It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, the high will be close to 84 degrees and the winds are 5-10 miles per hour. My fathers boat is ready, the food is prepared and the drinks are chilling at the bottom of the ice chest. Looks like a good day to go fishing!
My father, daughter, boyfriend and I pile into the truck to travel the short distance to Dauphin Island where we will launch the boat into the water for a full day of fishing and boating. The preparation for a trip like this is exhausting in itself.
Gas in the boat, bait, rods and reels, life vests, tackle, food, radio, ice, instrument check and the list goes on and on.
My dad has owned many boats for as long as I can remember and he has always worked very hard to have one. He will buy them used, usually needing a lot of repair and slowly fix them with his know how and TLC.
My father is in his late seventies and suffers from Macular degeneration, his vision is so bad he can no longer drive or see well enough to do small detailed work. My boyfriend (bless his heart) helps by driving and doing all the things that make a trip like this possible. He enjoys doing it but I appreciate him so much because my dad would not be able to go unless someone takes him.
We get the boat launched and we are well on our way, the sun is shining brightly and it looks as if it is going to be a perfect day. As we round the corner of the east end of the Island I can see Fort Gaines on the shoreline. Fort Gaines was home to many soldiers during the civil war and is now a landmark in this area.
Our plan is to ride out into the Gulf and fish for some spanish mackerel or king, hopefully get a few redfish. As we continue to make our way into the open waters, the waves are big and we see whitecaps. It’s a rough day and the boat is rocking a lot. I had to hold on if I wanted to stand up or walk to the other side for anything. I’ve seen it worse than this but it makes for a hard day of fishing if you are rocking this much.
After fishing for about an hour and fighting the waves we decided to move to the other side of the island where it would be calmer waters. Once there, we let the anchor out and baited the hooks with shrimp. Immediately we began catching small croakers and mullet. We kept a few for bait and threw the rest back in. We continued to move and try different places until we finally found a great spot where we caught a lot of white trout along with a wide array of other fish including three stingrays!
Above is a picture of me catching the stingray. My daughter accidently dropped a pole in the water (which we actually caught with another pole) and Jack caught an eel (yuk) and it got loose in the boat and went down into the engine hole. (thats going to be a stinking mess in a few days). Needless to say my daughter and I kept a close eye out for that eel the rest of the afternoon!
By the end of the day, I was exhausted, sunburned and hungry. We loaded the boat back on the trailer and headed back home. Thank you Jack for all your hard work. This is the kind of day that you remember forever. We laughed, we worked, we shared a good day together!