Hurricane Dorian Relief
Snook Fishing with katy Hendee
Celebrating the Life of a lost friend and great man -Theophile Bourgeois
On The Cover - Stephanie Lynn
Underwater editor at FFM
Family Fishing with Lewis and Cherlyn Arnold
Readers Features and More
Stephanie Lynn pG 3
A Tribute to Theophile PG 19
Against The Grain Charters pG 39
Family Fishing with Lewis &cHERLYN PG 43
Southerland Outdoors pG 47
Snookered - katy Hendee pG 53
hUBBARDS mARINA rEPORTS PG 59
hURRICANE RELIEF - TWO CONCHS PG 72
sTEPHANIE HUTCHESON PG 84
GOOSEBUMPS PG 90
READERS FEATURES PG 99
nICOLe's FISHING bED & bREAKFAST PG 110
In This Issue
When I told people that I chose to volunteer 3 weeks of my time to live on a sailboat in the Bahamas with 16 teenagers ranging from 12 yrs old to 19 yrs old, most people thought I was crazy! I might be crazy, but children are the future. It is our job to equip them as well as we possibly can with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to ensure the next generation is one of improvement.
Stephanie Lynn and Her
My passion is enjoying our oceans, protecting them and helping to fix the destruction we have caused them. As a result, I feel responsible for getting actively involved with our children in hopes of a bright future for our blue planet
With that being said, I was off on a 3 week adventure sailing the remote island of the Bahamas with a group of excited teenagers. During that time, I taught every student how to freedive (diving using breath holding techniques without the use of scuba equipment), how to identify different species of fish, how to spearfish and how to clean/ prepare fish for eating. Each student achieved a 2 min breath hold and dove to 55 ft depth comfortably on one breath! They learned about protected fish species, bag limits, and ethical hunting practices. They learned to only harvest what we would eat for dinner that night and how to prepare the fish for everyone on the boat
The students got to wake up before sunrise and hike over remote islands to watch the sun rise over the water together and build a bon fire before sun set as we watched the sun set over the ocean. They got to interact with swimming pigs, hungry iguanas, and curious sea turtles. We also dove with sharks on almost every dive. The students learned how to identify different species of sharks, their behaviors, and the importance of these top predators to our marine ecosystems. We went on hikes, jumped off cliffs and dove shipwrecks.
* These pictures are from a variety of places from her travels , Classes are taught in several different locations
You big bully
Jessica Rafferty had zero experience before taking her level 1 freediving cert and she rocked it! maxing out on both static time and depth , the next day she was swimming with bullsharks like a mermaid. So proud of my students
This trip is an example of what I am hoping to do for the rest of my life! I am a PADI level 1 & 2 freedive instructor. I also teach spearfishing, lead shark education dives and do private charters. My goal is to continue to give people the opportunity to accomplish things they never thought were possible and have life changing experiences. If you want more information or to get involved, check out my website
Link to Website
Underwater Editor \at FFM
Steph was born and raised in Florida and spent her childhood snorkeling and scuba diving the local waters. She attended Rollins College where she studied Marine Biology and worked as a Dive Master teaching scuba diving and marine biology to teenagers in the British Virgin Islands. Steph then continued on to get her Masters in Business with focuses on International Relations and Management.
* These pictures are from a variety of places from her travels , Classes are taught in several different locations
After 8 years climbing the corporate ladder, Steph left her position as the Vice President of an international corporation to refocus her life on what was most important to her. By creating the means to work remotely, Steph enabled herself to unlock the freedom to pursue her passions of diving, ocean conservation and educating others on the underwater world and what we can do to enjoy it, protect it and live in harmony with the most important, and at-risk, ecosystem on earth. After a couple months of professional training, Steph became the first American female PADI certified Freedive instructor to successfully complete the instructors course.
Now, Steph spends her time teaching level 1 & 2 PADI Freediving Courses, doing shark education dives, teaching and leading spearfishing trips, and working with ocean conservation organizations all over the world. She has a passion for living an ocean to table life by spearfishing sustainably selected fish for her family and friends and currently holds the women's world record for Mahi Mahi on pole spear. Her mission is to continue to help educate others, allowing them to experience the underwater world and get involved in protecting our oceans for future generations.
Credit to the photographers:
@andremusgrove Andre Musgrove
@caymanjason Jason Washington
@chaddybags Chad Bagwell
@szjanko Szilard Janko
Catch U later Brother
Theophile Jean Antoine Bourgeois III
Born July 10,1964
Left this world on August 18, 2019
On August 19th I woke up like any other day sat on the back porch with my cup of coffee it started to read the news on my Laptop the first story was that a seaplane pilot was reported lost over the Chandeleur islands Louisiana, my first response was to send a message to Ginger to ask if they were okay along with a copy of the article. After I sent it I opened up the news at NOLA to find out more about the story and that's when I read that our friend Theophile Bourgeois was gone .My heart sank, This can't be True
Theophile Jean Antoine Bourgeois III
I immediately deleted the message before she received it and sat trying to compose another one it took what seemed like an hour to write maybe 10 words. All I could think of to send her was "Ginger, "I'm so very very sorry". I still could not believe it happened and hoped she would tell me it was wrong
A few months before he had sent me a video of him taking off over the Bayou at sunrise , I sent a message "I want to do that" and got a typical Theophile response ."Lets do it "
He was a Charming and endearing human being, he was smart , he was passionate about his work he was kind , in my opinion this is the greatest quality another human being can have, kindness transcends everything.
Link to Video
So anyway I promised Ginger I would not make this sad and it would be positive story and a celebration of his life so here we go
I first ran across Theophile before we started the magazine, "who's this guy from Louisiana always catching fish"? So I started to follow him on social media colorful guy always had something humorous to say and always very informative so when we started the magazine he and Ginger were probably the first people I contacted even though they were not in Florida I wanted him to do a fishing report every month because I know we have a lot of people to travel back and forth ,which he did and we got to know more about the humor and the person that was Theophile Bourgeois.
I'm going to include pictures and videos in this article from his travels with Ginger to Alaska ,British Columbia, Las Vegas and others with some notes so you can pick up some of the things in these videos one of my favorites was when they sent us a video for the magazine of him wading ,with storm clouds in the background and at the end of it the bends over to the camera and says. "Are you scared cuz if you scared stay home" And that one statement pretty much defines the man that I knew.
Theophile with Ginger and his mom Ms Helen
Fishing with his favorite ladies
Body textThis was the first Fishing Report Theophile did for us in 2017 , Listen and learn . Informative with great tips on Fishing for Reds and Speckled Trout and as always it was all Theophile , you can even get a little info on the Pirate Jean Lafitte
Don Dubuc reflects on the life of Theophile Bourgeois
Ginger and Theophile with another Huge Redfish PS You gotta love Blackened Redfish , If you have never tried it you should
We even got Reports from Alaska, this
is From July/ Aug 2018 , Colorful as
always , respected and accepted by all
no matter where they lived . Theophile
always fit in . Click the link below
Sometimes the fishing the fishing reports had personal messages ..lol
listen to the end
" Down here in Southeast Louisiana . Enjoying life , Just wanted to Share it with you " Theophile Bourgeois
Cajun renaissance man, Theophile Jean Antoine Bourgeois III, left this world on August 18, 2019 doing what he loved in his Seaplane in a tragic incident. He took his Captain’s oath to the grave, ensuring the safety of his two passengers over his own in one last act of nobility. Born July 10,1964 to Theophile Bourgeois Jr and Helen Sievers Bourgeois. Theophile was a man who mastered everything he touched, his hands and mind knew no limits. An avid fisherman and outdoorsman, master carpenter, cunning businessman and entrepreneur, Inventor, and larger than life television personality; Bourgeois was a patient father and grandfather who always took the time to teach his son, and grandsons everything he knew and was always eager to share his knowledge with anyone willing to listen
Theophile Jean Antoine Bourgeois III
Theophile lived his life every day with his soulmate Ginger Jenne by his side. Life is not a spectator sport , He knew how to live
. He built his sport fishing empire Bourgeois Fishing Charters from the ground up and set the standard for those to follow. Always re-inventing himself and his business strategies, Bourgeois was in a constant state of self improvement and was always eager to help everyone around him with a smile. Anyone who knew him, knew of his sincerity and compassion. A man whose work ethic was only rivaled by his humor and kindness; anyone who crossed paths with Theophile, was forever left with a story that they were eager to share. He is survived by his mother Helen Bourgeois, son Theophile Bourgeois IV, sister Lisa Smith (Chris), grandsons Theophile V and Jameson Bourgeois, his beloved soul mate Ginger Jenné and her three sons, Derek “Coon dog” Billiot, Arec and Alec Prestenbach as well as many, many loved ones..
My soul mate will never be replaced; he’s one of a kind. There’s no man like him & could never be. Don’t even try to imitate him Daddy-o. Two nights before his passing he was talking about the pilot who had passed away & said “Don’t feel bad for him, at least he died doing what he loved” & I now feel that was said as a pre message to us all for my angel man going to his eternal life. The love & passion this man showed me was perfect in every crazy quirky way & the private videos he made proves that. The look on his face when he took selfies of us said how he felt; no words needed. To miss someone so bad your heart, soul & muscles hurt is proof of the true love I’m so blessed to of had in my life. Rest In Peace my sweet angel Ginger .
We and the other Media look forward to seeing Ginger and the Family keep the business running and thriving I am sure T would agree
Link to Website
Capt. Theophile's wish was for Bourgeois Fishing Charters to continue to be a world class fishing outfitter that provides true southern hospitality & cajun culture, giving our customers a one of a kind dining experience & lodge with an amazing adventure in the bayou's of Southern Louisiana. So come celebrate Capt Theophile's life with us here at The Cajun Vista with some amazing fishing. Call 504-341-5614 to book your trip now. The boats are fueled up, the rods are spooled and the Captains are ready to take you on your adventure!!! www.neworleansfishing.com
This message is From me T , Just my way of saying good bye ( for now ) Fly High
Robert Warner - FFM
Against The Grain Charters
305 815 2383
Family Fishing with Lewis and Cherlyn Arnold
It's hard to believe how fast time flies. What happen to summer? August was here before we knew it and it certainly has been a busy month getting ready for back to school. Coral started Kindergarten and Lyla fifth grade. Cannon turned three in July and will start school next year. I dont know how we got here, it was a blink of an eye and here we are. We had a great summer.
The little Arnold's got out on the water and we caught many fish and many memories were made. Their little smiles when reeling in a fish will always be embedded in my mind. The best thing about these memories is making them together! Cherlyn Arnold
September is here and we are in for ever changing weather here in Florida. Hot afternoons and rainy evenings. So, how do you fish them?
Remember, as the water rises, so do the bass. During the morning, concentrate on shallow flats with drop offs close. The fish will come out of the deep to feed in the shallows when cool. During the hot afternoons, target cover. Boat docks, shade, vegetation, even deeper brush piles.
Today I went to Lake Eustis on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Lake Eustis is the central part of the chain. It’s connected to three other lakes Lake Harris, Lake Griffin, and Lake Dora.
Lake Eustis is probably the most used recreational lake of the Chain. However, the bass fishing here is phenomenal!!! Many Florida trophy catches come from here and you can see multiple tournaments being held here every weekend.
So to start my adventure on Lake Eustis, I started using a Spro hollow bodied popping frog. Being that the water was murky because of all the rain, I chose a dark color. I was targeting hydrilla clumps next to boat docks. Third cast and BAM!!!! A nice 5lber!!!!.
I then changed to do a little canal fishing. I chose the canal because of all the shade. Targeting shade and docks, I used a Storm Rattling Chug Bug and pulled out a couple more. One surprised me because he was almost as small as my lure lol. I caught 5 out of that canal within 2 hours!!
Freshwater editor - FFM
A lot of people ask me, “do fish bite during a hurricane?” Well let’s find out!!!
Tuesday September 3rd 2019. Hurricane Dorian is almost parallel to the Miami area which means high pressure and strong gusts of wind. What does that do for the fishing?
I went out on Lake Yale on the Harris Chain of Lakes to find out
I put in the boat at about 5:45 pm. The wind was a steady 10 mph with gusts in the upper 20-30 mph range. With wind gusts that high, I didn’t want to venture too far from the boat ramp, so I used my trolling motor and trolled out of the canal into open water. The wind was pushing me straight back into the canal, so I had to put the Minn Kota on high. I traveled out to a island that served as a good wind break. Casting out to the current that was going by the island with a top water popper (Storm Rattling Chug Bug), I got a great explosion!!! Yes a nice 6ler!!! What a donkey!!! I was out there less than 30 minutes
Was that just a fluke? First fish within 30 minutes was a 6 lber. I had to find out and see. I kept fishing the hydrilla patches that were blocking the wind and BAM!!! Another nice fish on topwater!!!
I’m totally jacked at this point. Ones by chance, twos a pattern, and the pattern is with this high pressure from The hurricane, these fish are going crazy!!! So I kept trying to make sure it was right. BAM another one!!! In less than 2 1\2 hrs I caught over 10 fish with the smallest being about a pound and a half. Fishing is fantastic before a hurricane!!! The pressure is a major factor. Remember to follow your weather advisories, but if you can get out there and get out in the outdoors. Southerland Outdoors!!!
Go Get Snookered !
By Katy Hendee
Go Get Snookered !
Here in Florida we love our snook--anglers here take a special pride in snook fishing. But let me start by introducing the critter himself--Mr.Snook, also known as linesider, or as my friends and I fondly call it: The Snookalophagus. They are even called soap fish in the islands like Puerto Rico and The Bahamas due to their slimy skin and also because their skin is said to taste like soap (haven't personally tried it because…well, who wants soap in their mouth!). In the islands they prefer to harvest a fish in which they can utilize the whole catch; they don't care for the skin so they don't care to kill it. In Florida when it’s snook season we eat “slot” snook (legal size) and take the skin off. The meat is white with a medium texture, and it’s softer than swordfish but tougher than mahi. I'd say grill it with lemon slices and seasoning to seal in some juice and freshness!
One of the things I LOVE about snook fishing is anyone who has the capability to catch large game fish from the shore or from a bridge, can fish for snook. No boat needed. When you catch them from a bridge it requires a certain kind of finesse and skill. You don't want it to get caught on a piling or a bridge and if it’s a big one like ol' Betsy the 40-incher I caught in Lighthouse Point, FL a few months back, she'll take ya’ for a spin and you'll have to pull some maneuvers to get her out of the water unhooked and then released (she was not slot which is anywhere between 28” and 32” so she had to be released). I’ve caught them around jetties by the shore in Dania and Hillsboro, where the ocean snook are shinier, which I always get a kick out of because they shine like gold. I’ve caught them as juveniles in the swampy salt marshes in southwest Florida off of bridges with little fly jigs. Snook are everywhere!
Tight lines, my fishing friends!
A good time to get the monsters, I'd say, is during the mullet run which can start right around fall. Large schools of mullet will swarm the beaches and canals. The snook always seem ravenous early in the morning. Large snook will cruise the shorelines towards inlets in the morning searching for schools of bait, and not just mullet, but pilchards as well. I’ve caught them on large deep diving Rapala lures that mimic mullet, which always gives me a little ego boost to prove that I have some skill using fake bait to get them--they're not exactly dumb. Another fun aspect is some of the fishing tournaments hosted for snook fishing. In my town, Reel Deal Bait and Tackle likes to have a snook fishing tournament (which I will be joining) with some nice prizes and I hope you can come, too, next year! I can discuss snook all day but you have to go out and try it yourself, whether for sport or harvest or both! I hope you have fun when you do!
Florida Fishermen Magazine
More great redfish action around tampa bay during the day and in the passes at night this past week. We had some really active redfish schools feeding along the mangrove shore lines on live shrimp or live pinfish during the day. During the day they are found in large schools around the flats and mangrove shore lines and the lighter tackle is key. I would recommend using 15-20lb floro leader and small 3ot circle hook with lighter spinning reel and 15lb braided line with a 4-5ft leader tied on with a line to line knot. Remember, these schools are very spooky meaning you have to let the fish come to you because if you chase them or motor into them they will spread out and not want to feed for you! At night, we are seeing them inside the pass while anglers are snook fishing with live shrimp or pinfish we are catching them even with heavier tackle around the docks and bridges. Redfish seem to bite better around the bottom and in the pass and on the grass flats they are feeding best on the outgoing tide this past week.
The snook are feeding well yet again this past week in the passes at night. The live pigfish in the 4-6inch range, large live shrimp or small to medium pass crabs are the best live bait options for the snook. If you are using artificial lures the flairhawk style jigs, DOA shrimp or the hard crankbaits like a rapala xrap or bomber lipped plugs work best. The DOA shrimp are best at the very end or start of the tides, once the water really starts going those lighter lures are tough to work realistically through the current. While the hard crank baits and the flairhawks are much easier to work anytime during the tides. The snook bite has been very good this past week feeding on both the incoming and outgoing but we notice the outgoing tide when the bait is flushing they seem to hit the live bait best
Plenty of mangrove snapper around the bridges, piers and jetties right now feeding on the whitebait and pieces of shrimp. Lighter tackle is key as they are very smart leader shy fish and the lightest weights possible at the very start of the outgoing tide is what we find works best to target these mangrove snapper.
Tarpon are still around the passes and beaches right now we are finding large schools of them at night around the bridge lights and during the day they cruise the beaches in smaller groups finding some live bait to feed on. When they are rolling they are not actively feeding but we have been finding them early morning in big schools working the flushing bait on the outgoing tides right in the light lines of the bridges.
This week we have been finding the mackerel on the beaches feeding on the trollers on the way out to fish near shore. Seems like around the morning time the mackerel are right on the beaches then as the day progresses they move further from shore and we run into them around 6-10 miles off the beaches. We find they are liking the number one or two planners with a squid spoon or king spoon around 12-18ft behind the planner with around 40-60lb test between the planner and spoon. These mackerel have been a little sparse but they will be becoming more and more prolific as the cooler time of year approaches.
Near Shore Continued
The hogfish are still just starting to roll, we are catching quite a decent number but most have been under sized. However, we have been lucky on some of our private fishing charters, 5 hour half days and 10 hour all days to catch some nice keeper hogfish and as the water continues to cool the bite will only get better and better and the big boys will be more willing to cooperate. Keep in mind, hogfish are social species typically when you find one there will be 5-7 more around so even if you catch a small one you typically can get some others that may even be larger! Light tackle, live shrimp and lots of patience is key when hogfish hunting. They are the very last fish to feed on a spot as the more aggressive fish will be the ones feeding to start but once things slow down that’s when you start hog hunting instead of moving the next spot.
Near Shore Continued
Lane snapper have been biting well for us too around that deeper near shore water around 70-100 foot of water and they love some small cubes of cut squid wing or live shrimp on 30-40lb leader and 4ot hooks. These aren’t the biggest snapper but we have been seeing some large lane snapper in the 2-3lb range. They have to be 10 inches to keep but we have been finding some up to 18 inches fairly consistently on our private fishing charters and 10 hour all days that are fishing that deeper near shore water.
Mangrove snapper bite has been okay near shore they are mixed in with the lane snapper and hogfish but feed best in the deepest near shore waters around the lane snapper. I like to use the threadfin plugs with the double snell rig for the best chances at catching some consistent near shore mangrove snapper. Natural presentation, holding bottom and quick hook sets are all super important when it comes to mangrove snapper fishing
Red grouper bite near shore has been a little better for us lately especially right around 90-110 foot of water on the squid strips, live pinfish, or squirrelfish for bait with 60lb test and a 6ot hook. However, it’s still not as good as it should be this time of year only a handful being caught on those longer near shore private charters or the 10 hour all day boats.
Amberjack are still open until end of October and this past weekend was the best amberjack fishing we have seen in a year or more! The weather was very rough and rainy but that didn’t stop our advanced anglers aboard our 44 hour full moon trip from getting out there and tackling plenty of these hard fighting fun to catch amberjack. They have been a little weird lately hanging off the sides of the wrecks or springs and hiding out in the deeper waters. However, we have them dialed in now and were looking forward to the coming months left in this short Amberjack season. Big tackle, big live baits or vertical jigs and big patience and strength are all required to land one of these 40-90lb monster jacks!
We are still catching some nice gag grouper out there in the deeper offshore waters around 200ft of water but they are definitely a little slower than they were around the end of June and early July but the scamp grouper have filled in the gaps for us as we are seeing lots of nice scamp grouper coming in too around these same depths with the live pinfish.
Red grouper are spotty but were finding some fat red grouper out there around 160-200ft of water. Lately we have even been catching a few nice ones at night too which is a little out of the norm, but hey we are happy to see some nice grouper either way. They love longer strips of cut squid wings, live pinfish, and squirrelfish too!
The blackfin tuna are still fairly prolific offshore and the kingfish are mixed in too making it important to have a flat line or pitch rod ready while offshore bottom fishing. The trolling has been slow this week but that is mostly due to the super bumpy conditions we had this past weekend on the 44 hour full moon trip. In the 8-10ft seas the trolling conditions were not optimal but when its calmer the trolling is typically much more active.
Enjoy learning more about fishing? Attended a seminar or watched our LIVE Q&A show Sunday nights but want to see the tips and tricks in action on the boat? We have filmed a mangrove snapper, grouper and red snapper mastery course with Salt Strong and they built me my own private page to give my fishing friends steep discounts on these crazy cool courses... PLUS, you also have the opportunity to become an insider member and join the community with great giveaways, raffles, the strike score tool, spot dissections, tons of free fishing videos and tips for inshore, near shore and offshore and MORE this is a super cool family of anglers and the positivity and openness of anglers is wild in this group... in the community people share what they caught, when the caught it, what tide they caught it, what bait or lure they caught it one and often WHERE they caught it too... you HAVE to check this out if you like fishing: https://SaltStrong.com/Hubbard
Link to Website
Bahamian Relief Efforts
We made it back from our Bahama Mission Trip and it was a huge success. Seeing mass devastation was very tough but we have experienced it ourselves living in the Florida Keys. We supplied a lot of families with goods and rescued the Chief (Mayor) form Sweetings Cay who stayed on the roof of his house for almost 2 days until the water subsided. More stories and videos to come and we will be doing another mission trip in 2 weeks. A huge thanks to our team @twoconchs @sweatequitysportfishing Capt. John Strama @marathon_mermaid Marathon Fire Rescue personal Mike Card @warrensapp @realtorleanyscarlson @reeffreak #twoconchs
MM50 Relief Project Jack Carlson
Two Conchs Charters
This was one of our drop off points in Sweetings Cay since we had a local with us guiding us to where the food and water was needed most. No one has been by there since the storm until we showed up. They were totally out of liquids and we found this gentleman searching through all the debris looking for things to drink. He has onboard beers & soda that he found to stay somewhat hydrated. We loaded up the small town to get them by for a few more days with water, chips, canned food and even our own @publix subs. @twoconchs @sweatequitysportfishing @marathon_mermaid @realtorleanyscarlson @warrensapp 📷 @mfinmedia
Photos just sent to me from our contact in Freeport, Grand Bahamas. YOUR supplies that you donated are providing for a community (60 plus people) where there are only 5 houses that are somewhat livable and everyone in that area are sleeping in those 5 Houses & Tents. We are now up to 5 boats @twoconchs @sweatequitysportfishing @reeffreak @swaggerfishing @honey_maker_fishing on September 19th-21st we will be making more Mission Runs to these people in need.
We will keep you updated on the progress of our new friends at all times while we are making these runs. We want to continue these runs across to the Bahamas into October as well.
#twoconchs #bahamas #bahamasrelief
Thank you to all who help, volunteer and donate Jack Carlson -Two Conchs Chsrters
MM50 Relief Project will be collecting the following supplies for the Bahamas. Capt. Jack Carlson and his Two Conchs fleet from the Keys will be transporting tomorrow and Thursday for immediate relief. If you can donate any of these items please contact me. If you are out of state we can always use gift cards to shop for these items or you can donate to www.mm50reliefproject.org
Highly-rated organizations providing aid and relief
Click here to find out how you can help the Bahamas Relied Efforts in your area
Marathon, Florida Keys Sports Fishing
Welcome aboard Two Conchs Charters with second generation fishing guide, Capt. Jack Carlson (18 Years of being a Professional Keys Fishing Guide) and his son, a third generation Keys Fishing Guide, Capt. Austin Carlson in Marathon, Florida Keys. We provide Florida Keys fishing charters at affordable rates and arrange multi-day fishing and lodging packages. Aboard our open fisherman boats with twin engines, we get there fast so you have more fishing time. Having been born and raised fishing in the Florida Keys, Capt. Jack has followed in the footsteps of his father, a 20 year Keys fishing charter guide in Marathon, Florida. Now Capt. Austin is doing the same as his father did and is continuing on in the family business. We will provide you with a quality fishing Charter every time!! Fish with us once and we promise you will be back to fish with us every time you come back and visit the Florida Keys.
Florida Bass Angler Makes Championships
By: Steve Wayne
Stephanie Hutcheson Tournament Angler
FLW bass tournament angler Stephanie Hutcheson is having a stellar year! Going into the final few tournaments of the season, Hutcheson is ranked the number 1 angler in the BFL’s Gator Division as a co angler qualifying her to compete in the BFL regional championship tournament on Oct. 10-12th on Lake Seminole in Georgia. In addition, Stephanie has qualified to fish in the Costa Series Championship, Oct. 31st-Nov. 2nd on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky by placing 14th in points in FLW’s Costa Series as a co angler. She’s catching bass, cashing checks and is enjoying a great tournament season!
How does Hutcheson compete and excel as an angler on tour? She breaks down the reason for her recent success. “The first-year fishing competitively, I didn’t have the confidence that I needed. I listened to dock talk and it affected me” explains Hutcheson. “This second year, I changed my mindset. I fished more confidently and didn’t listen to what everyone else was saying. I just fished, grinded it out and put my head down. I used what I was confident in and just went fishing” explains the Gillz Performance Apparel Pro. I went into each tournament with a game plan and stuck with it. I used productive techniques for me which included finesse baits, topwater lures and fishing a Tightlines UV Boogie worm.
Going into the BFL and Costa Series Championships, Hutcheson plans on doing what she’s comfortable with and fishing with her confidence baits and techniques. For the BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole, Hutcheson has fished the lake before and has a lot of confidence, “Lake Seminole fishes very similar to many bodies of water and I like it!” she explains. For the Costa Championship on Lake Cumberland, the Tightlines UV Pro has very little experience in fishing that part of the country. “I’ve been doing a lot of research on Lake Cumberland and other similar water bodies in that region and I plan on applying baits and techniques that I have comfortable with”.
Stephanie is sponsored by Gillz Performance Apparel, Calcoast Fishing, Tightlines UV, Woo Tungsten and MHX Custom Rods. Follow Stephanie on IG: @stephanie hutchesonfishing and on FB: Stephanie Hutcheson Fishing.
More from Stephanie in Our Next Issue !!
Good Luck in the Final Tournaments
Goose bumps only happen when someone or something is number one for that exact moment in time. I got the biggest case of goose bumps I ever had when I saw my son catching his first fish. My bumps were magnified because my son, Logan, had never been out of his wheel chair. He is a sandy haired boy with big brown eyes and he never asks a question without intently listening for the answer. He is unintentionally different in many ways.
Two weeks earlier, Logan and his mom gave me a Sony video camera for my birthday. He was so proud that he helped pick it out - He is such a good kid. I wanted to do something special with him, just a father-son outing; I thought going fishing on a big sports fishing boat would be something he would never forget.
Three hours after meeting Captain Red on the docks, we were miles out to sea, on the deck of a 48-foot sport fishing boat. I chose Captain Red and his boat because of the friendly way he greeted us when we passed him on the docks. His round belly, bushy red beard, and a smile that came more from his eyes, sealed the deal.
Goosebumps by Rick Nelson
We’d been trolling a short time when Logan’s fishing pole doubled over. The line being pulled from the reel so fast made the clicker sound like one continuous screaming noise. Something strong was on the end. Still in his wheelchair, nine-year-old Logan had hooked a big one. The first mate took the pole and set the hook. Then he stood very close to Logan and synchronized every action in the fight with Logan’s fish. He looked at me and tried to give me the pole but I was to busy, fumbling to get my new camera out of the case. The first mate took 99.9 % of the fight from the shark. He let Logan turn the handle on the reel a few times, and he half way gave Logan the pole when he could, for the moments that really mattered. My boy was grinning so much it looked like he was in pain. My arms and legs shook as I tried to film the action. This was a once in a lifetime event for us and I knew it.
After a 40-minute battle, the shark surrendered along side the boat. The first mate grunted out the words,"Yup, black fin." Everyone squeezed against the starboard rail looking over the side at the now dead tired warrior of a fish. He had fought for his life and now barely moved. Logan wanted to see. Captain Red pulled at the straps of velcro that held his chair locked tight to the deck. He released the last one and wheeled Logan to the edge for a closer look.
I was not ready for the reaction my little guy had when he saw the fish. Tears dripped down his face. Then he yelled, “We killed him, we killed him!" My goose bumps were gone. I stood there defeated with my arms by my side. I looked at the Captain, not realizing my camera was still on and recording the sad crying sounds and the deck at my feet. Captain Red looked to the first mate, and with nods, there was a silent communication. I tried to regain my composure and started filming again. I saw them maneuvering the submissive shark around towards the back of the boat. The first mate opened the fish door on the back side of the boat. They used this door to slide big tuna and game fish in from the ocean and onto the deck. He brought the shark’s head up to the opened door until it was almost touching the boat. Logan had a perfect view of the massive fish through the door, it was six feet away and right in front of him.
With a pair of long pliers, the first mate threaded a four foot long piece of wire around the hook that was in the shark’s mouth. At the other end, the mate tied a small rope. He looked to the Captain and gave a nod.
Captain Red bent down near Logan and said, "You caught him, he is not dead, he's just worn out. When you are ready to see him swim away I want you to pull this rope with all your might and yank that hook from his mouth, OK?"
I could not believe it and I almost stopped filming. I wanted to step in and say,” No, I don't think this is a good Idea." But, I stopped short of that, not wanting to be the weak link in a manly chain.
Captain Red asked, “Are you ready?"
Logan looked at him and then at the shark. He moved his half closed fist up the rope toward the shark and slowly pulled out the slack. He gripped it tight. He yanked with all his little boy strength, as he had been told to do. The hook shot out of the shark’s mouth and landed right in front of him. Before the hook stopped moving the shark was turning. Slowly it swam down, deep into the water and finally disappeared out of sight.
Cheers and clapping started by the captain and crew were contagious. I was shaking as I panned my camera around the whole boat. I saw smiling faces, then the ocean, and then my little boy Logan. He was the only one not smiling. He was staring at that spot in the water. He had a stern look on his face. He was slowly nodding his head. He looked like he had just accomplished something great and I guess he had. Logan helped a beautiful creature of the ocean live.
Logan is now nineteen years old and still in his wheelchair, and goes to college. He wants to be a teacher. I have no doubt that is what he will be. I’m sure he will be teaching something about the ocean.
We have looked at the film of that day many times, with different degrees of interest. The film ends with me being so excited and rambling on so uncontrollably I forgot to turn off the camera. I put it right in the case with it still recording. The last thing you can see on the film before it goes dark is my arm and my watch. It is 4:35 and my arm has visible goose bumps.
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Florida Fishermen Magazine