I just finished reading George Poveromo’s article on “Keeping the Sport in Fishing” (October), and I thought he would enjoy learning about a deep-drop experience that I had out of Venice, Louisiana.
I was fishing at an offshore oil rig, watching my friends using electric reels pulling up snowy grouper and barrelfish. Never having been a fan of push-button fishing, I decided to rig up for some mano-a-mano deep-dropping.
My outfit consisted of a bent-butt, stand-up rod with a 50-pound-class, two-speed reel loaded with 250-pound braided line, 12 feet of 80-pound fluoro leader, 5 pounds of lead, and an 11/0 circle hook with a fresh squid, which I lowered 1,045 feet to the bottom.
I missed the first bite and had to spend the next 15 minutes retrieving my hook, but I rebaited and lowered to the bottom again. This time I was prepared and cranked in, after 20 agonizing minutes, a 16-pound snowy grouper.
Many times during the fight, I had to change gears, crank with both hands at the same time (I was wearing a full harness), and change the speed of retrieve, concerned over the ever-present sharks.
Back at the dock, a seasoned local captain told us that he had heard of only one other person who had manually caught a fish in water deeper than 1,000 feet. Just like George’s article says, hand-cranking made this much more sporty and much more rewarding.
Bob Chew Palm City, Florida