Mission Trip to Gulfport Mississippi

Discussion in 'Outdoor Articles' started by Katmaster Jr., Aug 20, 2006.

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  1. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

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    Wilmington, NC
    I just got back recently from my Mission Trip to Gulfport Mississippi, I went with my church to work on an 87 yr old lady's house. We worked Tuesday thru Friday, and then I went to Destin, Florida for a few days for vacation. I managed to fish every single day, it was great. We worked from 8am until 3pm, so I would fish until dark every day after working. Then, of course, I fished all day in Florida.

    Here are my stories for each day-

    Monday

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    We got to Mississippi and went with our church to look at the house and meet "Ms. Walker" the lady that owned the house. I couldn't believe how bad it was there, I mean, you see the stuff on T.V. but when you see everything in person it really gets to you, the area was basically wiped out completely, but in the 10 months they have done a heck of a job of rebuilding, they have a lot of Stores and stuff like that of course rebuilt, and even a lot of houses, but it appeared to be only houses that belonged to the more "fortunate" people. The sickening thing are the huge casinos that have been built already when a lot of the people still don't have a house there. Anyway, we didn't get to work any Monday, just observed the house, and got rested up for the week ahead of us.

    Tuesday

    We started working, 8am sharp, I painted all day, mostly used a roller, did the whole bottom half of the house pretty much by myself. Other people painted the top half and used brushes, at 3pm, we were done for the day, I wanted to go fishing of course to relax some, went down to the gulf riding looking for a place to fish. To no surprise, this was not an easy task, trees were everywhere along the waterfront, it looked awful, all of the piers were smashed of course.

    Finally after riding for about 20 minutes down the beach I saw a rocky area around a construction area, we stoped, and started talking to a construction worker who was on break, turned out he was actually the contractor in charge of everything. I started talking to him, an awesome guy, and he gave me permission to fish off the rocks over by a little cove, it was private property. I had a minnow crankbait on my little ultralight, my 2nd cast.....BAM! A fish hit hard, turned out to be a decent Flounder, an awesome fight on that ultralight. I got pretty pumped up from that, started casting more, after about 20 more cast I hooked into a Monster Flounder, he hit right by the shore and took off pulling drag, then he came up on top and splashed and my hook flew out.

    Still got a fight out of it, after that things slowed down for some reason, I moved around though in that general area and kept casting steadily until dark, I ended up getting a couple Sea Trout, and a small Redfish. Then I had to go back to the motel and get some sleep for the next day of work.

    Wenesday

    I mostly did one job the whole day, and that was using an eletric tool to get paint and crud off of 20 door knobs, this may sound easy, but it's far from it. It was very tireding, but I was so proud of my work when I was done, everyone was complimenting how good they looked, they went from looking bad to looking good as new.

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    After I did them I mostly just stood by doing various small things, like using a crow bar to pry old doors off. At 3pm once again I went fishing, back to the same spot, 2nd cast I caught another Flounder! It was about the same size as the one from Tuesday, a decent one. Then just like Tuesday I kept casting until dark, and ended up with a couple of Sea Trout besides the Flounder. At night, I fished for just a little while with Shrimp and Cut bait on the bottom with my bigger poles, on the Shrimp I caught a lot of "Sea Catfish" they put up a good fight, but don't get over like 5lbs, they are kind of aggrevating actually.

    Then I got a small Stingray, that was an awesome fight on my Ambassadeur 6000. Also caught Sea Catfish on the cut bait, I was targeting Sharks, but I just don't think they were in that area, that whole section of the gulf was only about 5-10ft deep until you went way out.

    Thursday

    I did a lot of working outside on the sidewalk and roadside, there was a ton of debri stacked up along there, so I shoveled it into piles and into Bags and Boxes, then I did a lot of spray painting on Antique Shelfs and other similar things. After that I once again did a lot of small jobs. At 3pm I headed back for the fishing spot of course but only had about 15 minutes this time, the Church Group was going into New Orleans for dinner.

    It was very rough out there on Thursday, the wind was really whipping, this causes difficult fishing conditions for inshore anglers, I have learned that from past expierences. I only had one hit, which was on my lure, and then I had to leave. New Orleans looked as if no hurricane had been thru at all. We ate at the fanciest place I have ever eaten in, you know, one of those places that had most of the menu in French. LOL!

    The food was excellent of course, I got Parmesean Crusted Drum (fish) and a Bananna Froster, which was the desert. Then we went and walked down "Bourbon" street, those of you that have been there know what I mean when I say it was wild, well at least it was at night, I will just say there was a lot of "Adult Entertainment" LOL! A little bit of Jazz going on which is cool, but not nearly as much as in the day time. They also were shooting a commercial around us, we might have been caught in it, I don't know what it was for though, keep your eyes out on T.V. for me though. LOL! After leaving Bourbon Street, we headed back to the motel, we had to get rested up for the last day of work.

    Friday

    I worked almost all outside, I finished shoveling the sidewalk, it was really a pile of just plain junk, broken glass, dirt, and everything else you could think of. It took almost all day to get it cleaned up, finally around 2pm I finished with that job though, I got dehydrated though, they kept telling me to take a break and drink some water but I was hardheaded and didn't listen, when I was done I had to lay down for a few minutes and I drank a lot of water and poured some on my head. The heat was EXTREME!

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    After my little break I had about 30 minutes of work left, I used this time to finish spray painting stuff I had started on. After work was done, I of course went fishing again. Same place, and about the same time. It was rough once again though making it difficult fishing like Thursday. I cast my lure a lot which was very hard in the terrible wind, that picked up some nice Sea Trout again, and then I fished on the bottom with Shrimp and cut bait until about 11pm that night. All I caught was Sea Catfish, Small Redfish, Trout, and Croaker though. More of those dang sea cats more then anything though. Then I went back to the motel and went to sleep.

    Saturday

    We left from Gulfport, Mississippi, which actually felt very sad, knowing there was so much more to be done and we were leaving, we had done our part though. We went to Destin, Florida. I went to "Anglers" pier, very aggrevating place, rude, and snobby people everywhere. And let me tell you about the guy working behind the counter there at the pier, I went up there, and it was super crowded, I mean a ton of people everywhere trying to get on the pier, well I pay my way on to fish, and ask to buy a couple lures, to be specific I was buying "Gotcha-Plugs" which are saltwater lures, mainly used for Spanish Mackeral and Bluefish, well all I could see were a few silver ones, so I just told him "Could I get 4 of those silver Gotcha Plugs?" and he said "Hold on you'll have to wait" in a very abrasive tone.

    Well I just sat back and chilled a few minutes while all the people behind me were waited on before me, I thought that was a little crazy. Then after they go by, he says "look over here" and I see that there is actually a whole case full of Gotcha Plugs, so I say "Oh, I didn't know you had that many" and that jerk says to me "No S#$% boy, why did you think I said that!" and then chuckles, well then I just sort of am dazed by this, usually I would have really lost it if someone did something like that to me, but I managed to just ignored it, which turned out to be the best thing to do, this guy was probably about 45yr old or so.

    I'm glad my dad wasn't with me, because it probably would have turned into a scene if he had been. The guy waited on a few more people, and came back to me and actually was normal again (not being rude) and asked me what specific lure I wanted. I pointed them out, paid for them, and moved to the end of the pier as it never even happened. I think the guy had some kind of mental problem, I'm not a doctor, but maybe he had Anxiety Disorder or something? Anyway, I went out to the end of the pier, surprisingly there was a spot for me to stand, most people were just watching and not fishing. Nothing at all was biting, then it got dark and "Ladyfish" were everywhere! I was getting a lot of them, they are fun, often referred to as "The poor man's Tarpon" because of the way they fight, a very small version of a Tarpon.

    They have soft mouths though and when I would try to get them over the rail of the pier they would rip off my hook. I had to leave because I had a Head Boat trip booked in the morning, so I didn't land any Saturday night but got the full fight out of them.

    Sunday

    I went out on the head boat in the morning until the afternoon, a 10hr trip, the boat was 85ft long, and we went out to the deep sea. Left at 7am and came back around 5pm. Well the fishing was too hot, everyone caught a few keeper snapper, Mangrove, and Red Snapper, and I caught a Trigger fish which was cool. I took my own gear, ended up using my little 6000 Ambassadeur mostly which made all of them a great fight. It was over 150ft deep, so we had to pull the fish up from way down, it really would wear your arm out.

    Towards the end I did hook something very big, started swimming up the boat, I was fishing from the back corner, and then it broke my leader in half, they were saying it might have been a shark, I was thinking more along the lines of a large Grouper. Well that was pretty much it for that day, I did make good friends with the mates though, I helped them out a lot, and at the end of the trip they said "You come with us tommorow and we will hook you up with a spot off the back deck" this was a very cool offer. You see the back deck is supposed to only be for Crew, I could throw out the big baits off the back and didn't have a bunch of people standing right beside me. Anyway, the crew trolled lures on the way in, and got a small King Mackeral and a Baracuda.

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    Then we got back to the dock, and they cleaned everyones fish, I got a pretty decent little bag of fish. Sunday night I headed back to the pier again, and got into the ladyfish big time, it was a blast, I caught probably about 10, and hooked at least 20. I saved them for bait, still got them now on ice, going to try them for catfish.

    Monday

    I went out on the same boat, and as promised the Mates gave me a spot on the back of the boat, on the deck. It was really nice being back there, poleholders and everything, other people were asking if they could fish back there and they wouldn't let them. Fishing was very poor though, all I got was one keeper Red Snapper, and a few Mangrove Snapper. I fished with big Cutbait and Squid, the cut bait would only get taps and the squid is what caught me the few fish I did catch. Oh well, it was still a great time. With the two trips combined I ended up with a nice bag of fish which we will be cooking this week.

    The trip was one of the best expierences of my life, I had never done any "Mission" work or anything like that before, honestly never even had worked as hard as I did last week. I felt really happy about doing it, when I met the lady that owned the house it almost brought me to tears, she was just so nice, she personally came up to me, looked me in the eyes and told "Bless you son, I really appreciate what you have done" it was just so sad to think about how the hurricane came and changed her life and everything around her so dramattically and fast.

    I personally can't wait to do more work like I did, it makes you feel good inside, and it will really change your outlook on life, I know it did to me. Always be grateful for what you already have, it can all go away fast. I also became closer to the Pastor and church members I worked with, My family and I are very different from the others that came, I will just say this, I go to public school, and they send their kids to a very fancy private school, if that tells you anything.

    There is still a ton of work to be done, I recommend to anyone that has the chance to go down there and help out, or do anything like that to do it. It will be a expierence that will stick with you, I know my trip will, never will I forget it.

    Thanks,

    Zakk
     
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