Somebody pinch me… The last few weeks have been so incredible that I can’t help but share a few stories. I often hold back on telling too many tales of my travels and fishing opportunities because I don’t want to sound like a braggart. I hate braggarts! Those guys who go on and on about themselves… It makes me want to puke. I mean shut up already. But at the risk of making you want to punch me in the nose, I have to say, life is pretty good right about now and I feel very fortunate to share it with you.
The month of May was a total whirlwind. It started off pretty mellow, just putting in a bunch of hours on the computer as we continue to grow BD and make improvements. I finally got my boat running right thanks to a new carburetor and snuck in a little inshore fishing, but not much. Then I went daytime fishing for swords off of south Florida for the first time in my life. We didn’t catch one, but it was a cool experience fishing like that in the Gulf Stream. I also got the chance to sea trial a 32-foot SeaVee with twin 300 hp Mercury Verados. All I can see is vroom! When they let me grab the controls to that boat, I felt like a kid whose dad just tossed him the keys to the Lincoln Continental for prom night.
Right after that it was off to the Dominican Republic where I fished in the International Cap Cana Billfish Shootout. I happened to meet up with my friends who own the Golden Dolphin Villa on the other side of the country in Cabrera. Mike Seimer and his crew on Marlin Chaser invited me to fish with them and made me a registered angler. It felt pretty cool to be a ringer! We had a blast and caught four whites and two blues in the event. Andy New, my buddy who runs the marina, always shows me a great time down there, but this trip was truly amazing. I ended up rooming with my old buddy Richard Gibson, one of the best photographers in the biz! But here’s the kicker — they put me and Richard in Jack Nicklaus’ house! Can you believe that? I have to say, Jack’s place was pretty sweet with it’s own pool and a butler named Daniel. We brought Daniel fresh fish every day and I think he loved us for it.
After six action-packed days, I finally got home and was ready to get back to reality and focus on work. Then opportunity knocked again. Mike’s son Darryl Seimer called me and said he had a spot for me to fish in the Miami Dolphins charity fishing tournament. He said his friend had a 126-foot Trinity megayacht that they’d be staying on, and we’d be fishing on a 36-foot Yellowfin with triple 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards. This was sort of how the conversation went:
Me: “Dude, are you serious?”
Darryl: “I’m as serious as a heart attack, but I need your answer by tomorrow.”
So I was headed back to Miami. How could I not go? The fishing was tough, but the parties and the people-watching was incredible. I met Jake Long, the number one draft pick a few years ago who plays offensivetackle. We saw him drink a beer out of a pitcher and it didn’t look odd at all, he’s that big! But what a cool guy. I cheersed quarterback Chad Henne, rode an elevator with Brandon Marshall and met a bunch of other players. They were all really cool, but the highlight was when one of them told a Hooters chick that it was my birthday to get her to give me a big hug and kiss. The players got a good laugh out of it, and I got a great photo.
Like I said, it’s been a killer few weeks and I apologize if I’m bragging too much.
“I still can’t believe how lucky I am and I owe it all to my friends in the industry and my position here at BD.”
Nearly all of the active players and several retired guys fished in the tournament. We had Charles “Gator” Bennett on our boat, and man did he make me feel small.
Gator is a retired defensive end and he’s 6-foot-5 and 390 pounds! I’m 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds. There’s a photo with me standing next to him and I look like a five year old. Shaking hands with him was like sticking your hand into the center of a catcher’s mitt. He was so big he couldn’t hardly get the fighting belt on. But Gator did a great job and I think he really had a blast fishing with us. He caught a bunch of dorado and one bonito that was attacked by a six-foot barracuda right next to the boat. The owner, John Devaney, wanted to tease the cuda up and free gaff it. We almost got it, but the cuda managed to evade our efforts (which may have been a blessing in disguise, but man we wanted to slay that thing!).
Through it all I’ve waived the BD flag, passed out stickers and hopefully got the website a few more clicks. It’s all about growing our community and fostering those relationships. So if I have to go to a few tournaments and media events, then I am more than happy to take one for the team!
Next stop is Fort Meyers, Florida, for the annual Yamaha media event. We’ll get to try out some new product and hang out with our friends Chris Fischer and Capt. Brett McBride from “Shark Men.” They’ve been in the area with OCEAN, their mothership in the series on the National Geographic Channel. They’ve been filming some of the monster hammerheads that gorge themselves on the tarpon in Boca Grande Pass every year.
Miami Dolphins Fishing Tournament