A Bahamas Day On The Texas Tea
By Dale E Wills
If you would have told me back in high school that Capt. Patrick Brogan of the 64-foot Spencer Texas Tea and I would be trolling for blue marlin off the Bahamas some 30 years later, I would probably have told you to go walk like an Egyptian and learn to Vogue like Madonna (both were at the top of the music charts back in those days). Yes, we did graduate from high school together and although we weren’t “besties” or BFFs, we both were involved in sports and had a few classes together. Patrick played basketball, a starter at point guard and known for his cat-like prowess eluding defenders and hitting three-pointers like Lebron. I played baseball and football. Through the years we remained friends thanks to the marlin fishing circuit.
After discovering that we were both attending the Custom Boat Shootout in Marsh Harbour, Patrick invited me to fish with him and his boss Michael for a day of prefishing before the event officially kicked off. I was onboard at 7:30 a.m. and it didn’t long before he had the Texas Tea cruising at a sporty 36 knots at 1,878 RPMs. After a quick ride out we pulled the throttles back and put the lines out southeast of the Hope Town light. There were light winds, calm seas and, to sweeten the scenery even more, most of the world’s custom sportfishing boats were settling in and trolling all around us. It was quite a sight to behold, seeing the impressive profiles of so many different custom boats all fishing in one fairly small area. Hanging out together on the bridge we racked our brains about blasts from the past: have you seen so and so, did you hear about so and so, I follow so and so on Facebook and so on.
Then we talked a little fishing and before long, half the day was over and it was lunch time. Super mate Kyle Fisher from Currituck, North Carolina was not only working the cockpit but was also the chief of the Texas Tea galley team. He served up a nice low fat fish/pickle/pineapple plate that hit the spot. Patrick was trying to watch his diet in just case you were wondering.
Finally a marlin shows up on the right teaser and then the left teaser and then it fades, comes back on left teaser and fades again. Just check out this video: we were finally able to hook up after I switched my camera from video to still photo. I thought the little guy was gone.
After releasing the marlin, we watched as a couple boats connected around us but overall we were lucky to release one. It was a great pre-tournament day for the team. As the afternoon sun started to sink in the west, the mates started prepping for the first day of the tournament. As Kyle was prepping the ballyhoo I made my way down to the cockpit to take a few photos. That’s when Kyle showed his mastery of squeezing out every last drop of ballyhoo poop. Kyle put out a challenge to see if anyone can squeeze a longer one than him. Any takers?
Not long after that, we picked up and made our way back to the dock. Once inside the cut, Patrick opened up the Texas Tea. We reached 43.8 knots and to coin a phrase from my Dad, “we were walking the dog,” also known as hauling some serious butt!
After we reached our slip I snapped a few parting photos and thanked everyone for a great day. While walking away down the dock, I’m always reminded how lucky we are to be involved in a great industry with great friends. I had a great time reminiscing, catching up and meeting new friends on the Texas Tea (who went on to release a blue and two whites to place ninth in the tournament).
Till next ride, Keep on Living the Dream!