Today was one of those special days, a day I was truly honored to be a part of.........
Let’s take it back several years ago. At least 35 years ago when I met Dr. Bart Farris, an icon in the medical field especially at West Jefferson Hospital, who gives an enormous amount of his time to many, many different organizations and sits on many boards. More importantly, he is just a great guy and it's my honor to have a friend such as him.
But here’s the kicker, his passion is fishing. We have spent many days fishing together for many years chasing just about everything that swims in the Northern part of the Gulf. From giant Tuna, huge Wahoo, Amberjacks, Giant Snappers , several other species and of course Redfish especially sight casting (which might be his favorite). Get the picture? He really loves fishing but here is the cool part about Bart, he is a great father who has raised two awesome children, one boy one girl. Several years ago when they were young I had the privilege to fish with both Sarah and Daniel and through the years watched them grow into two great adults with professional careers.
Daniel, an attorney in Chicago, has two young boys, Charley 6 and Tom 8. So Bart calls me a couple of months ago and said that Daniel was coming to visit and was bringing the two boys and of course the question came up “Well Mike what do you think about taking the boys fishing?”
So I said “Of course we should take em!"
”Remember, Mike, they are only 6 and 8” Bart said.
“So?” I answered and it was set up.
Last night I talked to Bart and we decided we were just going to keep the day simple......No crank baits, spinner baits. top water, popping corks. Just plain ole simple fun fishing to get these boys into fishing!
Well about 7:45 this morning they pulled up to the lodge and here comes two little studs jumping out of the truck running straight to me and in a loud voice scream out “Hey it’s Mike the Fish Guy”.......Well I about rolled over laughing.
For those of you that know me I Do Not Fish with BAIT......but today was an exception because it didn’t matter what we caught. Stingrays, Catfish, you name it just tug on the line, so yes I brought some dead shrimp along and if you ever ask me I’ll deny it......but here’s the deal, when it comes to the pups it’s just so important to get them on the water and hopefully catch a fish.
Well we get to the spot and the first two bites were good ole hard head catfish that we all hate. Not these two boys. You would have thought they had just caught two world record Marlins.
It gets even better. They learned how to cast and handle the spinning rods like little pros.......Next bite the drags are screaming and so are they......”Got a monster” one of them yells and the other says “ Yeah me too and mines bigger”. I’m laughing as these are 6 and 8 year olds and as competitive as adults.......Well we got into a school of huge black drum (accidentally) and it was GAME ON!!! for a solid couple of hours.
Now what’s really funny I don’t know how many times I heard “Hey Mike the fish Guy” please measure my fish cause I know it’s bigger than my brothers......Dad and Pop Pop kept saying it’s Capt. Mike but they insisted it’s Mike the Fish Guy.
Thanks Bart and Daniel for allowing me to be a part of a very special day full of lifetime memories️
I know it’s not practical but I wish that every young child would have the opportunity to go fishing. It doesn’t have to be on a boat, just take em! The memories are priceless!!!!! For them and for you! And, most importantly, they are the future of our sport and this industry.