It wasn’t a trip to Vegas or even a night at the bar, but it was some late nights with a gal named Lady Em – a 65-foot fishing vessel.
Tina Harbuck @DestinLogTina
It wasn’t a trip to Vegas or even a night at the bar, but it was some late nights with a gal named Lady Em.
However, Lady Em is no lady — she’s a 65-foot fishing vessel.
Mark McClurg of Auburn and six of his buddies, or rather groomsmen, spent three-days this week fishing aboard the Lady Em with Capt. Mike Eller for his bachelor party.
“We just wanted to do something a little different rather than the drunken debauchery that some bachelor parties turn into,” McClurg said.
Mark’s brother Jeremy was the one that found the Lady Em online and the guys wanted to do a three-day trip.
“We wanted to catch whatever is out there,” McClurg said. “But mainly we wanted to go get into some yellowfin tuna and grouper.”
And captain and crew didn’t disappoint.
The guys hauled in six yellowfin tuna, several blackfin, some big mahi mahi, grouper, scamp, bull mingo and a few barracuda.
“It was great, a blast … I want to do it again,” McClurg said as they waited for the deckhands to finish cleaning up their bounty.
Although they didn’t get to keep any, McClurg said the amberjack pulled the hardest.
Damien Miler said the mahi mahi put up the biggest fight for him.
“It was the best catch of my life,” Milner said, who drove up from Melbourne for the bachelor fishing party. “It jumped out of the water and fought really hard … it was tough to get in.”
The tuna put up a good fight as well.
Chris Greathouse fought one of the yellowfin for almost 45 minutes.
“We all love this guy right here and came to support him,” Milner said, pointing over at McClurg. “Just the camaraderie and being able to do something different. It was great.”
The guys left the docks at 10 p.m. Monday and got back Thursday just a little after noon.
“We’re trying to get in practice for the Rodeo,” said Capt. Eller, who likes to do extended voyage trips during the Destin Fishing Rodeo that takes place every October in Destin. “This was the first trip in a long time when all the stars lined up. The weather was good, the fish was good and fishing was good. Everything was perfect.
“And there were no other boats around,” he added, noting they caught the tuna about 134 miles from Destin.
On a three-day trip like this, charters are required to have to captains.
“We get a lot of rest because we carry a full crew, two captains and two mates,” Eller said. “About the time one of the captains is whipped it’s time for the other one to take over. It works really well.”
The other captain on this trip was Mark Hanshaw.
As a matter of fact, Eller and crew were headed back out Friday for another three-day trip.
Would the McClurg bachelor party guys go again?
“Yes, 100 percent, definitely,” were some of the responses from the guys.
“These guys were great, coaching us and teaching us,” McClurg said.