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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Sorry this is so long, I writing it as much for me as anyone else.)

Last Thursday was more than I could bear. Friday would be the day. Seas were good, the Capt. John had a very light load, fish had been biting, and it wasn't too hot. I had been waiting for a day like this for 8 years. I got a pass from my boss, and after too many discussions with my wife, I got a kitchen pass too. It was time to take my 8 year old son on his first trip offshore.

I think I was more anxious than on the day he was born. He is very small for his age, so I had been measuring him several times a day, worried he would be too short to get over the rail. I finally told him if he was willing to try, I would give it a shot. We picked out a Penn 330 GTI for him from the arsenal, and put it on a light Ugly Stik. Heavy enough to deal with the fish I expected, but light enough for him to handle reasonably well. And it's a bulletproof levelwind, so he could concentrate on cranking the fish in. And did he ever!

He was the only kid on the trip, and was immediately adopted by everyone around us. They all had nicknames for him. The crew came by and talked to him personally a lot, complimented him on his fish. Everyone made him feel really good.

Seas were around 2ft. We started off with a tour of the boat, and I answered all the questions an 8 year old could dream up. We would go upstairs for a while, then downstairs, then back up again. I am not sure who was enjoying it more. Then I showed him how to rig up the lines, set drags, select lures and rigs, and put it all together. We started off targeting snapper, so we tied on 3oz bucktails and were ready.

The first stop, we pinned chub mackerel to the jigs, dropped them down and started hammering the snapper immediately. Perfect size 16-20 inchers, with a few throwbacks tossed in. When the bite slowed a bite (we had about 4 keepers), I rigged him up with a beeliner rig and squid. There were some huge spadefish under the boat and I knew they would keep him entertained. I was right. He hooked several, and then two big ones at once. He thought he was going to get pulled in. Several people around him were cheering him on. He got them in, and the look on his face priceless. From then on, he took care of himself, baiting his hooks and dropping them down, then cranking in his fish. I put on a kingfish leader, caught a few more nice snapper and a king around 15 pounds.

Then all hell broke loose. He said "Daddy, I need some help." I looked over and his line was running straight up the boat, and his drag was singing. A ling had pick up one of his squid! I got my line in quick, moved him to the front of the boat. I had to take the rod from him for a minute to untangle some other lines, but handed it right back to him. He cranked like mad. He got it to the top, and we quickly determined it was to small to keep, so we handlined it in. 28 inches, so it had to go back. Too bad, it was by far his biggest fish ever. We took a quick picture, and back it went. We were both happy to see it swim way.

In between spots, we played cards and had a great time. Not once did he complain, except to ask when we would stop so he could fish again. When it was all over and time to head in, he crawled on a bench and went to sleep exhausted.

We ended up with our 8 man limit of nice snapper (plus quite a few more keepers we released and some undersized throwbacks), lots of spadefish, and a nice kingfish and the undersize ling. Not a bad day. I want to say thanks to the Capt. John team who made this such a great experience for my son's first trip. They went out of their way for him with their praise and assistance. They definitely have a new customer, and I have a new fishing partner.

Here are a handful of pics from the trip. Notice all the squid juice on his shirt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry, typo. Should read 2 man limit of 8 snapper. It wasn't THAT good a day. :)
 

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Truly a trip of a lifetime...for both of you!! You will both remember this trip as one of your great experiences together. Congratulation to you both...and may this be the first of many great stories and adventures together. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Very nice story. Good job getting the little man involved. Looks like you got you a new fishin buddy for life.
 

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Im jeolous. I wish I had a son to fish with and show the ropes but unfortunately I'm not willing to get married and succomb to the opposite sex. Youre lucky to have a son to fish with. I'm sure he's hooked for life now. I'm jelous
 

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RIDE RED,HONDA!
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jig, that's so cool. i love too see kid's on the water enjoying themselfs! i like his only complaint! he is HOOKED for life now and you got yourself a hell of a fishing buddy now. when no one else wants too go, i bet your son will everytime. the shirt makes him a real fishermen!! i was the guy in the little outboard that day when you'll pulled up too the first stop. we ended the day with 4 kingfish and 1 ling. snapper were???? sucked that day for snapper.tell your son,iridered said SWEET AND FISH ON!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
iridered2003 said:
that looks like my buddy kenny holding the fish in the last pic???
Yeah, thanks. I could not remember his name to save my life. He fished next to us and was a super guy. Big thanks to him as well. I guess you were the guy he was hollering to when we first got there. I thought that was pretty funny, running into someone you know offshore floating in the GOM.

We caught all our snapper in the top of the water column, either on 3oz leadhead jigs, 2oz carolinas with circles, or kingfish rigs. All with chub mackerals. No big snapper that day, but we were happy.
 

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Thats great!! Get him started in the right direction early on! Can't wait until my nephews are old enough to take out.
 

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congrats to your son on his 1st offshore trip,many more to come!!lucky he has a dad to show him some fun.great job!i'm also counting my days to be able to take my 4 yr old girl to do some serious fishing-offshore.fish on!!!!
 

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RIDE RED,HONDA!
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Yeah, thanks. I could not remember his name to save my life. He fished next to us and was a super guy. Big thanks to him as well. I guess you were the guy he was hollering to when we first got there. I thought that was pretty funny, running into someone you know offshore floating in the GOM.

i will tell him what you said next time i see him. he's a good guy.it is funny running into someone you know in the middle of the gulf of mexico.
 

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Thanks for the report. It looks like your son had the time of his life.

 

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Salty Dawg
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Man I remember the first time my dad took me offshore. It was on the Buccaneer (the old wooden one) and I remember it like it was yesterday and it was awesome. I'm sure that your son will have fond memories of this trip for the rest of his life.

Thanks for the report and pictures.
 

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man thats awesome. glad your son had a great first trip, now you got a good excuse for the wife... JR WANTS ME TO TAKE HIM FISHING HONEY! haha good luck, nice report
capt. dan
 
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