CTF Name: CAPT. HOOP Reel Name: Larry Hooper Age: 65 Current residence: Empire, Louisiana. Home port: Venice Louisiana Hometown: Southington, CT Family: Wife Jo-Ann, 2 daughters, 2 step daughters, 1 step son, 2 foster daughters, and 11 grand children. Mother, brother, and sister. Occupation: Kind of retired; Deckhand on several boats and charter captain on my own 26' Glacier Bay Canyon Runner
1. First, update us on your wife’s condition. What happened to her and how is she doing? My wife gave us quite a scare. Having just lost her uncle and her dad going into a coma 3 days later and passing on 3 weeks later she goes down for the count as she entered the funeral home. That was the end of her passing off health signs as nothing to be concerned about. Thanks to the wonders of the medical field and the staff and doctors at Yale New Haven She is now doing well. I am proud of the fact that she is adjusting to her new way of life. Pace maker, Diabetes, asthma, minor kidney damage, meniere's disease -- all at one time. She is doing so much more now than she did before she had this happen to her.
2. Why did you decide to move to Louisiana? Did you fish there before you decided to move there? My Foster daughter's husband, from the Florida Panhandle, told me the kind of fishing I do off Montauk they do in Venice. I told him I do not like the over population of Florida. He said Venice Louisiana. I ran across Eddie Burger on the CTF site. We set up a trip that never happened but all else came together.
3. You shared your personal experience of surviving Hurricane Katrina with your friends on CTF. You gave us a detailed account of the destruction of your home and then the eventual rebuilding. What advice do you have for people who face hardship in their life? As bad as your loss is you have to still go forward. Feeling sorry for yourself can never be compared to feeling proud of overcoming the hardships and looking at how far you have come and accomplished. Hope you have the kind of friends we had to help us. Thanks CTF!
4. How do you stay in such good shape? Very good genes! I have always been VERY active and not afraid of work. I have been blessed.
5. You’ve been through a lot. Do you have any fears? I have a fear of not being able to do things on my own. I have been too active to be confined to a wheel chair in order to get around. If something like that should happen I will find a way to still do much more than most.
6. Alright, let’s get down to the fishing talk. How many kinds of species can you catch off Louisiana? I have caught 15 different types of fish in one day using the same method and bait. You name it we have it. We are 70 miles out into the gulf when sitting at the marina.
Riptide and Capt. Hoop.
7. What is one of your most memorable fishing trips in Louisiana? So many stories! Four people, 12 yellowfin, two hours. Two 45-pound amberjack back to back. First swordfish. First white marlin. First man overboard.
8. How many CTF members have fished with you down in Louisiana? Not enough. Would love to share with all. Only 14 so far.
Tim (Fishing FINattic), Scupmaster (Adam), Capt. Hoop, Bobbie (Fishing FINattic) and RV6 (Russ) enjoyed some great fishing off Venice, Louisiana. The group won the trip which Capt. Hoop offered to the members of ctfisherman.com in a raffle. Report.
9. Is there any kind of fishing found back here in CT that you miss? Black fishing has always been one of my favorite. Love to tug a tog. That being said this area has spoiled me. I have found much better fishing here.
Capt Hoop, 2nd from right.
10. Have you ever been in a life-threatening situation while out fishing? Several times. Some of it has been a learning curve. Glad I learned. I have helped out many people out there. They thought I saved them but I just helped out as usual.
11. Describe your perfect meal. You cook it I eat it. I have no restrictions and am not fussy. I do miss real lobster, clams, steamers, and mussels. We have hot dogs brought in when ever a guest comes in from up north.
12. Were you able to salvage any possessions from Katrina? If so, is there any item that holds special sentimental value to you? Found a lot of fishing equipment all over the place. Had all repaired and a lot of it is breaking down now. Most important thing was my boat. It had about $10,000 damage. As far as something of sentimental value We never even found the bricks from our home. Sentimental, no. Value, our lives.
13. Is there a certain trophy fish that you are still chasing? After just landing my first white marlin I am anticipating my first blue marlin. Chance of a hook up this year very likely. Landing it ??????
14. Do you have a dream fishing destination you’d like to visit? After living the life I have if I die tomorrow "I did it all". Halibut would be nice but this is by far the best fishing in the country and maybe in the world.
Capt. Hoop accepts the "Beyond Addicted. Just Plain Sick" award at the 2006 CTF Winter Banquet, while "My Girl" Chris presents Hoop with a gift from the CTF Offshore group.
15. Do you have a fond memory of taking your kids fishing? I would have to say the day Tammy caught her first pickeral off West Queen St. We had to leave there quickly because we went to a fire near Lake Compounce. (Editor: When Capt. Hoop was a fireman). I did get a picture of her and the fish, though.
16. What has been the biggest advance in fishing gear in your lifetime? I started fishing with a hand line on my own in plants pond. It was all up hill from there. Fishing gear advances have not impressed me as much as the electronics have for the boats. I remember running to Block Island or Montauk from Clinton in the fog with nothing but a compass.
17. What accomplishment in your life are you the most proud of? Without a doubt saving three lives. One from drowning, one in an industrial fire, and one in a structure fire.
18. Besides fishing, do you have any other hobbies you enjoy? At this time my life evolves around fishing only. With year-round fishing, I do not hunt anymore.
19. Pound-for-pound, what is the toughest fish species you have tangled with? Tuna so far. I think they take steroids.
20. What are you fishing goals/plans for the rest of this season? Get more fish for my customers, show them a wonderful trip, and stay safe. LIFE IS GOOD!
Capt. Hoop and Reelnice at the 2006 CTF Winter Banquet.