Ricky's Motel Logo

Lang Snapper, this is one tasty fish, makes my mouth water as I type this.The Lang Snapper

The Lang Snapper is holding to the left is a a beautiful fish, the colors are spectacular, you'll just have to see one close up to appreciate just how lovely this fish is. They don't grow nearly as big as the Red Snapper's but as table fare, you'll be hard put, to tell the difference.

        "RIG HOPPING WITH DANNY" (continued from Home Page, Page 1)
 

"Click the picture below for a larger view of Danny taking a bite out of a Black Tip Shark"

Danny fighting a Black Tip Shark.

Danny reached into the live well, grabbed a squirming live mullet about 8 inches long. ran a 5/0 hook through his eyeballs, dropped him over the side of the boat and I watched the 8 ounce sinker of his triple rig drag the bait through the clear water until it was out of sight. I thought to myself, I need to get to fishing. I reached into the live well, grabbed another live mullet, ran my hook through his eyeballs, and just as I was putting the bait overboard I heard Danny grunt. I turned to see his rod bent double in a strained curve, then his reel drag began screaming as whatever he had hooked headed south and was putting the pressure on. I grabbed up my camera to get some pictures of Danny fighting this fish, hoping for a big old Red Snapper.

This trip started earlier this morning when I walked out of my room, took a look south over the levee at the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I smiled to myself and thought, this is going to be a great day, the weather's favorable to start hitting the oil rigs in as close as we wanted, and we could go offshore as far as we wanted. I didn't think we wanted to stop at an oil rig until we were deep enough to get into the Mangrove Snappers.  Many of the other customers staying at the motel had been catching the large Mangroves Snappers on the rigs about 12 miles south of Caminada Pass.  

I started hauling all of my gear out of my room and placing it on the motel walkway, and then Danny arrives with Ricky's 23' Blackjack boat attached to his truck, he hops out of the truck and says, "Hey Man, lets go fishing". He bounded up the motel stairs like young men can do, grabs up a load of my gear, headed down the stairs  with me in tow, carrying a much smaller handful of tackle, mostly my camera, and before I could get down the stairs with my first load, Danny was back up the stairs grabbing the last load of my stuff and was bounding back down the stairs, and I thought to myself, man do I ever miss the exuberance of youth. 

We had been talking for days now about heading offshore for a day of, "Rig Hopping". What this entails for us is to head out from Ricky's Motel, through Caminada Pass, head southeast at about 155% degrees, at least this is the direction we chose, you may go another direction if you want, there's Oil Rigs as far as you can see, just be sure it's close to south, "you see, Ricky and I have done this before", and I have spent years fishing the offshore waters of Florida's central Gulf of Mexico, and it didn't take me long to realize that these oil rigs in Louisiana are fantastic structure's, and hold a lot of fish.

Our plan was to start fishing the oil rigs about 12 miles out, because several customers at the motel had advised us that's where the Mangrove Snappers were hanging out. Having been out of Grand Isle many times before I knew we would be in about 80 to 90 feet of water and at that depth we were going to be in water deep enough to get into the large adult Mangrove Snappers, Grouper and other species like, Cobia, "called Lemon Fish locally", Amberjack, sharks, and you never know what else. That's it folks, you never know what's coming up when you drop a bait into the water around one of the plentiful Gulf Coast oil rigs, that's what I love so much about it.

We launched the boat next door at the Gulf Stream Marina, this is most handy, and there's not  a a better launching place on the island, it's most convenient, being right next door to the motel and all.

I took over the controls of the boat and pulled away from the launch as Danny was dragging his cast net out of a 5 gallon bucket. I was going to drive him along the rock piles in the bay heading for the bridge coming onto the island. I could see the heads of a mullet school on top of the water at the end of the first rock pile. I eased the boat to within casting distance and Danny made a perfect cast over the mullet, next thing was that he drug the whole load of live, jumping, squirming mullet into the boat, and tried to dump most of them out of the net into his 5 gallon bucket, needless to say all of'em didn't want to stay in the bucket, so we were both collecting the loose ones up like a couple of kids, I gotta tell you, catching the bait is a big part of the fun when going fishing. Finally we got all the mullet in the live well, and they were just the right size for the offshore fishing we were going to be doing today. It didn't take but about an hour to gather all the bait we thought we would need. We had Mullet, Pinfish, a few croakers and some other stuff, to include some small Ballyhoo. What we didn't get was those half dollar size Menhaden, "called Pogey's locally", this is the best chum bait to get those big Mangrove Snappers to come out from under the rigs, the snappers will eat them alive or dead, alive they are a killer bait, but extremely hard to keep alive, you need to be set up for that with a round live well and a good circulating system, and today we weren't set up, but that's a story for another day. To be on the safe side, we had some of the larger frozen Menhaden in the cooler to use for chum and bait.

We arrived at the 12 mile point and picked a large double oil rig to start at. I drove around the rigs to see which way the current was running, and thought maybe we could spot a large Lemon Fish on the surface. The trick is, you want to park your boat on the rig to where when you throw your chum the current will carry it back under the rig causing the larger Mangrove Snappers to come out from under the rig. I looked down into the clear water and I could see hundreds of Spadefish, I knew right off it was going to be tough getting a bait to the Mangrove Snappers. Mangrove Snappers are a shy and finicky fish, and the aggressive Spadefish was going to grab the bait before the shy Mangrove snappers could have a chance. but hey, that ain't all bad, these Spadefish were huge, good eating, and if you've never had a large one on a hook and line you don't know what a fight you're in for.

We decided to give it a try anyway, we had snappers on the brain, so I positioned the boat to where Danny could get the "RIG HOOK, this is a handy piece of gear",  over one of the cross members of the rig, when that was done, we were all tied up and ready to fish. The tackle rig we were going to use for the Mangrove Snappers is a medium spinning rod and reel with a line capacity in the 15 to 20 pound range. To rig up for fishing we threaded a 3/4 ounce sinker on our line, then placed a 1/4 ounce bite or squeeze on sinker about a foot above your hook, this keeps the larger egg singer off of your hook, we then tie on a hook no larger than a 5/0, like I said earlier, the Mangrove Snappers are shy and finicky, the lighter the rig the more successful your going to be. The deal is, after you get the Mangrove Snappers out from under the rig eating your chum, you toss your bait to where it can drift almost back under the rig, when you get one hooked he's going to head back under that rig anyway, so you want to try to stop him before he breaks you off on the sharp barnacles growing on the rig piping. We tossed a handful of cut up fish into the current and watched it drift back under the rig and the Spadefish were all over it. It wasn't long before we could see the Mangrove Snappers under the chum and Spadefish, but today it was impossible, there was just too many other fish to get our bait to the shy Mangrove Snappers, so after catching several of the Spadefish we decided to "Hop", to the next rig.

I pointed the boat south holding to our 155% course and I decided we would check out several rigs as we heading out. We really wanted to get into the Red Snappers now, and I knew we needed to be in at least a 100 feet of water or more. We reached a rig in about 100 feet of water or so and tied up to the rig.

Danny takes a bite out of a Blacktip Shark "Click the picture for a larger view"

Danny reached into the live well, grabbed a squirming live mullet about 8 inches long. ran a 5/0 hook through his eyeballs, dropped him over the side of the boat and I watched the 8 ounce sinker of his triple rig drag the bait through the clear water until it was out of sight. I thought to myself, I need to get to fishing. I reached into the live well, grabbed another live mullet, ran my hook through his eyeballs, and just as I was putting the bait overboard I heard Danny grunt. I turned to see his rod bent double in a strained curve, then his reel drag began screaming as whatever he had hooked headed south and was putting the pressure on. I grabbed up my camera to get some pictures of Danny fighting this fish, hoping for a big old Red Snapper. Fifteen minutes or so later I could see the beads of sweat on Danny's brow as he was finally beginning to gain some of his line back, the fish had made several hard runs and then he would head for the bottom and then Danny would gain some line, only to lose it again, but I could see he was finally gaining some on whatever it was he had on. I peered into the clear water and I could see a large fish slowly getting nearer the surface, slowly he was tiring and then Danny had a 50 pound plus Black tip Shark on top and ready to gaft. We carefully boated the shark and I took several pictures and then we released the shark.

"Click Here" or the picture for a larger view. We decided to bait up after Danny's shark, with some cut bait, and see if maybe we could get some of the Red Snappers to hit and in a moment after the bait hit the bottom we were getting bites and in a few minutes Danny came up with a Lang Snapper, hey, there's not a thing wrong with that. They are beautiful fish, great eating, and for some reason this one did not have the customary black spot up near the dorsal fin, strange. The fish weren't biting as fast as we wanted on this rig so we headed further south. We were about 25 miles out now and I knew on one of those rigs out there we would find the snappers. We stopped on a couple more rigs, and still didn't hit what we wanted, but finally in 182 foot of water we found the fish and wouldn't you know it,  the day was almost gone so I told Danny we can only fish for about 20 to 30 minutes and then we must head in, I'm one of those safety nuts and I wanted to be back in before dark.

"Click Here" or the picture for a larger view. We tied to the rig, it was covered with birds, and as soon as the bait hit the bottom we were into the snappers, we stuck to our plan, fished for 30 minutes and then with the greatest regret we untied from the rig and headed home. There was one thought in our minds, the next time we headed out, we knew exactly where we would be heading, and we wouldn't stop until we reached this rig. That's just like saying I'm going to make one more cast and quit, yeah, and the next time we go rig hopping we'll be passing a rig and one of us will ask the other, hey, do you think we should take a break and give this one a try, they just may be here, besides we only have 5 miles  left before we get to the bird rig, how about that, before you know it, you'll be giving the rigs you catch fish on, your own special pet names.

Top Right Corner                       "For More Information Contact Ricky's Motel & RV Park"                 
Ricky's Motel & RV Park
1899 Highway 1, Grand Isle, LA 70358
Phone: 985-787-3532
Email: info@rickysmotel.com

Copyrightę Ricky's Motel & RV Park 1998-2007, All Rights Reserved