The Perfect Storm
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"The Perfect Storm" and Why It's Such a Great Fishing Movie

"The Perfect Storm" is a great fishing movie. Here's why.

You might think that just because this film (based on a true story) involves a large scale fishing boat it doesn't qualify as a fishing movie. Actually, all anglers can relate to the men in the story. There's a drive to brave any kind of conditions when the bite is on. But how far would you push your chances?

We still understand the circumstances surrounding the actual event are significantly different. We know better than to challenge the open water, especially the ocean, in the hurry to catch fish.

As anglers we sometimes succumb to the rush of the bite, or to find the next best spot before anyone else finds it. Truth be told, you and I are probably just looking to bend a rod and not support our livelihood.

"The Perfect Storm" is a way for us amateur anglers to try and understand why a boatful of men would try to brave the Atlantic Ocean in such a drastic set of circumstances.

Synopsis of "The Perfect Storm"

We'll try to give those who may not have seen the film a small dose of what it's about without giving the movie away. Sometimes that's a little difficult, so just know that there may be some spoilers in here.

From IMDB:

"In September, 1991, the swordfishing boat, the Andrea Gail, returns to port in Gloucester, Massachusetts with a poor catch. Desperate for money, Billy Tyne (the Captain) convinces the crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. They head out past their usual fishing grounds, leaving a developing thunderstorm behind them"

After initially being unsuccessful, the crew and vessel head to an area known as the Flemish Cap where the fishing improves. Once they've been successful and boated some fish, they realize that their ice machine has broken, and the only way to preserve their catch is to hurry back to shore.

It is October, the weather is starting to turn, and the confluence of three raging weather fronts is right on top of them, causing the titular "perfect storm."

The Cast of "The Perfect Storm"

The cast list is a who's-who of well-known actors, with some \decently big names anchored by none other than George Clooney.

  • George Clooney - Captain Billy Tyne
  • Mark Wahlberg - Bobby Shatford
  • John C. Reilly - Dale 'Murph' Murphy
  • Diane Lane - Christina Cotter
  • William Fichtner - David 'Sully' Sullivan
  • John Hawkes - Mike 'Bugsy' Moran
  • Allen Payne - Alfred Pierre
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - Linda Greenlaw

The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen who also directed such films as "Das Boot" and "Troy." "The Perfect Storm" is a fairly fictionalized conjecture of the experience of the Andrea Gail and its crew members during the "Storm of the Century" that actually happened in the early 1990s.

These fellows braved the open seas for one reason: to hook and boat swordfish by longlines. Why risk it? Well, the meat of this outstanding gamefish is prized by seafood lovers everywhere, and it can gather impressive prices.

The Last Word

The film was about a Nor'easter that happened at the same time as Hurricane Grace off of the Grand Banks in the North Atlantic. It was based on the book by Sebastian Junger, but for professional fishermen and everyday anglers everywhere (and the Coast Guard charged with protecting them all), it is more about pushing things past the limit in the effort to make a great catch that will never be forgotten.

As fishermen, we need to trust the meteorologists whose job it is to predict the weather including the winds, the storms, and the temperatures that we might encounter while out on the water.

Without giving too much away, this Hollywood film depicts the way in which we anglers see the next place to fish as the "spot of spots" and why we will never stop searching for the Holy Grail of fishing.

There's more to this story, but we'll leave it to you to catch up to it in your own good time.

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