This morning I fished with Ed T. of Hutto, TX, and his 5 year old son, Eddie. We were in pursuit of the first fish of Eddie's life !!
Eddie, very capably assisted by his dad, caught 21 fish today, including the first fish of his life!!
Ed contacted me back in March or April this year about introducing his young son to fishing. Although the two of them were ready to go right then and there, I encouraged them to wait until the weather and the water got warmer so we'd be in prime season for downrigging suspended white bass and for fishing for sunfish up in the shallows. This would allow for "instant gratification" which is just what it takes to get and keep young children interested in the sport.
We headed out to the fishing grounds just as the sun was poking above the horizon and got our rigs set just above the suspended fish we found on sonar. Today, that was around 24 feet.
We found fish loosely congregated between Areas 480 and 476 and worked doctored Pet Spoons over these fish using tandem rigs. At 7:58 young Eddie had landed the first fish of his life, thus earning him a Texas Parks and Wildlife "First Fish Award". By 8:54, he'd boated 18 more fish including a nice largemouth bass and 17 white bass, 6 of which were landed two-at-a-time on the tandem rig.
By 9am or so, a long weekend of fun with cousins followed by some pool time, followed by getting to bed a bit later than planned was beginning to catch up with Eddie and he started "fading fast" as the morning heat began to build and the novelty of catch fish (even two at a time!) began to wear off.
Dad and I talked him into a quick adventure up to the shallows to pluck some sunfish out of the hydrilla near Area 1111, and that resulted in one bluegill and 2 spottail shiners being added to our count. By 9:20, the fun and sun were too much, and we called it a day right there.
To his credit (take note of this dad's of young boys!!) Ed didn't insist that Eddie stick with it, thus turning a very enjoyable trip for young Eddie into an endurance test to please dad. Ed realized Eddie had reached the limit of his 5 year old attention span and called it a day right there and then. This little thing is the thing that makes the difference between having your son as a fishing buddy for life, or having a son who says "Thanks, but no thanks" when he's older based on the memories of what fishing was when he was younger. Good call, Ed!!
As soon as I got back home and got the batteries on charge for the next trip, I got an e-mail out to TPWD requesting Eddie's "First Fish Award" accompanied by the required photos.
You only catch your first fish one time. It was great to be a part of that with a father and son like Ed and Eddie!!
TALLY = 21 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 9:15a
Air Temp: 76F at trip's start.
Water Surface Temp: 86.6F
Skies: Skies were hazy and ~65% cloudy.