Mia & the Little Gal: Holy Mackerel! The ‘Little Gal’ fishes the Gulf

I take the Little Gal on any adventure and try to teach her anything and everything possible. This year, our end-of-summer-vacation was a first for both of us. We headed south of Houston for some saltwater fishing.

We excitedly took a back-seat Jeep ride in the dark down to the beach. We were outfitted with “fishing rigs” – buoy net fish keepers along with bait buckets and catch nets were tied around our waists – and then we waded out into the Gulf of Mexico. We stood there in waist-deep water in the twilight of the morning and grinned with excitement. The water was amazingly warm and there were no waves to speak of. As the sun rose, we were taught how to attach live bait to our hooks and just how far and hard we needed to cast. We stood 20 yards from one another with our hooks in the water and smiled as we watched the sunrise.

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The LIttle Gal twitches the rod tip as she watches the sunrise over the Gulf. Photo by Mia Anstine.

The Little Gal stood in silence, watching the pelicans and seagulls pass. She occasionally shot me a grinning glare as she twitched her rod. We, of course, had a bet as to who would catch the first fish. I twitched my rod back, giggled and continued to enjoy the sunrise. In no time, she had caught a spotted trout! It was a small guy, but a first fish, nonetheless. I caught one right after and then she caught another. It was a morning filled with shrieks as our poles bent down toward the water and we fought to reel in big ole spotted trout.

Photo by Hank Anstine.

On another trip to the beach, we kept losing our bait. Well, maybe I shouldn’t use the word “losing.” It was being stolen without the hook being taken. The Little Gal pulled up her bait fish that was half gone and said, “Mom, something out there has some good teeth.” We continued to fish and a couple times lost not only the bait, but also our whole rigs!

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Finally we pulled in that thief. It put up a big fight and we pulled it in circles around us as we screamed for Hank to net it. We didn’t want to be anywhere near that crazy looking, sharp-toothed fish! Hank netted it as we jumped up and down with excitement. “WHAT IS IT?! WHAT IS IT?!” We screamed. It wasn’t a trout this time. It had spots. We then screamed to our guide and he waded out to look. He said “It’s a Spanish Mackerel.”

The Little Gal and I jumped up and down and grinned and I yelled “Holy Mackerel!” The Little Gal nearly fell over in the water she was laughing so hard. The saying will never have the same meaning to the two of us. Holy Mackerel! What a day!

The Anstine family operates Wolf Creek Outfitters. Visit their website, and better yet, take a wilderness adventures with them.

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  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Dawn Obrecht says: September 14, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Reminds me of one of my daughters watching a deer cross our path, before hunting season, and saying: “Sausage!” The word sausage has never been the same in our household. Working on “The Making of a Lady Hunter”, anecdotes from my transformation from vegetarian to hunter, adding recipes, including our homemade sausages. Hoping for agent/publisher!

  • Little Gal says: September 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    ITS A HOLY MACREL!!!!!!! That was the funniest day ever! LOL!!!!!!!

    • Barbara Baird says: September 14, 2011 at 6:25 am

      Hey Little Gal! Thanks for jumping in here. When I read what your mom wrote, I could almost hear her laughing! We all enjoy reading your adventures together. And remember … every blogpost is a potential chapter in a book someday! Keep up the good work, because your mom would not have half as interesting of material if you weren’t along on the adventures with her!

      • Mia Anstine says: September 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

        Barb, I am so lucky to be able to create such fun opportunities for the Little Gal. You would have laughed too last night. I walked in the room and she was staring at the computer laughing so hard she nearly fell off the chair. I had to come see what craziness she may be looking at. She said to me between breaths “HOLY MACKEREL!” and laughed & laughed. I tell you. That quote has a new meaning in our household. I never knew two words could be so funny to a Little Gal. She’s so much FUN!

  • Bill Bowers says: September 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Great article, great photos, and nice fish. Spotted seatrout and Spanish mackerel, oh my! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Barbara Baird says: September 14, 2011 at 6:27 am

      That’s high praise coming from a literary agent and book editor! Thanks, Bill. I know you agree that Mia’s posts are inspiring and just make you want to find a kid somewhere and take him or her fishing, hunting, shooting, something outdoor-related!

    • Mia Anstine says: September 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

      It sure is always a compliment to have the legendary Bill Bowers post a positive comment on our stories! We humbly thank you.