Grammy award-winner Derek Trucks’ office is the stage, where he makes his guitar sing, laugh, cry and scream for legions of fans as part of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. But in his downtime, this avid angler is often on board his Hatteras 63 Convertible off the Florida coast, chasing wahoo, mahimahi and marlin. He calls time offshore a “slate cleaner.”
How did you start fishing?
“My earliest memories on the water are waking up long before sunrise and hitting the bait shop, then the boat ramp, with my grandfather. He’s a great river fisherman, and I learned patience from him. He’s still going strong at 95 years old.”
Do you have a favorite angling memory?
“One that sticks out is a Costa Rica trip about 10 years ago. I was fishing with a good friend of mine, Jimmy Herring, in the 2nd Annual Taj Mahal Fishin’ Blues Tournament. It was more of an excuse to get Taj, Dickey Betts, myself, Jimmy, and a handful of friends together to play music late night and fish. We had a blast. On the last day, we landed [and released] a 15 ½-foot black marlin on a Penn International 50 using a fighting belt missing the pin to stabilize the rod. It was quite a battle in a 19-foot boat.”
When you have downtime, where’s your favorite place to be on the water and why?
“I’m happy just about anywhere anytime on the water. But it’s hard to beat running out to the ledge and dropping lines in the water 60 miles offshore as the sun rises. It’s hard to think about anything else when you are out there. “
Aside from your current boat, what’s the one vessel you’d love to own some day and why? “I have seen a few of the vessels that John Bayliss is making and they are really extraordinary boats. Beautiful lines, functional, and I hear the ride is unbelievable. Anywhere in the 50- to 60-foot range. It’s a long haul to the fishing grounds in north Florida and I think that would be about the ideal ride.”