Bowen, Currin land 9-foot sailfish off coast

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 08:52 PM

My cousin, Jim Bowen, sent a great report from the Gulf stream off the state coast. He and John Currin of Henderson decided to head 63 miles offshore to look for wahoo last Saturday.

It was a cold and wet ride out in 3-4 foot seas with 10-15 knot winds gusting to 20. They rigged some nice Florida ballyhoo baits and started trolling.

It was slow through noon and then a friend called on the radio. He was 12 miles away and reported he’d boated two big wahoo. Jim and John headed over and set the lines out and BAM — FISH ON.

Moments later they had a nice tuna in the boat. Just a few minutes later, BAM another rod bent down and the line was leaving the reel so fast they thought the drag washers would melt. John worked the fish to the boat several times and each time the fish would take off.

After finally getting what they assumed was a beast of a wahoo to the boat, they realized it was the biggest sailfish Jim had ever seen. As Jim got him in the boat, the fish flipped around and took a chunk out of Jim’s right forearm with his spear (you can see it in the picture).

The fish was as long as the boat was wide: 9 feet. What an experience!

I’m starting out the new year with a bright outlook for my tournament success in 2013.

While I had somewhat of a slow year in 2012, at least I didn’t win $910,000 and then have it put on hold in court proceedings because I didn’t have a fishing license. That happened to a team of anglers in the 2010 Big Rock Marlin tournament, and they are still hashing it out in court. One of the mates didn’t have a license, but he wasn’t fishing anyway, he was mating (not sure if that’s the right word) so maybe they should get the money.

The case is being heard in a Charlotte court room now so we should know soon.

My wife Susan and I had a great time in Raleigh last Saturday at the Big Rock Outdoor Equipment dealer show where we saw the latest in fishing and hunting equipment. Vanco Outdoor Equipment will have more of the latest in stock soon, including the new Freedom Tackle jigs which I really liked, especially the football heads.

The hook moves independent of the jig head, and between that and the sonic brass echo chamber, you can expect more bites and better hookups.

Some of the biggest names in fishing were at the show including Hank Parker, Shaw Grigsby, Durwood Daniels, and Rick Clunn among others.

Kerr Lake fishing report – Giant catfish are biting all over the lake, especially up in the river past Clarksville, Va. and also in Grassy Creek. Use fresh-cut shad or crappie fished on the bottom in 15–45 feet of water to land these giants.

Next week’s report – Largemouth bass fishing report from Kerr Lake where I plan to spend two days enjoying the spring like weather forecast for this weekend.

Tip of the week — Get ready for the annual Ice Bowl Catfish Tournament coming up on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The entry fee is $40 per boat and registration will start at 5:30 a.m. at the Occoneechee ramp in Clarksville. The payback is 100 percent and there will be lots of door prizes and a catered meal at the 3:30 p.m. weigh-in. For more information, see www.kerrcrappieandcats.com.

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, or on twitter at @WaltBowen.