For the past couple weeks, I've been anxiously awaiting my first off-shore fishing excursion during our vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Last Tuesday was the day, and it was totally worth the wait.

The first challenge for me was getting up on time. We had to be up at 4 a.m. in order to make it onto the boat on time. Surprisingly, that wasn't as big of a problem as I thought it would be. I was up and had a cup of coffee in me before 4:05. After a few final things that we had to add to the cooler, we were off.

We had chartered a boat out of Oregon Inlet in North Carolina called SeaBreeze from its captain Ned Ashby. The boat departure time was 5:30, but we were all loaded and out on the water by 5:15. That brought about the next challenge. I heard so many horror stories about sea sickness that I was a little worried it would ruin the trip for me too. Luckily that wasn't the case. As we went over a few rules from George, the first mate, we were all anxiously awaiting our catch.

The sea life began to show its face in pilot whales and porpoises (which I learned not to call dolphins) shortly after the sun came up but no fish on a line. We actually waited a few hours before we saw our first real fish. It was a mahi mahi (or as they're more commonly known -- dolphin fish or dolphin), and I was up first.

I jumped into the fighting chair for my first challenge and started reeling. The first one didn't take long at all, and before I knew it, we had caught our first fish. The second one took quite a bit longer to find.

We were really starting to wonder if we were going to have a successful day at all when we rolled up on four tuna all at once. Those were a much bigger challenge, but they were incredible to catch. To feel the power in just one fish was amazing. After that, the fish just kept on rolling.

In all we walked away with over 20 mahi mahi, five tuna and a wahoo. That combination is what's known as a "Meat Slam", and evidently it's not all that common. It was a great day! We caught tons of fish and no one threw up!