Captain Jim Stone has been fishing the Gulf of Mexico since 1976. An uncle began inviting him, and his father and big brother on trips out of Pascagoula, Miss.
In 1982 Jim bought a 19' boat and began fishing the Chandaleur Island chain south of Gulfport, Miss. for Speckled trout and Redfish. The fishing was hot most of the time, but seeing boats coming in with King Mackerel, Cobia, Amberjack, and Snapper, certainly got Jim's attention.
In 1984, a close friend asked him to go along on a trip to the production platforms and drilling rigs off the coast of Louisiana. The trip netted over 300 pounds of Snapper, Cobia, and Amberjacks. The largest was a cobia, which weighed over 60lbs. Jim quickly lost interest in fishing for inshore species and began gathering tackle and related equipment for fishing for "the big ones".
After learning the navigational skills and fishing techniques, he purchased a 31' Lafitte Skiff powered by a 275hp diesel engine. Beside being a fine "sea" boat it was great for fishing and diving. It had a large back deck area and a comfortable cabin.
A couple of years later, Jim and his wife moved to Pensacola. A US Coast Guard Captains license was earned in 1991.The boat was used primarily for diving and fishing. He was approached by a local dive store and asked run charters for their customers. That gig lasted a couple of years and even though it was fun, Jim became bored with the routine and announced after some close brushes with dive accidents that he was returning to his first passion: FISHIN!
Jim and his lovely and tolerant wife sold the 31' Lafitte and bought a 41' Lindsey Charter Boat. "We worked on the boat for over a year to bring the boat back to USCG standards", says Jim. "When we finished, we had a safe comfortable boat capable of fishing up to 22 passengers"
In the off season Jim works on oilfield boats up to 150' in length. But when March comes around, and the weather turns warm again you will find him at the marina readying the "Emerald Coast" for another summer on the water.