instilling the passion….

While I have been asked on a few occasions, with animated concern, if I have been fishing much since minimal content has been pushed through the meat grinder………………….rest assured I have still been conducting my regularly scheduled research of mother earth’s bounties.

However over the past many months I have had the luxury of a 2.5 year old shadow while engaging on many pursuits. Primarily because my wife is near the end of her pregnancy and her days of wrestling a toddler are temporarily behind her. Now I always knew that one of my greatest joys as a father would be exploring the pastimes I have a tremendous amount of passion towards with my children. I just NEVER realized how much work it would be.

Keeping a toddler entertained in a 17ft skiff for hours at a time takes strategy, particularly if you are by your lonesome. Such efforts are commonly unrewarded by the fish gods but it is really the meaningful time spent that is the goal, right? Anyone that knows me well understands days on the water are strictly only classified a success if fish came to hand. It is a rather unfortunate attribute of mine. Many amazing days on the water have ended in flames…………just because a few silly ass scaled demons.

I wish I could change but I cannot.

So many days of training have taken place over the past many months, things are progressing slowly but surely. Patience (which I have none of) have been tried and pushed beyond all recognition. Our adventures have taken us to the lower keys, the glades, camping, and beyond. Each having an interesting lesson learned and a few select images burned to memory

Lesson one: Screaming at your kid, PERM 3 o’clock! to only have her stare into space at 11 o’clock can be frustrating………….particularly since she can barely stand with a rod in her hand.

Lesson two: Understanding what parts of the fish that can be touched are sometimes delivered through trial and error…………………

Lesson three: Toddlers no matter you think are always trying to manipulate you……………………

We have since found a very good rhythm and many of our travels have been quite copasetic………..

Lucky for her she has some decent mentors…………………………….mommy 7.5 months pregnant and still getting it done on the bow

Lava sunset…………………….

baby bone and my baby…………

Of course my last day on the water, before our first son joins the crowd, was spent with my shadow in tow. As I mentioned previously, there is a lot of strategy involved in keeping a kid entertained while trying to tackle a few fish. For instance a box of raisins typically provides about 10 minutes of uninterrupted time on the poling tower, new squirt gun (best bang for the buck I have found thus far) about 20-30 minutes, shrimp in a bucket about 15 minutes, etc etc. Generally keeping them involved from spotting birds to counting mangroves on the shoreline is critical. I suppose I am just trying to provide some background on the complexity required to keep a kid entertained on a tiny skiff for hours at a time in the heat of the day. There is commonly a 75% chance that about the time you get comfortable on the tower you hear, “daddy pee pee”, or a “daddy water please”, “daddy I need a shrimpy”………..frustration typically sets in around the tenth request all while you can see a few fish in the distance or pushing off the bow, however, I still consider myself lucky to have a water girl.

On this particular day the weather was slick, 95 degrees and generally cloudy. Usually the hotter days are the most difficult as I have come to find out when dealing with my shadow. Lots of time in and out of the water, beach combing with intermittent spurts of fishing time, and after a few shots we brought a few bones to hand, losing one whopper before I could get on it with the skiff.

Not many small tarpon around right now but somehow we got lucky and when that fish came to say a quick hello I knew it was within our reach……………….

and after some conversation with my sidekick we agreed a long run was required given the approaching weather and our only chance at catching a slam………………….

We only had one shot after many hours of fishing in the heat of the day…………………………but we made it count and our first solo shared slam came to hand at 2.5 yrs old. We were both pretty damn pumped.

We gladly showed our mutual respect……………………

Still presently content being someone’s hero…………………an embarking on a new journey with the addition of a new fishing partner

Merry Christmas to the Saltyshores folks and many thanks to Sam for his tireless efforts to this website!! Collin

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