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“LIVE LIKE KEITH”

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I first learned of Dr. Keith’s cancer diagnosis in 2015 when I received a call from a family friend asking me to help Dr. Keith check off his bucket list- a fishing trip with his son. With two phone calls, two boats and the Faux Pas lodge were arranged and immediately ready. Unfortunately, chemo took precedence, and we never made the trip. Dr. Keith passed away 3-1/2 months later at the age of 45. I later learned that his sportsman was Kyle, now age 12, the youngest of his six children. Last Saturday morning, Kyle and I left the dock at 4am, headed out for our first duck hunt together. Halfway to the lease, with just the two of us under the near full moon, a sudden, overwhelming sense of responsiblity for another man’s son sent chills down my spine and left tears in my eyes. Although I take plenty kids in the outdoors, it’s usually not under these circumstances. As we continued down the bayou and knowing Dr. Keith was watching from above, I responded with 2 q-beam blasts and a wink towards heaven. The q-beam was to let Dr. Keith know I would take care of Kyle like a son of my own, and the wink was to ask him for a little help with the ducks. After all, this has been the slowest South Louisiana duck season of my life. Anyone that knew Dr. Keith will tell you, he loved God and his Family and lived with the conviction that life was meant to be enjoyed today. As one family friend said, “Of all the things he’d accomplished in his life, there was nothing that gave him more joy than being a dad.” Hence, the “Live Like Keith” magnets that you can still find today on cars all around New Orleans. There we sat in the blind with decoys set, safety talk finished, and laughing about how imitating a monkey can scare away coyotes. Then it got real quiet as we watched the sunrise wondering if any ducks would show up. What Kyle did not know was how dismal the hunt had been the day before and the day before that. Then 8 teal appeared in the decoys 15 yards in front of Kyle. Then 2 more right in the same spot, one of which Kyle killed on the first shot. Then 10 more, a single, and after the “satsuma trick” and 2 breakfast bars, 12 more landed so close it made for easy shooting. I later described the hunt to my own sons and friends,who haven’t seen action like that this year, as “magical”. As the hunt was coming to an end, I realized I had just had the pleasure to “Live Like Keith.”  I spent the day with his son, Kyle, a son that he and his wife raised to be cheerful, well-mannered, intelligent, and enthusiastic about each and every day — especially one where Dad was along the whole way. I enjoyed the hunt, Keith. Thanks for letting me come along. Team Whaler

TEAM WHALER’S – SHELBY

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TEAM WHALER TOOK SHELBY ON HER FIRST DOVE HUNT OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND AND SHE DID GREAT.   TEAM WHALER HAD PLENTY ACTION WHICH KEPT HER INTERESTED THE ENTIRE TIME AND BUSY RETRIEVING DOVE, NOTWITHSTANDING CONSTANT RAIN AND A VERY MUDDY FIELD.  AS GOOD AS SHE LOOKED IN A MISSISSIPPI FIELD, WE COULD TELL SHE COULD NOT WAIT FOR THE LOUISIANA DUCK SEASON!!! BY THE WAY, SHELBY, OUR BLACK LAB, MISSED THE PHOTO,  BUT IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING HER “MOM” HAD FUN TOO!!!!  

COBIA, LEMON FISH, LING, CRAB EATER

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TEAM WHALER TAKES THE “BIG FISH TROPHY’ AT THE JESUIT RODEO WITH A 28LB COBIA. CONGRATS TO THE CREW!

Jesuit Rodeo June 16 – Great Father’s Day Present!

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Guest of Honor Mr. Joe Macaluso. Grand Prize by Deadly Dudley and Celebrity Chef  David Whitmore of Jack Rose, plus plenty more.  See you there. Details at www.jesuitnola.org.

JESUIT FISHING RODEO – JUNE 16

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REGISTER NOW FOR THE 26TH ANNUAL JESUIT FISHING RODEO @ WWW.JESUITNOLA.ORG  

JEWELRY FOUND IN DELACROIX

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TEAM WHALER FOUND A RING IN DELACROIX OVER THE HOLIDAYS.  OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS WE HAVE FOUND 2 OTHERS.   ALWAYS A GREAT ADDITIONAL TO ANY HUNT AND THE MEMORY BOX. BANDED NEAR BATON ROUGE IN APRIL OF 2017.

TEAM WHALER – Marlin/YF/Duck Slam

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TEAM WHALER’S Crew Traded Off Trips with the first stop in October at West Neptune aboard the F/V SOPHIE K and the second stop in late November in South Louisiana’s marsh aboard the H/V GO DEVIL 35.  We have been asked many times whether we like fishing or hunting better. After trips like these, we hope we never have to choose one over the other!!  God Bless South Louisiana and the gifts she gives.  Enjoy the fishing trip by clicking the arrow below and turning up the volume!

HALLOWEEN MASSACRE

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JUDE TRAHANT hosted a Halloween Party at the very nice house of REEL EXCITEMENT CHARTERS owned by Capt. J. Sanchez.  The party started at 7am.  For fun, the host and guest disguised hooks with Campo’s live shrimp and submerged them 3 feet under a cork.  Trick or treaters dressed in black spots, a yellow mouth and a sharp single front tooth showed up immediately and as fast as the guest could get the shrimp in the water. At 9am the party was over with full limits of trick or treaters unknowingly headed to Crisco Bay for the after party.  Jude and guest enjoyed a short ride home from Shell Beach and planned the next party for this weekend’s Alabama/LSU game.  

Unchartered Waters

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Team Whaler finds it interesting there are so many critics of the snapper management, while at the same time so many die heart snapper fisherman. After solid reports Friday of easy limits near shore that were spoiled by extreme tides on Sat, Team Whaler went where she has never been before and stuck a number of pigs at 350′ down while watching tuna bust the surface just on the other side of the rig.  Incredible experience to say the least. Would she have been in uncharted waters, but for the managerial assurance of snapper at every rig? “Not a chance!” Which is exactly what my Great Granddaddy used to say about the bison he hunted back in the day when they weren’t managed.  

BEST TRIP OF OUR LIVES, ALMOST

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As we headed to the dock, we reviewed the last 50 years to see if we had been on a better fishing trip. With the first cast at sun up and the last cast at noon, we finished the morning with a two-man limit of speckled trout, red snapper, and mangrove snapper in the chest.  Clearly one of the best trips for both of us. But after sharing stories during the ride in, we both agreed that  without our fathers and/or sons along to share the experience with us, something was missing. That “something” is what makes the sport of fishing so great.  Fishing is not about catching, but more about making memories while fishing. Luckily, we both have many trips with our fathers and sons much more memorable than this trip which we would never trade -not even for a trip of a lifetime like this one. Now that is saying “something” not everyone may agree with, but one day we hope you have a trip like this then treasure the truly memorable ones.