No, this story doesn't take place in the Gulf. This old man did not have an apprentice, he had another old timer fishing with him. It hadn't been 84 days since he caught a single fish, and he is not considered so unlucky that others will not fish with him. And walleyes weigh a lot less than marlins. It still makes for a good story:
As team after team walked across the stage, stepping out of their shiny painted boats, wearing spiffy shirts that loudly proclaimed the names of their sponsors, they kept the two old guys behind, in a tent to keep out the rain and the curious. The huge walleyes they had found, hooked, and netted swam lazily in a tank, awaiting their shining moment on stage.
It was a full field of contestants, it had been a cool, gray day for fishing. The previous days had brought lots of rain, and the fish were hard to find. Tales were told of missed opportunities, and the fish that got away.