Cold air can disrupt and make life difficult for fishing boat captains and their crew

Workers on Gulf deal with bitter cold


Working as a fisherman at sea is made even more challenging by the lingering cold air that has clamped down on the Tampa Bay area.

"It gets frustrating," said fishing boat captain Randy Lauser.

 Lauser, his crew, and the 'Michelle Marie' are ready to go, almost.

"We're just waiting on the weather," Lauser said.

Working the on the fishing boat in the chilly gulf waters will test a man.

"When it's cold out there, your hands turn like purple and they get numb.  Sometimes it's just brutal, brutally cold," Lauser added. 

The bait is ready and they have enough ice for more than 10,000 pounds of fish. 

"When you're out there, you got the water with the moisture and you got the wind and you got the spray coming in your face.  By the end of the day, you can feel just the salt crust on your face.  I mean, it gets miserable.  It gets totally miserable," Lauser said. 

Tony Sheperd can agree with that.  He returned Wednesday morning after eight days aboard the Kingfisher.

"Wow.  We had anywhere from 8' to 0' foot waves hitting us left and right.  It was pretty intense," Sheperd said.

Captain Randy makes good use of extra time before leaving Thursday, a day later than planned.  It's one last run to the tackle store, where he's eyeing something else.

"You've got to stay warm.  This is what keeps you warm.  These are the winter time gear," Lauser explained, holding up a pair of heavy-duty protective rain pants.

When the 'Michelle Marie' heads out to the gulf, they'll have plenty of winter time on their hands.

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