next generation of fishing
No matter how many times I heard it as a kid, the two big Crusader gasoline engines that sat in the belly of my dad’s 31-footer always startled me as they roared to life and the exhausts coughed loudly like someone with a chest cold. But every time this happened my trepidation was eased by the fact that I knew that all this noise meant we were going fishing. I think my dad liked taking me too, mostly because it was one of the few things that would cause me to shut my pie hole for more than 30 seconds.
There’s something about the simplicity and honesty of a reel, a rod, a line, a weight, a hook and a piece of bait that has always appealed to me. It wasn’t that catching fish was easy, some days we came home with empty buckets. However, I never felt disappointed by the experience. And when I did catch a fish, it was the conversation at home until the next trip.
It’s been around 40 years since I first wet a line and over that time I’ve been very fortunate to get to fish a lot, both on my time and as part of my job. As an adult, most of my angling efforts have focused on chasing pelagics such as marlin and tuna. I’ve owned three boats, fish in numerous tournaments each year and look forward to every day on the water with a rod and reel. I’ve been lucky enough to see a life’s worth of amazing sunrises and sunsets over water 100 miles from nowhere; watch whales breach, sharks leap, marlin greyhound and tuna glide like birds through the sea.
But just a few weeks ago I had my best-ever fishing experience. I took my son, Kevin, down to our boat for a half-day of bottom fishing. Within about ten minutes of dropping his bait, Kevin caught his first fish with very little assistance from dad. The smile on his face immediately took me back to my childhood and I knew that our family’s next-generation of anglers was born. We may have released the fish, but the memory is a keeper.