What’s in a name? Plenty when it comes to the boats that fish in the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament – or elsewhere.
“I tell you what there’s some creative, interesting ones out there,” said angler Matt Hanley, who caught the 533.8-pound Big Rock winner a year ago aboard Run Off and is fishing this year on Top Shelf. “Boat names are usually, I’m sure, tied to the owner’s personality or owner’s trade.”
Like, well, Pig Rig, whose owner, Tommy Herring, is president of Hog Slat Inc., the largest contractor and manufacturer of hog equipment in the United States and is based near Newton Grove.
There’s business and then there’s, well, business.
“Two of the best sport boats ever were the Hooker and the Madam,” Hanley said. “Madam was the mother ship and Hooker was the one that went fished all these unfished waters in Panama and stuff. There’s definitely some tongue in cheek humor with some of them.”
Some are heartfelt – Inspiration and Miss Judy, among them. Others are hilarious. How about this: She Got the House and The Other Woman.
Some are a bit risqué or a double entendre (Miss Behaven and Second Wind).
Others are straight forward, such as Angler as well as Carolina Girl and Carolina Lady. And, of course, there are the reel names – Reel Affair, Reel Country, Reel Crazy, Reel Current, Reel Dizzy, Reel Happy, Reel Love, Reel Pirate, Reel Quick, Reel Rigging and Reelin Feelin.
Thank goodness not all of those are fishing the Big Rock. That’d be a reel problem.
Some play on words. Bill Collector and Knot Done Yet are just two examples. Others are acronyms. Take Galot, e.g., Get a Load of This.
All, however, share one thing. They have a story.
Here’s a couple of them that caught my attention:
First, there’s Honey Hush, which is a 61-foot Spencer out of Raleigh that brought a 518.5-pound blue marlin to the docks Tuesday to take the early lead in the weeklong $2.56 million tournament.
And, according to owner Bob Warren, the name has nothing to do with a message to a woman.
“Well, no, not really. Well, sometimes it did,” he said with a laugh.
In fact, he said it was a “simple story.”
“It’s an old southern colloquialism,” he said. “It basically boils down to my father, who owned the boat originally, well, he technical still does, but he no longer fishes. He loved the movie ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’
“When Burt Reynolds rolled the Trans Am out of his 18-wheeler Jerry Reed said, ‘Well, honey hush.’ My father loved it.”
Then there’s Skirt Chaser, a 55-foot Buddy Cannady out of Manteo and owned by Barry Daniels.
Again, it’s not what you think – or at least that’s what Daniels insisted.
“I just created it … 19 years ago. I can’t quite tell you where it came from. I just liked it and it stuck ever since,” he said. “When you charter fishing, you want people that will remember your name. They might not remember the captain’s name, but you want somebody that’s going to remember the boat name. That’s kind of where ‘Skirt Chaser’ came from. It’s just what I always wanted to call my boat.”
So it has nothing to do with chasing, well, women?
“I knew you were going to say that,” Warren said with a hardly laugh. “I ain’t going to put my name on that one there. I’ve got a wife and young kids and all that. I ain’t going to put my name on an article with nothing like that.
“I’ve had a lot of people very impressed with it, and it stuck with me for 19 years now.”
As this column heads back into the docks, I would like to offer a few suggestions for boat names. If you’re a baseball fan, how about See Ya!, Outa Here! Or Going, going – gone!
A football fan? You could slap Block & Tackle on the stern. A golfer? Water is not a Hazard or Bite, Bite, Bite.
You get the idea.
Finally, one of the best names of a boat I know of was Deadline, which my former bureau chief with The Associated Press in Columbia, S.C., named his sailboat that he docked in Charleston.
Simple, when the AP’s main office out of New York would call the bureau in search of him, his staffers could reply – truthfully – that he was on “Deadline.”
Rick Scoppe can be reached at 910-219-8471 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org