Monday, October 22, 2001

Fishing Kids, Children, Saltwater Fishing, Guide Perspective

There are no shortage of super “HIGH INTENSITY” fishing trips that come my way. A lot of guides probably find themselves in the same position. We get our share of “we don’t care if we catch a fish” trips as well. It’s the high intensity trips that you remember, however.

Enter Marshall Crawford and family. Marshall wanted to entertain his children with some fishing and he even had us host a two boat boys v. girls tournament on Sunday. Fishing kids is pressure packed and I’m no stranger to it. You need action and I don’t care what kind. That rod had better get bending and bending a lot.

Marshall asked me when he booked the trip as to whether I even wanted the hassle of fishing kids. My answer, a resounding yes! The future generation of fisherman are fighting pony Drum, Sheepshead, Hard Heads, and anything that will bend the pole. The CORE ENJOYMENT of fishing is being established at this young age. I believe that it is our job as guides to establish this LOVE OF THE GAME whenever we get a chance. We do it with a smile and plenty of patience; shrimp and a popping cork; and even a cheer from the movie “Bring It On”. I’ve modified it a little bit though, something to the effect of “those fish are U. G. L. Y. . . . ugly, yeah yeah there ugly. . . U. G. L. Y. they ain’t got no alibi, there ugly yeah yeah there UGLY! If you’ve got kids, you know the movie. I’ve only watched it about 20 times with my daughter and her friends.

There’s nothing like shifting gears from high powered tackle; savvy anglers; and drawing on years of experience trying to hook-up with the elite of the saltwater species to a 180 degree focus on anything that will eat a shrimp underneath a popping cork while anchored. I MEAN ANCHORED! No drifting, no current, no boat movement, nothing that will overly complicate the game. Saturday, we managed to put together a box of Blue Catfish, Redfish, and Drum. Sunday, with no wind, clear water, and little bait activity, we ran through a ton of Pony Drum along with a few keepers and the occasional Trout and Rat Red. Somehow, I managed to avoid a SOLID GOAT BITE, and luckily didn’t have to wrangle the hard to handle PRISONERS. Don’t think I wasn’t looking for Sheepshead, because I was. It just wasn’t meant to be. We managed at the end of the tournament on Sunday to have a “tie”. Capt. Brett Phillips took the girls and I took the boys. Brett tried to break the tie with an oversized Piggy Perch but I had to over rule this veiled attempt to run away with the trophy. All in all it was a great deal of fun and the smiles were plenty of reward. Thanks to Mr. And Mrs Marshall Crawford and their future Troutmasters Marshall Jr., Cameron, Mary Rodman and her friend Jewel.


Capt. Kris Kelley
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