Rik Jacobsen started jetty fishing with his dad at a very young age. When Rik was a teenager his dad bought an offshore boat and started a course in Riks life that would eventually change the game for the Texas Offshore Fishermen. He remembered what the old salts would tell him when he asked where they caught the sow snappers he saw at the cleaning tables. They would say something like “off the back of the boat kid” or “in the water”. It was at that time that he told himself he would do it differently someday.
After Rik started to publish his book, he spent an average of 150 days per year on the water helping fishermen become better fishermen. His website, books and DVD has helped thousands of fishermen over the years.
When Rik became ill, he was concerned on how his legacy would live on. He needed to pick a protégé that he could trust and the protégé he picked was Tom Hearring. Rik and Tom spent a lot of time together in Riks last year of life. They went over every aspect of how Rik wanted his business to continue. When Rik passed away he willed his business to Tom and Scott Hunter. Together they will continue Riks legacy of finding offshore structure and putting fisherman on fish.
Rik not only taught us how to be better fishermen, he taught us how to be a better person. He would often say that every fisherman he met was a good guy and Rik was no exception to the rule.
Rik will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the fishing community but, the legend of Rik Jacobsen will live forever.
By Charlie Everts
Where do I begin on Rik?
Well I first heard of Rik from my old high school buddies back years ago. Yes, I did attend high school back in the dark ages. My buddies somehow had known Rik and had fished with him. I asked to be called the next time they were going with Rik with hopes I might tag along. I did get a call about 2:30 one early morning saying to come on the fishing trip was on. Now I had just come home from a long night of partying with friends and was in no shape to go fishing. I tried to decline but, I had to make the trip. Heck it was with my buddies and also with Rik Jacobsen!! Wow, what a day, I was sick as a dog but, I remember catching some fish.
I became friends with Rik and we began to fish together. The trips evolved into money making trips not just recreational fishing. Back in those days, there were no regulations regarding quotas on Snapper. I began fishing with a 20 ft. Glastron I had bought and fixed up. Rik was partners with a fella and they had a 24 ft. Anna Capri. We fished those boats and then I bought a 24 ft Cobia Caribbean which was a fine offshore boat. We fished together for many years from the 60’s up into the late 70’s. From the Loran A days through the GPS days there’s quite a big difference in the accuracy of the equipment. Back in the Loran A days I had two sets of Morrow receivers both mounted side by side on the Cobia so we could watch both lines at the same time. You didn’t have to look or switch back and forth between lines. The receivers didn’t give both readouts at the same time like the new stuff. The best accuracy you could expect in the Loran A days was several hundred feet so those days you had to really hunt to find spots. That’s where I learned from Rik to be tenacious and take plenty of time looking for spots. We spent hours looking for a particular spot. And normally it paid off. The first Loran C receivers only had one readout also so you had to constantly be switching from one line back to the other but the accuracy w as much better. Later units came out showing both lines. It became much easier to “go back” to a spot and find new spots. You didn’t have to be much of a fisherman to find spots with loran C and when GPS came on the scene anyone could find a spot if they had the number. That’s when it became imperative to keep quiet about your spots because any pot licker could find it if somehow they got the number. That’s a whole different story and I won’t attempt to go there.
Rik was quite a teacher even when he wasn’t trying to teach. His tenacious approach to finding new spots couldn’t help but rub off on me. I learned from him everything I could regarding offshore fishing. As I said earlier, we mostly bottom fished constantly looking for new spots and always looking at the bottom working on transducer positioning and tuning or adjusting our bottom machine to allow for better seeing the bottom while traveling at higher speeds. We never “put in” a number in the GPS and drive to it. We knew what the number was and just drove the boat to that number “knowing which way to run on the compass” that allowed the numbers to get right. That way you are always covering new ground constantly looking at the bottom. Most folks make that mistake always covering the same ground and never finding anything new. Hoping someone will give them a new number that they can find and catch fish. Never trying to find their own stuff. So sad….
I remember fishing a Snapper tournament with Rik years ago. We found a fish on the bottom and I dropped on her. (If you pay attention and know how to use your bottom machine, you can do that) I got the fish hooked up and was fighting her to the top while the guys (don’t remember who they were only Rik) on the boat were yelling and clapping. I point out that the fish was not in the boat yet. Well, she came off about 40 feet down but I could see her and she was sick with the bends. She would try to go back down but could not. I watched her slowly come to the top and we maneuvered the boat to keep up with her in the current. Well she came near the top and we landed her and won the tournament. What luck! Another time we were fishing I had an Amberjack to the top and the entire school came up with her. I kept the fish on my hook in the water and Rik green gaffed a ton of the A. J.’s throwing them in my Cobia. We had fish from the V bunks in the cuddy cabin in the front all the way to the stern. Don’t recall how many but we made a good payday that day. By the way, Rik was strong as a bull. We snapper fished for fun but also to supplement our meager income from our real jobs. Remember there were no rules regarding quotas or selling back then. If we had ever counted the hours we spent going and coming fishing we probably would not have made much per hour but we liked to think so.
I like to sit and think of those days gone by. I do not hate those snapper like we used to. I think of the enjoyable days (mostly when it was calm) riding with Rik and looking and listening to the water come off the bow with that hissing sound. Those were the days when I was a younger man enjoying the outdoors, fishing with the one and only Rik Jacobsen. Listening, watching, and learning from such a great friend and probably the best snapper fishing guy that has ever been around. We love you Rik and you are always in our thoughts especially when we break the jetties. One of these days we will get after em again.
Thanks you J Kirk (Rik).
Dr. Pitts (Charlie)
Those aliases are what we used to call each other back in the day. J Kirk came from his fire extinguisher business and Dr Pitts because I loved Dr. Pepper’s.
By the time our wakes crossed, Rik was already a legend along the
Texas Gulf Coast. After decades of prowling the shallow bays, I had
shifted my sights offshore and Rik was instrumental in setting up my
electronics. We were fast friends and I followed his teachings to
target and harvest a variety of snappers, amberjack and groupers. If
all you take from this book are tips and numbers, you have missed the
mark. To feel and sense Rik’s deepest love of all who fish, is the
spot that storms and time cannot erase.
–Scott Markowitz “Magic Marko”
I thought after a few decades fishing the Gulf of Mexico, we had this fishing thing figured out. My Brother Troy came to me one day and said he has heard about this Rik Jacobson Guy. He is supposedly the Gulf Of Mexico Fishing Legend. So I agreed with Troy to have Rik come to the boat and see what knowledge he could share. Rik rolled into Port Alto around 9am on Sunday morning. I still was not sure about this guy and what he knew. We visited about some common friends and then it was show time. Within the first hour, what I thought I knew about the Gulf, was stuff he learned probably in first grade!! 6 hours later, I realized this Great Man by the name of Rik, was a Gulf of Mexico Master Fisherman. Sad to say shortly after our introduction, he became ill. We visited on the phone periodically, but never got to spend time roaming the Gulf looking for that next hot spot. He has taught myself and many others how to make all your trips very memorable and productive. When I roll up on some the great spots Rik shared, I cannot help but wish he was there with us.
Mike Prasek, Jr.
Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse
I had been bay fishing all my life. One day fishing the jetties and looking out across the slick gulf, I told my wife lets run out to those first oil rigs. We always wondered what kind big fish they held. It was a totally different world for us. We would always watch the big boats leave and return at the end of the day. We made the decision and went for it. Unexpectedly we caught sharks and King fish. Had our lines broke many times along with big pulls, we didn’t know what we were in for, but we were excited about our new adventure. Bitten by
the offshore bug we fished rigs when we could. Catching pretty much the same fish. We wanted to venture further and wanted bigger fish. Searching a popular fishing site, I came across the name Rik Jacobsen in many searches. He came highly recommended by many. He had a fishing book with Gps numbers of wrecks and reefs. I sent him a message about his book. We messaged back and forth, finding out he lived close. Very knowledgeable and friendly from the get go, he gave me a few numbers to try. By this time I had purchased a bigger boat and better gear. Our catch was consisting of more species of fish, and better quality. We talked back and forth exchanging information for a while. Before long I had Rik on my boat. Tuning my electronics and taking my family
and friends out to his various spots. We did well, and along the way a great friendship was made.
Sometimes these trips consist of a two to three hour run in each direction, leaving time for conversation. I was intrigued at this seasoned fisherman that I had the opportunity to have on my boat sitting right next to me. He shared some of his deepest fishing secrets with me over time, we fished many times together. It turned into not only a business relationship, but a real friendship of two fisherman that had a love for the bluewater. I enjoyed his old fishing stories and how he started to where he was present day as a hired fishing consultant. Over time I learned he was well respected by many fisherman. He had a passion and knowledge of the ocean like no other. We often called him a walking offshore encyclopedia.
He would try his hardest to put you on quality fish, and when he did you could see the excitement in his eyes. I had the pleasure of having him fish with me more than most and am honored to have had that. He taught me a great deal about the offshore world, and I’ll never forget that. He became a great friend of mine and I will never forget that. We lost one of the great ones way to early. But his legacy will never be forgotten. He taught many, and that will always be passed on to others.
Hope your line is tight and your hook always finds it place Rik. We miss you, and will fish together again one day bud.
Thank you for everything you taught me sir.