Lexis’s First Inshore Expedition
I always begged for her to go out on the boat since she was little. She hopped aboard for random boat trips a few times, but is only able to count on one hand how many instances she actually fished with me over the years. Bass on artificials was fun for her, but Lexi has no salt in her veins-yet.
I’m referring to my daughter, Alexis, who is now a teenager at fifteen. Being a teen, she mainly wants to hang with friends and chill at the house, not play on the bay with her dad. It’s understandable so I don’t expect much these days.
A short time ago I got a call from my good friend Todd. Having his boat ready to fish, he asked me to head out to stalk the trout he was on as of late. Looking at Alexis, the question was raised, and she agreed to tag along. If she had said no, we would have made other plans for the day, but Lexi wanted “to tan”, and knowing she would have fun kept me excited.
The day started off at Cockroach Bay boat ramp, with Todd already waiting on the beach and the livewells full of bait. Once a Captain, always a Captain, he is always ready on time, unlike me. For a moment, this felt like a guided trip, but today was just for fun with my favorite family member and a good friend.
Todd was on a mission for trout for a few weeks. Having been on some big trout, capitalizing on this was the plan. The three of us headed out of the channel around ten to do some scouting around and locate these fish.
My daughter has never fished the beautiful shallows of Tampa Bay, so the things coveted by me were seen by her. The rays, mullet, birds, porpoises and people out on the flats kept her entertained for a while so the trout could be found. Of course she had an arsenal of technology to mess around with if boredom set in, but after Todd caught the first big fish, she wanted in on the game.
Fishing was not on fire, but somewhat consistent. With Todd and myself both coaching Alexis, she was learning quickly and by the end of the day was casting properly, fighting the fish well and having a good time-just not baiting her own hooks; and yes, after the day was over she caught more fish than me.
The story will stay short, as this was a day of bonding with my daughter that is hard to describe, and many won’t understand regardless. Alexis stuck it out with the boys for almost eight hours and didn’t complain once, while catching the biggest trout I have seen in quite some time. She even learned how to give Todd a hard time, which is always done on a regular basis. Seeing her catching big fish and the two of us having fun is a memory I will never forget, and hopefully this will not become a distant reminiscence.
A couple of days later I get a call from Todd and he says to me, “you know what Alexis said while you were pulling the boat out?” Replying back that I didn’t know, he tells me she said, “Mr. Todd, I had fun today with my dad, I want to do this again”.