One thing I’ll always be amazed about Carl is his almost photographic memory of the ocean. I remember a time in 2000 when he, Mike Dodson, and I were scouting for the Nationals at Russian Gulch in Northern California.
Carl was driving us around in his boat. We were looking for a particular spot that Carl was calling “Blue Heaven”, named that for a large rock that had been covered with blue rockfish. It was a spot that Chuck Cook had discovered years before.
This was before the days of using GPS, so all we had to go on were a couple of penciled sketches of coastal features that Chuck had drawn on white plastic sheets. Mike was looking at the sketches while Carl drove around in circles trying to find a place where we’d be able to see that the coastal features matched up with the sketches.
Carl kept going in circles in a certain area and saying, “It’s somewhere near here…I feel like we’re really close”, even though the way the shoreline looked did not at all match up with the sketches.
Finally, after a good half hour of motoring in circles, I looked at the sketches and asked Mike if he had them turned the right way. It turned out that he didn’t. As soon as Mike rotated the sketches so that what had been the horizontal ground features became the vertical features and what had been the vertical features became the ground features, it instantly became apparent that we had been driving in circles right over the top of Blue Heaven!
This, by the way, is the same spot that the team of Mike McGuire, Ralph Tieman, and Larry Schultd ambushed us on before the tournament. If they’re reading this, they’ll remember the exact moment, as well as the karma like consequences at the
This experience with Carl became the first of many more where I witnessed his absolutely amazing ability for finding underwater hot spots without using anything other than his memory.
It was this same ability of his that put the first place 2002 National team of Allen Spehar, Paul Verveniotas, and myself onto our sheephead hot spot in Carmel. Without Carl’s amazing ability, I do not believe we would have won that tournament.