As I watch my son transforming from a boy to a young man, I realize the impact of fishing and the outdoors has had on his life. I had him on the bow of a boat with me at 3 years old. I remember the very first time he and I went out by our selves without his Mom. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I took him along for a bowfishing trip down a brackish bayou. He stood on the bow of the boat with me as I used my trolling motor to ease down the banks hunting for gar, mullet, carp or whatever else we could get a shot off at. That was 11 years ago. I dont remember if I shot anything, but I do remember how good Gregory was up there on the bow of the boat helping me look for fish to shoot and pointing at every little swirl that was made on the surface of the water. It was a great day, and the beginning of many, many more trips he and I would share together. He doesn’t remember that day, but he does remember the hundreds of other trips he and I have made together from chasing topwater redfish to offshore trips loading up on Mahi.
I was fortunate to have a Mom and Dad that loved to be on the bays and back marsh, and the patience to bring me and my little brother along at very young ages. When fishing with my Mom and Dad, our main target of fish were Redfish in the marsh and bayous. Dad loved to be back in the bayous with live bait under a popping cork hunting for bronze colored Galveston Redfish. Many trips I remember loading the icechest up with Reds, Flounder, Speckled Trout, Croaker, Sand Trout, Black Drum, and Blue Crabs. Yes, we caught fish on most of our trips, but to tell you the truth the memories that stand out more in my mind, 30 years later is the time spent with Mom and Dad along with my little brother spending valuble family time on the water. When we were all together on the water, Dad wasn’t stressed or even thinking about work. Mom was relaxed either catching fish or catching some sun and working on her tan. It was great. Those days and memories are etched in my brain forever.
When I became a Dad, and began to bring my son out on the boat I realized a very important fact. As much as I loved fishing and catching fish, once I became a Dad and began teaching my very young son… It was no longer about me and the fish I caught. Patience, patience, patience is a extremely good virtue. From teaching Gregory to cast out, bait a hook, tie a knot to showing him how to work a topwater as he got older – Patience was needed. I at that moment realized how my Dad had the patience he did to teach me. I am not sure if Dad knew it – but 30 years later I appreciated all those backlashes he used to help me get out. Or when he would hand me his fishing pole so I could fish, as he worked on getting mine untangled.
Now my son is 14, has taken his boaters safety course and actually goes out on the bays alone if I am working. Yes, he can operate a boat better than most grown men. He knows how to locate fish. He knows how to read tides and currents. He can spot feeding fish, and knows what to look for. I don’t have to help him get untangled anymore. I don’t have to teach him how to cast. He ties his own knots. He has his own tackle. He has been on TV with me gigging flounder. He is my fishing buddy, and one day if I get to live long enough to the point where my eyesight gets bad, and I am not able to do the things I can do today – I know I have a fishing buddy that will tie my knots and maybe help me get a backlash out.
Never think it is too late to start making memories that will last a lifetime. Spend a day on the water with your son or daughter. Make it a family event. If it is on a pier catching pan fish, or book a trip with us – fishing is fishing, and great times will be had. We do specialize in Galveston Family Fishing Charters, and encourage young children on board. We even hold Galveston Summer Fishing Camps for kids. We know the importance of getting those kids on the water.