DECEMBER 2017 FEATURED ARTICLE BY CAPT. DAVID DUPNIK
Extraordinary & Professional Flounder Gigging Specialist – Meet Capt. David Dupnik!
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A dark time may have passed over Texas, but we now shine brighter than before, through the hopeful eyes of strength of so many.
As Hurricane Harvey swept through the Coastal Bend and destroyed most of what was in his path, August 25 will be the day that forever changed so many lives. We all stood to learn a lot about patience and what was most important in life. Hurricane Harvey took many things from the people of Texas, but what he couldn’t take is their strength, spirit, and perseverance. We chose to come together and help each other in a way that I haven’t witnessed before. When you see such destruction around you, the only thing left to do is start helping one another. We have also had so many volunteers from all over to help those affected – one day, one house, and one business at a time.
Many predicted the fishing season would be over after the storm. For a short minute, I was indeed worried not knowing what the waters looked like and if I would even be able to get to my go-to spots, I had clients calling to cancel trips and there were numerous boat ramps closed. I still had faith that the phone would start ringing and we would go out and find our fish. After close to two weeks of evacuation, I was able to return home. I took the boat out during the daylight hours so I could mark where there was any debris in my path before I headed back out when the sky turned dark. It was my first night back on the water after the storm and it was a little intimidating as I was hoping to see some fish, praying there would be a speck of clean water somewhere, and that my eyes would see anything that may be in my way. To my surprise, there were fish to be gigged! I was able to start generating a little income with my finfish commercial license.
Shortly after, I had my first call for interest in a fishing trip, David Bloemer and his kids were down from the Stockdale area and were ready for a gigging adventure. We left the dock that night and took a longer than normal boat ride and were able to find clear water. The kids beamed with excitement to witness the variety of sea life at night with the underwater lights. One by one, they stuck the twenty flounder and one sheepshead and landed them in the box. They did one heck of a job sticking those fish. We ended the night with their four person limit and a lifetime of memories to take back home with them. Eventually, it was back to business as usual, as my clients were calling to book trips or to ask if their scheduled trip was still on. Of course I said, “Come on, we can make it happen!” Trip by trip we went out and had successful nights. Once again my clients prove they are the best – which I am beyond grateful for. I had so many reach out to me and ask if there was anything they could do or just to send thoughts and prayers. I’d like to give a special shoutout to my client and friend, Rodney StJohn who brought down a cattle trailer loaded with hay and plenty of beef to stock the freezer. Thanks bud!
I am blessed and proud to be a member of the Coastal Bend community as we have risen up from the worst of times and proven that we will not be held down. I look forward to serving new and returning clients in 2018, and as always promise to give it my all, ALL OF THE TIME – no matter what barriers we may encounter.
Flounder gigging is a great experience for all – young and old alike. Make sure you put this adventure on your bucket list if you haven’t had the chance to try it before. You won’t be disappointed.
Give me a call and let’s go make some memories! 361-790-3271
Capt. David Dupnik ~ USCG Licensed Captain