And the 2017 winner is…
Costa GULF COAST DIVISION 2017 Captain of the Year
Captain Jason Buck
Done Deal, 70’ Viking
Homeport: Houma, Louisiana
1400 points– World Cup, 1st pl.; LoneStar Shootout, 1st pl.; New Orleans Invitational, 3rd pl.; Blue Marlin Grand Championship, 2nd pl.
Captain Jason Buck and the Done Deal have been catching fish like it’s going out of style for nearly a decade. After a stint in Central America, Buck has been wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast tournament scene for years. The Done Deal is so consistently successful that is perhaps more remarkable when the boat is not on the leaderboard of a tournament than when they win. The 2017 edition is Buck’s second Captain of the Year Award.
Despite all of his success, Buck is humble and easy going. Speaking with Jason, if you didn’t know better, you’d have no idea of his skill at the helm. “We have a great crew. Sometimes I’m just the bus driver,” says Buck deflecting credit. “I want to give lots of kudos to the boss, Jon Gonsoulin. He gives us more opportunity than a lot of guys get because we fish the tournaments in the east and those in Texas.”
In recent years, Gonsoulin’s daughter Katie has emerged as the team’s primary angler. It was Katie in the chair for four and half hours on the Done Deal’s 502-pound bluefin in this year’s OBBC. Manning the cockpit is first mate Christopher “Westy” Marshall from St. Thomas and the crew of Gonsoulin’s houseboat, Captain Scott Sullivan and Mate Vic Lott. “They are getting ready for duck season now. The houseboat follows us around for tournaments, it is a big show. It’s kind of a mothership deal, everybody helps everybody else.” The Done Deal’s tournament crews are rounded out by part time contributors Capt. Wilks Hammock (the angler who caught the World Cup winning fish), Trevor Lott and Big Mitch.
“We used to use mates as anglers—we were focused on winning. Then Katie came on board. It took her about half a season to get really dialed in. Now there’s nobody else I’d rather have in the chair,” Buck describes. “She’s great.”
Captain Jason’s 1,400 points were tallied from winning the World Cup (catching a 600-pound blue in the Gulf), taking first place in the Lone Star Shootout, third place in the New Orleans Invitational and second in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. Buck describes 2017 in terms of two halves. “It was a strange weather year. We usually swing for the fence to try to fish by ourselves. If you do that enough, you’re going to strike out plenty,” Buck says. “Then came the World Cup and it seemed like we couldn’t do anything wrong. We won the World Cup a week and a half later we took second in the Wharf’s Blue Marlin Grand Championship. The next weekend was the Lone Star Shootout. We won the Release Division, catching three. A few weeks later came the New Orleans Invitational. It was a busy month or so.”
In the end, the 2017 Costa Gulf Coast Division of Captain of the Year came down to a two horse race. Buck and Captain Scooter Porto of the Reel Addiction separated themselves from the pack. Porto’s 1,100-points not only landed him in second place, but put the Reel Addiction in contention until the last tournament of the year.
With tournament season over, Captain Jason turns his attention something even more important. “The last few years we have travelled in the winter. This year we have a little boy on the way. We are shutting the operation down until tournament time next year,” Buck says of he and his wife’s first child. “I give kudos to Jon Gonsoulin for being thoughtful enough to bring the boat to Texas so that the boat and I can be close to my family.”
- 2014 Capt. Jason Buck, 1950 Pts.
- 2015 Capt. Robbie Doggett, 1750 Pts.
- 2016 Capt. Devin Potts, 1100 Pts.
- 2017 Capt. Jason Buck, 1400 Pts.
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic
Pensacola International Billfish Tournament
MBGFC Memorial Day Tournament
MBGFC Ladies Tournament
The White Marlin Shootout
Orange Beach Billfish Classic
Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic
Missisissippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic
Blue Marlin Grand Champhionship of the Gulf
New Orleans Invitational Billfish Tournament
Texas Billfish Classic
John Uhr Memorial Billfish Tournament
Houston Big Game Fishing Club’s Lonestar Shootout
Texas Legends Billfish Tournament
Texas International Fishing Tournament
Poco Bueno Fishing Tournament
Texas Women Anglers Tournament
MBGFC Invitational Labor Day Tournament