Come On Down

With my work, both boys playing baseball and Suzanne well into her horses, the Suwannee River seemed to fall off my personal radar until 3 weeks after the first trip, a call from the guide changed everything. He called me and said, “Come on down. The weather forecast for the coming weekend is excellent and, if I could, I should bring my boat down Saturday and plan on fishing the incoming, afternoon tide,” adding, “I’d sure like to fish with you, but I’ve got clients all day Saturday.” With “honey dos” on the horizon for this Saturday, I told him that I would see him then.

Informing the family about the plans, Brad was staying over at a friends on Friday night and he was out, but Randy, 12, and Suzanne, 8, loved to fish, asked if they could go and my ex informed me that she was going too, so a trip was on, 55 MPH speed limit and all. We arrived in Suwannee at the only bait camp, showed the kids the pet bass which impressed them greatly, checked with the proprietor about the status of the manatees and were told, “No manatees,” bought some shrimp, launched the boat and off we sped down the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico.

We, didn’t take a hard right as before, but started fishing in 6 feet of beautiful, clear, green water and for the first 20 minutes didn’t have a hit. Heading back toward the shore, we moved into 4 foot of water with much more grass. Bingo, our first casts produced 2 nice specs! Everyone caught fish and soon we had 30 nice speckled trout in the cooler. Since we were going to eat at the only restaurant in town and fresh caught speckled trout was on their menu, we headed in, cleaned and iced the fish down, cleaned the boat and made arrangements to store it in the bait camps very secure boat storage facility.

Kids are fun to fish with, wanting to closely check out each fish, touching the big teeth in the trout’s upper lip, and of course getting their fingers caught in the fish’s mouth, jerking back and finding the fish’s teeth firmly holding their fingers. Randy could bait up, cast and net fish. Suzanne was learning and now, years later, both are accomplished fisherpersons.

After cleaning up in our room in the only motel in town, we headed for the, now extremely crowded, restaurant. A 5 minute wait and in we went to be seated, then I saw someone stand up, waving in our direction, it was the only fishing guide in town.

He was eating fish with his clients for the day and introduced me, as “This is the Texas guy I was telling you all about.” Continuing, “How did you do this afternoon?” Replying, “We caught about 30 in 2 hours.” “See,” the guide looked at his clients, “He ought to be guiding down here too! This fella’ can catch trout!”

For the second time in my life this thought occurred to me, Sometimes a good day job can really interfere with your avocation!