Outdoor Articles

A Tremendous Lesson Learned

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Saltwater Fishing

I am one of three brothers, born between the other two. Born on Galveston Island and raised along the coast, I’ve had the opportunity to fish many times. Many fond memories of fishing with my father and brothers remain in my mind. My father worked for an oil refinery here in Texas City. My younger brother and I work at the same refinery today.

One day in particular that stands out in my mind is the time my father loaded us boys in the back of his old Chevy pickup. We headed out to the dike, a place where we went many times to fish. The only thing different about this trip was that we didn’t take any fishing poles or tackle.

My dad stopped the truck about midway out on the six mile jetty and proceeded to tell us to find what we needed to catch a fish. Puzzled, we asked him what he meant. He explained that he wanted us to scrounge
around the rock line and find some fishing line, a sinker and hook. Well, we combed the area and finding some line was easy. Turning over a few small granite rocks revealed a few lead weights. With luck, we even found a hook that was hung onto a rock extending over the water line. Taking an old tin can, we wound the line around it and fastened the hook and sinker.

We looked around for some bait that may have been left over from an earlier fisherman, but couldn’t find any. My dad instructed us to take one of the conchs that congregated along the bay shore and “bust” it open to get the crab out. We took a couple of small rocks and did just that.

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The hook on this crude fishing gear was baited and my older brother swung the line out into the water. The whole time, my dad sat back on the tailgate of the old truck and watched in contentment. As luck would have it, a golden croaker opted to feast on that conch crab. Big brother wound him in on that old tin can and landed the fish. We all whooped and hollered that we were successful at catching a fish with nothing other than what was found on the dike.

I didn’t know it at the time we were fishing, but there was a lesson to be learned that day. My dad explained to us young boys that when times got hard, we could still make it if we were willing to work. He showed us that we could take little or nothing and produce a meal. It was just one of many simple things that my father in a subtle manner passed on to us; things that remain close to my heart.

That day, back in the early sixties, didn’t produce a lot of fish, or fish of notoriety. We were blessed to have other days fishing with our father when we did catch that “mess of trout”. But today I look back and know that it was probably my most important trip because the memory forever returns when I make my daily pilgrimage to the coast line.

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