Well, every trip has to start with a fish and although we’d like that to be a six-pound slob of a largemouth that inhaled a Jitterbug, life rarely meets expectations. Let it be known that the first fish of Catch a Cure was this sad channel catfish (I think). It took a worm and had me stoked for about two and-a-half minutes before I saw its true colors at the shoreline.
On the one hand, you hope this is something you laugh at at the trip’s conclusion, after many a bass have been caught, documented and released… after many dollars have been raised for the MRF. On the other hand, you’re not laughing right now.
It was a brief reminder that a fish is a fish and you have to let the kid in you get excited sometimes, regardless. Or at least let him wipe away the adult tears you’re crying so you can see to unhook and release the thing.
It was a reminder, though, for me, of a time when saltwater catfish were as cool as anything you could imagine catching. I remember being six or seven, on vacation in Florida, telling and retelling the tale of a five-pound catfish that fought “for hours.”
If life’s about growing up to be young again, hell, this was some fun for a second. As a summer storm drenches my campsite here in Florida, the adult in me is nervous as hell about finding and catching enough fish to make this project work, to raise money for a good cause, to do the right thing and have the courage to keep plugging even when it’s difficult (and wet).
He’d be better off, as many of us would, listening to the kid in him that’s saying “Just go fishing dude!”
“…Uh, after this storm…”
[Check out the gear you’ll need to stay sun safe, thanks to the guys at Florida Sportsman.]