay , Anderson point which was his favorite spot , there was no ice on the boat for fish or food as he was mostly a winter fisherman and didn't like the summer because of ice as mentioned in another post , for lunch he went to Central Food Store in the quarters and got salted anchovies and sardines salted down in wooden crates and washed them off and soaked them in good olive oil , and got different cheeses , olives , crackers , muffalotta bread , gallon of water and a bottle of Brandy or Muscatel and cookies , live shrimp was never a problem , he knew all the fisherman and usually would pull up to a boat and no money was exchanged , a sack of oysters or fish exchanged at a later date , sometimes drug the 16 ft net and do a 20 lb ball in 10 minutes in little honey holes , the shrimp went in one wet well and the fish went into the other , took about an hour to get to the spot , very loud , rough sometimes and slow ride , he wore the farmer John bottom of the rain suit , used a 16-20 ft long Calcutta cane pole from Tommy Flynn's and file off the barb on the hook , had a cork on the line and a lot of times he would pull the cork all the way to the tip and free line , he would pull the trout in like tuna and let them hit him in the chest while straddling the wet well and they would go right in 99% of the time , he was fishing for money , we would pack both wet wells to the brim , when the live shrimp were gone , the shrimp well started getting filled , then it was shad rigs , one white and one yellow , for white trout and croakers he would cut strips of white tee shirt and dip the hooks in a bucket of chum , rode into Empire and sold all the fish but one ice chest full , and he would give them to all the neighbors and we would eat a few , nothing like today , I can only imagine how it was like for my Grandfather as he use to always say that it isn’t like it use to be , he died when I was 18 and now 40 years later I am saying it ———Ironically I never fished with my other grandfather till I was about 25 and I started taking him , he was a good catcher but not a boatsman by no means , he was a lot of fun to fish with and had great lunches and good talk , what I would give for some audio recordings of some fishing trips
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   CaptJS
Maybe SF loop can best show the now and the good old days. He leave the dock MG and there is a morning fog no problem he turns on the GPS and follows the track to GI. He get[s to the bait shop boats every where and he can only dock nose up and boat may swing no problem puts down Power Pole and boat is safe. He then puts live bait in a built in live well and ice in this build in ice chest. On to the beach and power pole down first set no fish. Get's a report killing the trout other end of GI pick up power pole and in a min. or two he is there catching fish. After an hour he thinks he hears thunder checks his radar on cell phone no problem storm moving away ends his limit. Then follow track back to landing no he spins a prop calls sea tow and says needs help. While he waits turns on the LSU game and puts his air cooled wind fan and top up drinks a cold one. Now compare this to the good old days with the same problems case closed.
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...you never know how a 'post ' will turn out but this one caused a lot of 'realization' all 'ya old farts must wear the same hats 'Old Guys Rule'...Cheers
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   JOHN C.
lanco1...I knew Huey Daigle (he lived on Henican Pl.-he was retired from Air Force and was a computer-programmer using punch-cards) and Mr. Breaux ('old man-breaux'). Huey and I trawled together for many years in both Lake Borgne and especially Lake Pontchartrain...his 25' Jefferson (radar on top of cabin) was named 'The Fishing Fool'! I fished with him for many years along with his son Ronnie both aboard his small Carolina skiff and even moreso in his Lafitte-skiff when we made over night trips to East-Bay catching as many as 21 48-qt Igloo boxes of white trout...just before Thanksgiving. We used to launch at Elzey's in Venice. After his death, Huey's daughter (Jeannine-she worked for American Cancer Society), she started giving spaghetti benefits at her home on Minnesota Dr. for many years during which time-Huey's wife (Betty) passed away and the benefits stopped all together! John Castelluccio, Jr.
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   lanco1
That's him John C, I grew up down the street. My dad is Mike Gremillion. I just caught the very end of the East Bay trips. Caught a lot of shrimp back then. I remember Huey calling us over in code having us drop a net without testing and then telling us to pick up after 30 minutes. My dad thought he was joking. There was 600# of shrimp in that trawl, it was all we could do to dip and pick the ball before it started to spoil. Another day we ran in march to some pipeline behind stump and Huey passed out crappie jigs and sure enough we caught trout! He was one hell of a fisherman.
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   lanco1
Huey was also the only man I ever knew who carried a spare axel for his boat trailer.
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   JOHN C.
Any relation to John Gremillion (RIP) aka 'Holy Mackeral' ???
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Capt. JS;
Only a couple caveats to your post on my loop. Get to Bridgeside and put corkers in live well (Garbage Can on swim platform), ice is already in a 96qt. Igloo. Make a couple of calls (then on VHF now on cell phone) to see if anyone is already on a hot bite. Run the Elmers shoreline watching the break looking for first set, come in quite and drop anchor via windlass with 10' of chain and boat if safe (No power pole on the Formula). Stick and move 10 miniutes at a time until get on the bite or get called in by friend. Starts to get late and hot, put up bimini and turn on 50 degree water mister system. See some boomers building, look at the tops of the thunder storms and determine their direction of travel (top of the cloud shaped like an anvil points in the direction it's traveling) and if really bad check the radar on the phone. Maybe run 100 miles, but have a great day and maybe catch a limit, but for sure be away from the concrete jungle. My friend Holy Mackereal (RIP), would rib me about how many thousands of fish I would run by to fish the beach, but he'd be the first to say not to argue with the results! Spin a prop heading in, change it with spare on board, only call SeaTow if dead in the water. Otherwise you nailer it!
ARRIVE ALIVE!!!
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