My greatest achievement in life is being a father to my wonderful two boys, Garrett and Gavin. This Father’s Day weekend, these kiddos gave me the perfect gift, a fishing trip together as a family.We always try to do things together as a family: trips, movies, etc. My boys often pick out gifts for me for birthdays, Christmas, Father’s Day, etc. which usually entails their picking out a “good fishing lure” from one of our local outdoor stores. Of course, their idea of a good fishing lure is based solely on the fact that they think it’s cool. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that these are always the best fishing lures to me personally.
This past Father’s Day weekend, the kids had been staying with grandma out of town, and we wouldn’t pick them back up until Father’s Day. As it turned out we were having a 3 day weekend, and the kids wanted to make it up to us by going fishing as my Father’s Day gift. Forget a tie, this is the perfect gift to me! Now let me preface this by saying that both my boys love kayak fishing. The problem is now that they’re getting older, we’re competing for time with everything going on in life; school, friends, baseball, etc. the list goes on and on. So to actually have them want to set time aside so we could spend some time together on the water is priceless, aka THE perfect gift.
We loaded up all our gear the evening before so we could easily get up, get ready, throw down on some breakfast, and head to the water. We’d already grabbed bait, so we headed straight to the launch. Once everything was unloaded, the boys wanted to do a quick little photo shoot with the kayaks before we launched. So here we are waiting for them to finish their set up; Kaku Wahoo yaks lined up, Okuma rods and reels in the rod holders, them decked out in their MTI pfd’s, each holding a paddle. Once complete, we paddled off to our first fishing spot. We’d decided to pack light this trip, and instead of putting 4 kayaks in my truck, we simply took 2 so we’d tandem on the water this trip. If you’ve been keeping track of the weather, Florida has been inundated with powerful thunderstorms every early afternoon for what pretty much feels like forever, hence our only taking 2 yaks this time out.
We get to our first spot and get lines out. Little Gavin is fishing with mama, and Garrett is fishing with me. For those of you who have boys, know that everything is a competition. 1st ones to the fishing spot, 1st one to catch a fish, 1st one to catch the biggest fish, and the list goes on and on. We get set up and within minutes Gavin catches the first fish, a little redfish. Before we blink, Gavin is now up 3 redfish on everybody! Garrett is starting to get a little aggravated because he’s not had so much as a little bump yet and he’s down 3-0. He then gets hooked up on a nice sized stingray. Now, for the rest of us, this is garbage, but to a kid, a fish is a fish and a line pull is a line pull. He’s stoked to have caught it!
We leave this spot because we’re dealing with a negative low tide that morning, and didn’t wanna be stuck back in that creek with storms rolling in that afternoon. As we’re heading out, Garrett and I see a huge redfish cruising around an oyster mound. We stop to check it out while Kaycee and Gavin go to the mouth of the creek. Just as we get set up, they yell for us that they’re stuck! UGH, we’re right there at a stud red, and have to leave to go help. We get them taken care of and go back to see if we can find that redfish, but to no avail. Gavin on the other hand ends up setting up at the mouth of that creek and catches 4 small catfish. Again, garbage to you and me, but Gavin looks at it like 4 more fish!
We decide to move out and hit up this dock before calling it a day. We race there of course. They might be kicking our butts with fish this day, but we’re the fastest paddlers, so we take solace in that. We’re set up on this dock and already getting tagged by fish stealing our bait. Garrett then gets back in the groove with a keeper sized mangrove snapper, then again with a small mangrove snapper. He’s beaming from ear to ear now, and all is right with the world again. Gavin catches a little pinfish to close out the day, and we head in just in time before the storms roll in on us.
Once loaded up, we head home but not without a stop by Wendy’s to grab some burgers, fries, and a couple Frosty’s. We had an amazing day on the water. Kaycee and I probably only got in about 3 casts each, but that didn’t matter. The boys had an awesome time on the water, we’re smiling from ear to ear, and I couldn’t help but be truly thankful for my perfect gift for this Father’s Day.