Waterman's Journal

Feb 21, 2010

Capt. Josh Temple Unleashed: Slam Dunk & The Whiskey Shivers

Despite the two feet of variance in our respective vertical heights, obvious contrasts in our racial and national backgrounds, and professional salary caps, or the gargantuan difference in our shoe size, # 20 for the NY Knicks and i share a lot in common - most notably our love for big fish, good times, stiff drinks, and exotic locations.

Jared Jeffries and I have spent many a glorious day on the water together over the years, backing down savagely after one specie of monster pelagic or another, in all manner of boat, between borders of strange and mysterious country, and during various stages of our respectively successful careers. One common theme permeates our long and remarkable story together: Wherever we go WE CATCH BIG FISH, AND LOTS OF THEM, despite the season, and usually to hell with the weather.

Jared's passion for sport is evident by his achievements during his long and successful career in the NBA, but it's his enthusiasm for the game of offshore fishing that most impresses me. I've seen all manner of successful, competitive personality walk the decks of my boats over the years. Hollywood superstars, recording artists, business tycoons, athletes of all shapes and sizes, you name it. Very few share the level of commitment or respect for this game as i do. But with each booming cheer, or enthusiastic high, and i do mean HIGH-five, from Jared as the rod goes BENDO and the reel starts to screeeeeeeeeeeeam i'm reminded of my own passionate commitment to this truly wonderful game.

He may be a gentle giant but he still steps on your toes a lot, he's hard to work around with gaffs and whatnot, and he likes to get the crew drunk before noon in the day but GODDAMNIT i just LOVE to go fishing with people like this!!!

It was a tough couple of days due to the weather, but we pulled it off once again. Running 60 miles into the teeth of a bitter and choleric sea leaves a lot to be desired each morning, but put our noses down and dribble up and down the court against Shaq we did.

The crew showed blatant signs of hangover misery the first morning as we rounded the corner at Punta de Mita into a six to eight foot head-sea. With nearly fifty miles of fun lying between our current position and where the fish were, it only took one look at Lora beside me at the helm to question our previous nights desire to follow Jeffries to the depths of another Margarita's whiskey fueled fervor. It is important to note on a physiological level that a seven foot human body is capable of handling much more hard alcohol than a five foot eleven inch specimen, or Canexican for that matter. Lora immediately dove for the cockpit, going Mexican-green in a hurry. I turned my eyes skyward, heaved a deep sigh of distant relief, made the sign of the cross, and planted my feet. "HERE WE GO AMIGOS!", i yelled to nobody in particular, sheets of spray catapulting over the starboard bow, stinging off the boat thanks to over thirty knots of northwesterly wind.

" Farewell and adieu my fair Spanish lady..... "


" Farewell and adieu sweet lady of Spain...... "


Over, and OVER AGAIN!

Over two hours of fun, and then some. But make it thanks to the Maximo's superb head-sea craftsmanship we did. Lord knows some days you have to pay for it, but thank the fish gods the punishment we took on the way out was about to come back in great dividends.

Shortly after we stopped pissing blood the marks came under the sonar and soon thereafter an all too familiar chorus of chaos rose over the wind.

Things went from numb to dumb in a hurry as line after line started crashing down. Tunas from 100 - 175#'s literally boiled at the transom as the boys pitched everything we had at them. Fish flew through the air in pursuit of baits and jigs, and it was all we could do to get harnesses and gaffs in the right places.

Good old fashioned clusterfuckchaos as only we can manufacturer it. With two Canadians, a Mexican, a hybrid Santa Cruz-Hawaiian, and a seven foot tall NBA forward in the cockpit you can imagine the scene as the deck literally vibrated with tuna. Jared's screaming "HAAAY MAN!!! HO! WATCH OUT!!!" as gaff points nearly high-stick him, half-dead tuna on the deck threatening his bread-winning legs. Lora's screaming something in fully automatic Spanish, struggling to hold on to another 150# tuna as it blasts for the deep. Ryan and Oren are juggling gaffs and fish bats, the deck is awash with blood, carnage is flying.

Jenny and i have seen this rodeo before, dive for the relative safety of cover, cheering from the sidelines, and opting to run the cameras instead.

Jesus christ it's madness out there for hours. HOURS. By early afternoon even the crew is exhausted from reeling in fish. I high-tail it for the tower before anyone does anything stupid like hooking another fish, fire up the engines and point her for home. It's a much nicer return journey, of course the weather always seems brighter when you've spent the better part of the day kicking ass out there like this.

We make it back to Punta de Mita safe and sound thanks to 57 feet of North Carolina rough weather craftsmanship, and are treated like heroes because of the bounty of pink, sashimi grade tuna we bring. It's off to the 4-Seasons later that night after showers and chamois' and a champions dinner fit for a king. Safe, stuffed, and satiated once again.

The next morning it's deja vu, except that we've grown wiser from experience, having traded the whiskey for gin. After another looooong and monotonous ride out there with the sting of the spray and the sound of the wind, the baits went back out and the killing begins....

Yes, it's a hard and terrible life we lead amigos. It's a shame when you must endure this kind of predictable conclusion. Particularly with people who can't help it but win.

Thanks to Lora, Oren, and Ryan for their tireless efforts. And special thanks to Jared and Jenny Jeffries for yet another killa adventure. I'm looking forward to the next one as always, and getting to do this over, and over again.

For more information on fishing with Captain Josh Temple, go to Primetimeadv.com or click below...