I am writing to you with a bruised right armpit, hands that couldn't squeeze anything if my life depended on it, an aching back and neck, and I could go on and on... but I have no reason to be a "Debbie Downer" today and you're about to see why!
Yesterday, Aaron, Dad, Papaw, and I were able to take full advantage of a summer's worth of no one fishing in the Gulf (because of oil) and opening day of Red Snapper season thanks to Mr. Andy, a very kind and hospitable family friend. At the end of every day he takes us fishing we look at each other and say, "It was a perfect day of fishing. I don't know how it could get any better." ... and each trip, he NEVER ceases to amaze us. His hospitality, his state of the art fishing boat and equipment, his "honey holes", etc... he's the man.
On this particular trip, my Papaw Horace got to come and you literally would have thought he had died and gone to heaven. My Papaw's life has always revolved around bass fishing and we thought we would show him what it's like to fish in the "BIG Lake". His very words when we stepped off the boat were, "Well y'all, I will never be the same again." And I think I have heard that fifty more times since then. The most fun part of the trip was getting to watch him all day.
We got up WAY before the crack of dawn and headed out on the water before the sun came up.
But we weren't tired, we were rarin' to go!
As we drove into the gulf, we looked back and saw a beautiful sunrise.
And by the time the sun was up, we were in the Gulf and started fishin'. Aaron caught the first fish of the day... Grouper. It's gonna be some FINE eatin'!
Not long after, Papaw caught the biggest Trigger fish any of us have ever seen. I thought he was gonna have a heart attack.
In fact, let me just show you a video of "H" reeling a snapper in. This is vintage Papaw.
He made the day so much fun!
As time went on, we just kept catching more and more.
My red grouper... We caught about 5 of these.
We must have caught about fifty snapper, but you can only keep ten of them so obviously we kept this one.
And no we did not keep this one (he's actually normal sized)... Don't worry, as far as snapper goes, I got the last laugh. You'll see at the end.
Here's Papaw's big grouper.
And Aaron got him a good one too.
Then Dad caught about a 7 ft. 200 lb. shark.
We were smart and didn't bring him in the boat. :)
And speaking of predators, a barracuda came and snatched this bait fish Dad was fishing with.
At one spot, Papaw hooked an amberjack and you should have seen the look on his face when that joker crushed his bait... Needless to say, my Dad had to reel the fish in.
Wanna see why?
Amberjack are not only huge, they are so aggressive. They will wear you slap out. Here's a better view of him.
Papaw was so proud. Heck, we all were!
Snapper will also put up a fight no matter how big or small they are. It gets to be intense business, can you tell?
But it's all worth it!
Here's one of Papaw in all his determination.
As the day was ending, we were still not ready for it to be over.
So we decided to keep on fishing and boy am I glad we did.
I was just casually standing against the boat fishing, minding my own business, and all of the sudden something took my rod and bent me halfway over the boat before I even knew what had hit me.
(Keep in mind how sore my hands are today from just trying to hold onto the rod.)
Then, it slung my whole body to the right, then slung me all the way to the left, and while it was slinging me again to the right I yelled, "DAD I NEED HELP!! I'M ABOUT TO GO OVER!!!"
So as always, Dad came to the rescue and took the rod and helped me reel it in.
It was the biggest and might I add, the most aggressive snapper I have ever caught.
So needless to say, the only girl on the boat caught the biggest snapper of the day and we were all so proud!
This picture shows it off better. Do you notice just how tired I am right here?
We caught SO many more fish than I was able to photograph (and that we could legally keep) and had so much more fun than I was able to capture.
It was such a special day to share with Papaw and I really don't know how the next time we go will be able to top this.
Thank you Mr. Andy, and thank you God for days like these!