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.
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.
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!
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.
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. View all posts by The WON