July 2020

Meet the Captains: John Brackett

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

John Brackett
Sweet Pea Fishing -North End Charter Fleet
www.sweetpeafishing.com

How long have you been a charter captain?
Nine years.

What are you primarily fishing for?
In the river, cobia, Spanish mackerel and sharks in the summer. If you catch a big enough cobia, you can actually keep it, and it’s a great fish to eat. Those are the options inshore. Offshore fishing is really good right now. We went about 28 miles offshore yesterday and caught a king mackerel, then went another 12 miles and managed to reel in triggerfish, mahi-mahi and red snapper.

Do you spend your free time on the water?
I do spend a fair amount of my off time on the water. I really enjoy kitesurfing and other watersports.

Do you have a first mate who helps you out on trips, and if so, what are his duties?
I do. I have a guy who has been with me almost six years now. He started the summer after his freshman year in high school, and he’s about to be a senior at Anderson University. So, he’s been with me every summer since. His duties involve getting here before I do and making sure the boat is set up and ready to go. That means getting rods and reels out and rigged and the boat iced down. He works hard all day, pulling the anchor, rigging baits and, at the end of the day, he’s doing cleanup.

What is your favorite part about the job?
I just get really excited to see the look on people’s faces when they’re catching a fish. A lot of the time it’s their first time out here, and you never know what we’re going to catch. It’s exciting to see what’s coming up. I love it as much as they do.

What was the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?
Probably the biggest fish I’ve caught are the tiger sharks, which are in the seven- to nine-foot range. .

Do you have any tried-and-true seasick remedies?
The best way to have a good day on the water is to get a good night’s sleep, don’t drink all night, and don’t eat a big breakfast.

What is your biggest fear out on the water?
We don’t want to have anybody with any kind of emergency medical issues while we’re offshore. I’ve taken first aid courses and hopefully would be able to keep things under control until we can get in or get help to us; but obviously that’s a big concern. The well-being of the boat is paramount too. We don’t want water on the inside of the boat, and we don’t want fire.

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