12/30/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Those That Know Me Asked For It, So All Of You, Know Me Or Not, Are
Going to Get It - Extreme, X Rated, Hard Core Fishing Tales

Blowing Money
Writing about losing my billfold by falling in a hole on the Gallatin River reminded me
that wasn't really the first time I lost my billfold and money fishing. It happened a few
years before that except I was fishing on my 25 foot Ranger saltwater, center
console boat. I have written about this before somewhere. I thought it was on this
site but I cannot find it. There's only two short of a thousand articles but anyway,
you may have read this before. I also have a fishing log book that has notes about
this in it but I cannot find it at the time. Angie has arranged my files so I can find
things easy. It always works out just the opposite of that for me.

I think we were fishing a tournament out of Dauphin Island Alabama. If it was there, it
started just inside the ultra wide pass at the mouth of Mobile Bay but I'm not positive
I'm thinking of the right tournament where this event happened. It could have been
one of the many I fished out of Pensacola Pass. I do well remember the episode I'm
about to describe. This also reminded me of two other events worth telling that
happened near the same location if it was the Pensacola Inlet.

Rick Carrie, Lloyd White, Bill Hudson and myself (my tournament crew) were on my
boat. It was a flat calm sea, as flat as the Gulf can get, not at all typical of a pass or
inlet into a bay. It was just past daylight and I had both the 225 Mercs trimmed out
and was moving along almost 50 knots (about 57 MPH)  If you wonder how I
remember that, it's easy - as fast as it would run in calm seas. The boat has a
rocket launcher with a seat in front of it just wide enough for two people. Lloyd and
Bill were standing left and right of Rick and I. We were sitting up against the
launcher seat. The seat is about billfold high when you are standing up and you
don't really sit down on these types of seats when you are running the boat. In
normal seas, you couldn't stay on it at all. If you so, your feet are well off the deck.
You just lean up against it most of the time.

All of a sudden, when things seemed to be going prefect, Rick snapped his head
around and yelled, "what was that". I pulled back on the throttles thinking something
was wrong. The last time he did that, one of my two $1,000.00 electric downriggers
fell off the boat, but that's another story. He said, "I saw a flash of something fly by
my head. Everyone else, including me said they didn't see anything. About the time I
started to power back up, Rick said, "Hold Up". He spotted a bill that was under the
lockers at the stern of the boat in the deck overflow trough about to go out the drain
hole into the water. It hit me. I reached for my billfold. It was gone. Then Bill or Lloyd
spotted it up under the edge of the lockers at the stern under the saltwater on top of
the washdown hose.  When one of them handed it to me, I saw it was completely
empty. There wasn't a single bill of any kind in it.

Well folks, when I fished a tournament, I carried quite a bit of cash to pay all of our
expenses. I didn't let my crew pay for anything and I shared any winning with them.
Ranger paid our entrance fees and some of the expense but I handled much of it. I
had all our boat fuel money, which with a 200 gallon tanks cost about $300 bucks a
day back then. Now that would be $600.00 a day. There were two fishing days to
go, plus I had to get the boat back to Panama City. Of course, we all wanted to be
able to eat during the few days we would be there. I don't remember the amount of
money (its in my log book somewhere) but it was several hundred dollars and was
mostly all in one-hundred dollar bills. I'm guessing but I think it was about 7 or 8
hundred dollars.

I looked back behind us and you could see a line of bubbles where the boat had run
in the slick water of the Gulf as far as you could see. We were almost out of sight of
land. I wanted to go on but they talked me into slowly running back down the line of
bubbles to look for the money. Rich said that he had dropped money in the water
before fishing and it would float for a short time. He was right. Some had sank down
just below the surface in the clear gulf water but once we spotted the first bill, we
quickly found more. When we saw one, everyone would yell, "be a hundred'. It was
all floating in a line with the bubbles. I had a small tuna tower on this Ranger with a
small engine control console on the tower. The person in the tower, Bill or Lloyd one
or the other, spotted the bills first and could back the boat right up along side the
money and Rick would pick them up with the edge of the gaff as the boat eased
back down the foam line. We didn't move fast but not very slow either because we
knew it was all sinking. If I remember correctly, we got it all back but $200.00. I do
know we got most all of it back, thanks to my crew. I was so disgusted I wanted to
run on because we were losing tournament fishing time. It was really an
unbelievable deal to us and I'm sure it is to those of you reading this. The word
"lucky" isn't a good enough description of it. It was incredible. I'm pretty good at
blowing money, but this time I got most of it back.

I always knew the rocket launcher seat tended to push my billfold up out of my
pocket. I had actually spotted it out of my pocket on the seat before that event
occurred. I usually wore either Tarponware clothing, or Ranger Boat clothes, both of
which furnished me plenty of shirts, shorts and paints. I think all the pockets
had either zippers or buttons. I know my Tarponware clothes had zippers but
that didn't mean I always kept them zipped. By the way, I'm wondering
what happened to the Tarponware company. It was excellent clothing for fishing.
The company was located in Jackson Hole Wyoming but the clothing was designed  
for saltwater fishing. Most of their ads showed saltwater fly anglers. The company
sent me about a dozen complete outfits.

From that point on I kept my pockets closed  - that is, in the boat. I didn't a few years
later at Yellowstone on the Gallatin River. I'll tell the other exciting event that
happened near the same area in tomorrow's article. Only yours truly can scare a
Nascar driver half to death driving. At least I can in a boat.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh