Sunday, January 1, 2023

New Year's Fishing

December 31st, 2022

 Winter break began, so since I was able to come back down from college, my brother wanted to fish. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to fish too often at UF. Because of that it was definitely refreshing to pick up the rod and reels for a final few fishing trips to close out 2022. Looking back on it, it was another fun year both in terms of fishing and life in general, with many memories I’ll look back on fondly. It was cathartic to go back with my brother to our spot, the dock across the street from our house.

    We first picked up a couple dozen live shrimp from Arky’s, and then made it across the street in time to beat the sunset, so we could still see the fish in the canal. The fish started biting right away; Jacob was first on the board with a Mangrove Snapper! There was a school of fish that included Jacks, Snappers, Grunts, and other fish that were swimming by, and it was shaping up to be a good day. That being said, I was missing a few close chances with the Jacks (one of my favorite fish to catch in the canal) to my chagrin. Soon after, however, something a bit out of the ordinary happened. We’ve seen Barracudas in that canal before, and they often check out our baits/lures, but in our experience we had yet to hook up on one. This time, I saw a Barracuda that looked a little more hungry than usual. I put a whole live shrimp on the hook and dropped it down slowly and with slack so as to make it look natural and gave the rod to my brother. I gave him guidance as he kept his cool enough to keep the bait in the perfect position. Sure enough, it but the shrimp hard and got hooked! Jakes tried fighting it for a bit, and almost caught the fish, but the reel locked up on him and the Barracuda was able to bite through the line. It really hurt at the time - Jakes was almost in tears due to the shock and disappointment - but in the end we were happy to hook up on it and have hope going forward that catching that elusive fish can be done in the future.

    After that, I caught a pufferfish, Jakes caught a puffer, and I caught a Bluestriped Grunt. We only had one rod since I took some extras up to college, so we switched off each time. This was an inconvenience, especially with my brother who does not have any patience whatsoever - not great for fishing. I had to remind him to stay calm to keep the bait looking natural, but he was able to catch fish. Even though Puffers can get annoying sometime, they’ve got a special place in our hearts since we are so used to catching them in what’s virtually our backyard. On top of that, they’re still a really cool fish - even if they do steal your bait.

    There was a really nice sunset as we caught the last few fish of the day, after which we packed up and went back home with good feelings about the day. It’s always great to fish and be on the water. We still had a good amount of shrimp left, so we kept them in the bucket and left it overnight in case we’d want to fish again the next day.

(There were some problems with camera vividness settings. Sunset was cool though)


February 1st, 2023

    We had extra shrimp so we went back the next day to see what we could catch. While less eventful, we did end up with more fish - a good sign to start off the new year. I caught the first one, a Bluestriped Grunt, followed by puffers - two from Jakes and one by me - and then Jakes caught a Bluestriped Grunt and finished with a Sailor’s Choice Grunt. All in all it was just nice to go back out and have a good time catching some fish. It’s always nice being back home and able to relax. Fishing is a great way to do that. As the sun set, marking the end of another fishing trip and another year of fishing, I was glad to be able to soak it in and just have fun on the water with my brother.