Most dads will agree that their fishing buddy is simply their son or daughter. For me it’s my youngest son Gavin, who just turned eight. He’s the more outdoors type of my 2 boys. Little Gavin attended a demo day with me this past Saturday, and while I was paddling around a new SUP from Kaku Kayak, Gavin stood along the beach casting a fishing rod. This is what got his juices flowing.It’s no secret that our time on the water has been somewhat limited these past several weeks. In Florida we had to deal with Hurricane Irma, then a constant northeast wind which had the water ridiculously stacked up and the return of our Fall Little League baseball season. So to say we’ve been busy is the understatement of the year. But that Saturday morning got the juices flowing. As a matter of fact, Gavin wanted to keep fishing while at the demo day, but we had to get back for a baseball game. Although he was a bit aggravated at leaving the water, he made me promise that we’d hit the water soon together.
As luck would have it, we didn’t have anything planned for Sunday except for a late afternoon baseball practice, so I told Gavin that we’d fish that day. My plan was to sleep in a little, and hit the water around 11ish. We’d fish for a couple of hours, then head back for baseball. Truth be told, I was pretty excited about getting to spend some quality time with my little fishing buddy once again. Gavin and I used to fish together all the time when he was smaller. We’d hit the water 3, 4, even 5 times a week. Of course once he hit the age of 5, school started and really screwed up our time together on the water.
Sunday morning hit and Gavin was ready to go. I’m pretty sure I got hit up every half hour starting around 8am if it was time to go fishing. After a good breakfast, we set up to loading up our gear in the truck so we could hit the water. I loaded the Wildy ATAK 120, made sure I had the remote and battery plugged in for my Power Pole Micro, grabbed our Okuma fishing rods, and Gavin grabbed our MTI pfd’s. We grabbed some bait shrimp, then headed off to our launch spot. We arrived and I quickly realized that I’d not checked the tides or wind forecast. The water was very high and the winds were whipping on us. I thought to myself this is gonna be a tough day on the water. My little fishing buddy didn’t care about the tides or the wind, because we were on the water and that was all that mattered to him.
We paddled out to our fishing spot, Gavin’s choice of where we were going to fish that day. We got our baits in the water and within minutes Gavin was hooked up to a nice little yellow mouth trout. I followed suit myself with a little yellow mouth as well. Ten minutes into our fishing trip and we both had the skunk off. I then stuck a small redfish, followed by an ugly toadfish and was up 3-1 on little Gavin. Not to be outdone, he landed a beautiful little black drum with great color on it.
By this time, we were basically running out of time, so we decided we were going to start heading back in. I told Gavin that we’d hit up one more spot on our way back in, and my little fishing buddy was all in. We pull up, get positioned and I drop the Power Pole Micro to get us anchored up. I’d put a shrimp on a popping cork for Gavin and he casted it out next to a submerged oyster mound. The cork had barely hit the water and went straight down so my little fishing buddy set the hook and started fighting. Gavin’s Okuma fishing rod and reel were doubled over the whole fight. I knew in my soul that he’d hooked up with a stud red the way this fish fought. It was running all over the place and I was extremely excited for my fishing buddy. Gavin got it next to the boat and it wasn’t a redfish at all, but a nice little Jack Crevalle which was a first for Gavin as he’d never caught a jack before.
We grabbed a quick picture then released the jack to fight another day. My fishing buddy was pumped and dropped the famed “one more cast” line on me. He baited his hook and pitched back out to the same spot once again. He missed a couple of strikes, and all that did was fire up my fishing buddy more and more. He pitched out one last time and watched the cork bobble, then go under. Gavin set the hook and this time got his redfish. He reeled it in, got his photo, then safely released the redfish with his Cuda grips.
Time was starting to get away from us, so we decided to call it a day after that last fish. Besides, we have a long tradition of hitting up a Wendy’s for burgers, fries, and a coke after our fishing trips. The whole time between big bites of a bacon cheeseburger, my little fishing buddy kept telling me he’d had an awesome time on the water together. The smile on his face told me that he’d truly had fun together. The smile on my face showed that I cherish these times together with my little fishing buddy. On our drive back home, Gavin was already asking if we could go fishing again this weekend. My reply? You bet little man, we’ll make it happen!