I know a couple of guys who are really special. For the sake of anonymity, they’ve asked I call them Mutt & Jeff. This is the nicest pair of fishing buddies you could meet. Yet, if they didn’t have bad luck they wouldn’t have any luck at all. Sure, they’ve caught a few quality fish since we’ve met, but it always seems like when the bite is going off inshore they head offshore. Or when the fish are going crazy to the north they run south.
Mutt regularly joins Jeff aboard his shimmering Carolina Classic. This beamy boat is a beast and tricked out with every conceivable option. I’m not sure if I have ever met an owner who takes more pride in his boat. It seems like Jeff is always cleaning, waxing, polishing or engaging in some sort of preventative maintenance. Yet get this guy away from the dock and it’s one unfortunate blunder after another.
At this point, Mutt was so excited that he asked Jeff to grab his phone and shoot some photos. Jeff happily obliged, knowing no one would believe them without evidence.
In the past 18 months alone, Jeff has hit submerged debris and bent his propellers—twice. He has dealt with numerous fuel issues and literally has his underwater diver and diesel mechanic on speed dial. Jeff has had issues with all sorts of pumps and has even had to replace a windshield wiper motor—three times. Just recently, Jeff shared an experience that really takes the cake. I know this because he keeps his boat docked right next to mine, so we share fish tales often.
The day started for Mutt and Jeff like so many others…heading down to the boat for a thorough inspection before taking her for a run to ensure all systems were in perfect working order. Jeff is meticulous like that. It was a breezy Saturday if I recall and after their usually routine, the guys fired up the diesles and prepared to leave the dock. As Jeff manned the helm, Mutt threw the dock lines and shoved off. What the pair didn’t realize was that the rigging on the starboard outrigger had somehow tangled with the tip of my forward mooring whip. As Jeff shifted into gear and they inched away from the dock, something had to give and it wasn’t my flexible mooring whip. A loud CRACK was the next thing anyone heard. Evidently that is the sound an aluminum outrigger pole makes when it literally bends in half and snaps its supporting brace. OUCH!
Taking the thousand-dollar mishap in stride, Mutt and Jeff swallowed their pride and continued on their way.
Fortunately for the guys, the day took a turn for the better. They made it out to deep water and after overhearing a few dolphin reports on the VHF, they decided to drag a couple of lures behind the boat. To the anglers’ delight, an acrobatic sailfish jumped on one of their baits and after an exciting battle on a light tackle outfit, the dynamic duo finally managed to get the billfish boatside. At this point, Mutt was so excited that he shouted to Jeff to grab his phone and shoot some photos. Jeff happily obliged, knowing no one would believe them without evidence. If only for a few minutes, victory was achieved and the damaged outrigger was the last thing on their minds.
Back at the dock Mutt asked if he could look at the photos to relive their great accomplishment. Jeff flipped open his phone and as he began scrolling through the captured images, he was surprised to see his own smiling face with grin stretching from ear to ear. In the excitement of it all, Jeff mistakenly held the flip phone backwards and instead of photographing their prized catch, he snapped ten photos of his own bearded face. I suggested they frame one of the photos and label it, “225 lb. Hairy Sailfish.”