Jimmy Darnell & Crew - July 14, 2007© Photos by Mark Miller © Hi-Res Source
The crew consisted of Jimmy Darnell & Christy Stuckey from Semmes, Alabama along with James (Jimmy's Son) and Lindsey Darnell of Birmingham, Alabama. We started things off in FH-1 catching several Red Snapper, but only one large enough to keep. We headed further south, but things were just a little bumpy so we stopped around the 100 foot rigs hitting a couple wrecks along the way. We only managed 2 more Keepers. We then worked several shrimp boats looking for Cobia. We found only 1 cobia that may or may not have been legal size, and he was not showing any interest anyway. We did find a multitude of Sharks and Bonito, so everyone had plenty of fish to pull on their line. The day was almost spent so we decided to head back north and work some wrecks in FH-13 on the way in, but the weather had a different idea. A frontal line came down bringing strong winds and seas. The seas got so steep that a few waves were coming over the bow and at one point I had James bailing with a 5 gallon bucket because of the amount of water in the back. I turned on the VHF in case any boats had problems and sure enough we heard someone calling for a shrimp boat that wasn't answering. I answered him and asked if he was in trouble. He had lost his lower unit and had gotten a tow from further out up to Apache 69. He was tied off, but Tow Boat was late arriving and neither them nor the Coast Guard would respond on the VHF and they were taking water over the bow. The crew was Brian and Alane Zimny along with Jonathan Knoll, out for a day of Scuba Diving. About that time we heard a MayDay from a sinking boat which turned out to be located about 4 miles to our east. It was too rough for us to tow in the disabled vessel so we took the 3 passengers aboard and started toward the MayDay, however, the Coast Guard Cutter had just gotten on scene about that time and pulled the 7 passengers on board, so we headed back north. We got back in with only 3 Red Snapper, but we had an adventure to remember for a lifetime. Total Trip encompassed 111 miles and 14.5 hours.