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My son Austin (age 8) and I went on an offshore trip yesterday and any doubt I had about his ability to be my #1 fishing partner and first mate for life was quickly squashed. Like any son getting to do something for the first time with his father he was excited and put forth the willingness and effort to help with the preperations for the day to come whole heartedly.

With a 2:45 AM wake up call he arose from bed with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. We made the hour drive to our destination talking and discussing what the day might bring little did we know it would bring more than I certainly expected.

We got to Capt. Elliots boat dock at 4:00 AM and Austin was quick to pick up and carry what he could to help load up. After loading up and getting squared away on the boat we kicked back and enjoyed a little breakfast both of us full of excitement.

The boat was underway at 6:00 AM and we broke the freeport jetties at 6:30 to absolute flat seas and the sun barly peeking thru the clouds and over the horizon. I couldnt have asked for better conditions for his first" big pond" experience.

Making the three hour ride out and our transition from green to aqua green to blue water gave me time to show my first mate some new things like weed lines, current rips, flying fish (we even saw a small school of tuna busting the suface but the Capt. didnt stop, not what the trip was about) and what they all meant to us as fisherman. Then I got to explain how things would work when we got to our destination.

At our first stop we were standing at the ready with baited hooks and rods in hand waiting for the Capt. to give us the word. Our first stop was for some bee-liners (vermillion snapper) and the action was fast and furious. My first mate was quick to hook up reeling in two at a time on ocassion which didnt afford me much time to fish but was well worth it seeing the unerasable smile on his face. The Capt. wasnt keen on letting to many be caught so off to another spot after 30-45 minutes or so.

At the next spot we were told that some good red snapper had been caught the previous day and that they were suspended just off the bottom, so in short order I instructed my first mate to put some good sized cigar minnows on, drop to the bottom and reel in three or four cranks. As he did so as I was baiting up and before I had a chance to drop his rod was doubled over the rail and he was putting every effort he had to keep his weight on the rod and his feet on the ground while he tried his hardest to crank on the reel. With encouragement from me, the deck hands and few other passengers he was deternined to not give up and eventually boated his first red snapper at nearly 7 pounds. I was proud to say the least.

Arms tired my first mate decided he wanted a break and a drink so I continued to try and get one of my own and in short order I was hooked up x3 but all failed to meet the length requirments and were returned. The tally now was first mate 5 and dad 0 and in true sportsman ribbing fashion I was asked what my problem was, LOL. Once agian the Capt. decided we had caught enough and it was on to another spot.

My first mate was now rested and wanting more he jumped back in the game baited with a couple of huge spanish sardines and I chuckled a bit as he dropped them down, it didnt take long and agian his rod was bent over the rail and this time with each surge of the fish he was coming up on his tip toes with all his weight agiant the butt end of the rod, I knew this was a good fish. Even though I wanted my first mate to do it on his own he needed a little help from being pulled in over board or loosing the rod. This fish came up once just enough to see him and my heart sank when the deckhand called out
"AJ" and as weI made every effort to turn the brute he dove straight under the boat and broke off, was I dissapointed? not really, my son had now acomplished more in a few hours of offshore fishing than I had in my life time...

A couple more under sized red snapper for me and one other legal for my first mate and it was on to our next and final spot,. The Capt. had noted that several good AJ's, red snapper and a few kings had been holding in this spot and to be ready for them. At the word that kings had been in this spot I rigged up with a king fish leader and a ribbon fish, my first mate was wanting to let dear ole dad to "catch up" so he carefully watched what I was doing and I pitched the ribbon fish out behind the boat to drift.

My first mate quickly caught glimpse of the flashes of silver around the ribbon fish and told me to hang on so I said " no, here, you hang on" laughing inside knowing full well of what was about to come. I had no sooner handed him the rod and he had a good hold of it that to rod doubled over and line was peeling from the reel like therwas no tomarrow. With the butt of the rod tucked in his gut and both hands on the rod he looked like he was in hog heaven, laughing all the while line was being pulled of the reel. In a few moments time my first mate and the deck hand had caught and gaffed a 37" king., a few slime fives and congatulations were in order and it was my turn.

Baited up I pitched back behind the boat agian and just as I engaged the reel "fish on" yet it wasnt to be, after a couple of really good runs he come unbuttoned. So not to be discouraged I tried agian to only once agian have it come unbuttoned on me. The Capt. come over the load speaker and said it was time to go just as I was baiting up for another attempt, not to be denied I pitched out once more and was quickly hooked up, and this one didnt want to stop. I would gain some line then loose some line back and fourth it went, this action had gotten the Capt. out of the whell house and from the top deck he called out "hoo" as he was throwing out instruction and incouragement one of which was to tighted down on the drag a bit which I proptly did and as the wahoo made a strong and fast run it was the last I felt, I was broke off.
I was a little disapointed but the Capt. in good nature said sorry but my chances of turning him were slim to none with 40# test line as he looked to be in the 50-60# class and allready had alot of line out on me. ohh well there is always next time.

This was a great learning experience for me and my first mate and a memory that will last a lifetime. I couldnt be prouder of him, not once did he get sick nor did I hear a complaint, gripe or whine one and stood tough the whole day which is more than I can say about some adult fishing partners.

The final tally was me being smoked by my first mate with one king, two red snapper to nearly 7#'s and eight bee-liners, my first mate gave away five of his biggest bee-liners to a kid his age that spent most of the day hanging over the rail chumming the water for us and didnt catch anything, he is a true sportsman.

Pictures to soon follow/ being developed.
 

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Live Like No One Else.
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Good to heard a father taken his son fishing. I have to say some of my best time have been hunting and fishing with my dad and grandpa.
 

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"Bring me a menu and a bucket........"
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Great Report

You have a fishing buddy for life. And you did it the right way. Admirable of your boy to give the fish to the kid who caught nothing. There is hope for the younger generation.
 

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Senior Member, do I get a discount?
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I took my son to the mouth of the Bernard on Monday, i was in the shower at 5:15 and i heard the door open. Looked out and there he is dressed, life jacket on, teeth brushed, pole in hand telling me to hurry up and he'd be in the truck! I finally got out and got the boat finished loaded and he was raring to go. We had a blast, i think i enjoyed watching him catch croaker and rat reds more than i enjoyed anything else. I took him offshore earlier this year and he hooked up a couple of kings but it scares me with him offshore. He's 7, i think i relax a little (not too much) when he's 10 or so!
 

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Pimp
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I'm glad you didn't get sick, next time see if the kid can teach you some techniques....
:)


then pass them to us..


-a
 

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Michael,
Great story! MY son and I started fishing together when he was 8, capsized a boat 65 miles offshore at 2:00 am when he was 10. He is now 16 and turning into a real pro. Love to see the look on a kids face like the one on your sons face. Now we need to get him off the party boat "rail" and get him hooked up with some room to operate.

I would love to take you and your son sometime.

George
Michael Dill said:
My son Austin (age 8) and I went on an offshore trip yesterday and any doubt I had about his ability to be my #1 fishing partner and first mate for life was quickly squashed. Like any son getting to do something for the first time with his father he was excited and put forth the willingness and effort to help with the preperations for the day to come whole heartedly.

With a 2:45 AM wake up call he arose from bed with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. We made the hour drive to our destination talking and discussing what the day might bring little did we know it would bring more than I certainly expected.

We got to Capt. Elliots boat dock at 4:00 AM and Austin was quick to pick up and carry what he could to help load up. After loading up and getting squared away on the boat we kicked back and enjoyed a little breakfast both of us full of excitement.

The boat was underway at 6:00 AM and we broke the freeport jetties at 6:30 to absolute flat seas and the sun barly peeking thru the clouds and over the horizon. I couldnt have asked for better conditions for his first" big pond" experience.

Making the three hour ride out and our transition from green to aqua green to blue water gave me time to show my first mate some new things like weed lines, current rips, flying fish (we even saw a small school of tuna busting the suface but the Capt. didnt stop, not what the trip was about) and what they all meant to us as fisherman. Then I got to explain how things would work when we got to our destination.

At our first stop we were standing at the ready with baited hooks and rods in hand waiting for the Capt. to give us the word. Our first stop was for some bee-liners (vermillion snapper) and the action was fast and furious. My first mate was quick to hook up reeling in two at a time on ocassion which didnt afford me much time to fish but was well worth it seeing the unerasable smile on his face. The Capt. wasnt keen on letting to many be caught so off to another spot after 30-45 minutes or so.

At the next spot we were told that some good red snapper had been caught the previous day and that they were suspended just off the bottom, so in short order I instructed my first mate to put some good sized cigar minnows on, drop to the bottom and reel in three or four cranks. As he did so as I was baiting up and before I had a chance to drop his rod was doubled over the rail and he was putting every effort he had to keep his weight on the rod and his feet on the ground while he tried his hardest to crank on the reel. With encouragement from me, the deck hands and few other passengers he was deternined to not give up and eventually boated his first red snapper at nearly 7 pounds. I was proud to say the least.

Arms tired my first mate decided he wanted a break and a drink so I continued to try and get one of my own and in short order I was hooked up x3 but all failed to meet the length requirments and were returned. The tally now was first mate 5 and dad 0 and in true sportsman ribbing fashion I was asked what my problem was, LOL. Once agian the Capt. decided we had caught enough and it was on to another spot.

My first mate was now rested and wanting more he jumped back in the game baited with a couple of huge spanish sardines and I chuckled a bit as he dropped them down, it didnt take long and agian his rod was bent over the rail and this time with each surge of the fish he was coming up on his tip toes with all his weight agiant the butt end of the rod, I knew this was a good fish. Even though I wanted my first mate to do it on his own he needed a little help from being pulled in over board or loosing the rod. This fish came up once just enough to see him and my heart sank when the deckhand called out
"AJ" and as weI made every effort to turn the brute he dove straight under the boat and broke off, was I dissapointed? not really, my son had now acomplished more in a few hours of offshore fishing than I had in my life time...

A couple more under sized red snapper for me and one other legal for my first mate and it was on to our next and final spot,. The Capt. had noted that several good AJ's, red snapper and a few kings had been holding in this spot and to be ready for them. At the word that kings had been in this spot I rigged up with a king fish leader and a ribbon fish, my first mate was wanting to let dear ole dad to "catch up" so he carefully watched what I was doing and I pitched the ribbon fish out behind the boat to drift.

My first mate quickly caught glimpse of the flashes of silver around the ribbon fish and told me to hang on so I said " no, here, you hang on" laughing inside knowing full well of what was about to come. I had no sooner handed him the rod and he had a good hold of it that to rod doubled over and line was peeling from the reel like therwas no tomarrow. With the butt of the rod tucked in his gut and both hands on the rod he looked like he was in hog heaven, laughing all the while line was being pulled of the reel. In a few moments time my first mate and the deck hand had caught and gaffed a 37" king., a few slime fives and congatulations were in order and it was my turn.

Baited up I pitched back behind the boat agian and just as I engaged the reel "fish on" yet it wasnt to be, after a couple of really good runs he come unbuttoned. So not to be discouraged I tried agian to only once agian have it come unbuttoned on me. The Capt. come over the load speaker and said it was time to go just as I was baiting up for another attempt, not to be denied I pitched out once more and was quickly hooked up, and this one didnt want to stop. I would gain some line then loose some line back and fourth it went, this action had gotten the Capt. out of the whell house and from the top deck he called out "hoo" as he was throwing out instruction and incouragement one of which was to tighted down on the drag a bit which I proptly did and as the wahoo made a strong and fast run it was the last I felt, I was broke off.
I was a little disapointed but the Capt. in good nature said sorry but my chances of turning him were slim to none with 40# test line as he looked to be in the 50-60# class and allready had alot of line out on me. ohh well there is always next time.

This was a great learning experience for me and my first mate and a memory that will last a lifetime. I couldnt be prouder of him, not once did he get sick nor did I hear a complaint, gripe or whine one and stood tough the whole day which is more than I can say about some adult fishing partners.

The final tally was me being smoked by my first mate with one king, two red snapper to nearly 7#'s and eight bee-liners, my first mate gave away five of his biggest bee-liners to a kid his age that spent most of the day hanging over the rail chumming the water for us and didnt catch anything, he is a true sportsman.

Pictures to soon follow/ being developed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tall1fin said:
Michael,
Great story! MY son and I started fishing together when he was 8, capsized a boat 65 miles offshore at 2:00 am when he was 10. He is now 16 and turning into a real pro. Love to see the look on a kids face like the one on your sons face. Now we need to get him off the party boat "rail" and get him hooked up with some room to operate.

I would love to take you and your son sometime.

George
Thanks for the offer! That would be awesome, Just let me know when and what is expected. I have no problems with splitting expenses and all the other duties like cleaning boat, fish , gear or anything else that needs to be done.
 

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"Just let me know when and what is expected"

I expect you and your son to have a great time! Would love to see him experience 5' -7' sharks boiling in the water behind a shrimper. Just the sight is awesome! At his age not sure he could handle the big tug of an AJ or big ling but he would have a ball in a school of dolphin.
 

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Twisted Fisher
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Great report. Glad to see you're raising a "True" sportsman. The excitedment is in the catching and being able to make others feel good. Great job and congrats for building memories for a lifetime for both of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here are the pics, I didnt get enough freshly caught pics (bad daddy) and some didnt turn out very well (to dark and no flash) some others didnt even turn out, I am a little disapointed. A good digital camera is now priority on a list of things I need.
 

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From the old school
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I think dad is proud too

I end up having more fun watching the boys catching fish and the wonder in their eyes when they reel it in. The thrill in their faces when you grab the leader. How proud they are when it comes on board, and the dissapointment on their face when it goes back in the water. It is hard to teach a 5yr old about size limits
Great trip!.... and the memories you will never forget.
 

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Hey try telling a 16 yr. old girl after 2 nice amberjacks they gotta go back baby, just not big enough man, I will never hear the end of it. Her first one's.
CB
 

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Michael Dill said:
the Capt....... as he was throwing out instruction and incouragement one of which was to tighted down on the drag a bit which I proptly did...I was broke off.

I was a little disapointed but the Capt. in good nature said sorry but my chances of turning him were slim to none with 40# test line as he looked to be in the 50-60# class and allready had alot of line out on me. ohh well there is always next time.
First off..Great report. I have an 8 year old and also cant wait to show him "REEL" fishing. Maybe we can both hook up with TallFin.
Second, thats twice Ive heard the Cpt. tell someone to tighten down and loose a fish. I was out with my buddies a few months back and my buddy hangs into what seems to be ~8' Hammerhead, the Cpt was out and yells to tighten down and like a tard that my friend is, he did so and that was it. Woulda had the biggest fish of the day....OH WELL. You could have landed a fish that size on that line if you work the fish right. Again, great story.
 
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