You keep a blog a while and you start hearing negative stuff about “bloggers” in general and you start slacking (guilty). My drafts are many in queue. This has always been a place to kinda say out loud what I hold in my heart. That part of fishing you hold close. If you’re blessed enough you meet some others who can connect on what it does to your soul and how it sustains you. It is an endless passion. Thank you for letting me share this with you through the written word. I am truly grateful for the experience as humble as it was.
It was a plan in the making to travel back to a place that set dreams on fire and gave me many sleepless nights throughout my life. Back when life was an adventure through the heart and mind of a young girl just old enough to go jump waves on her own. Adventures it seems as I look back now full of many good memories of life outdoors.
A gazebo by an Inlet held some of the most significant memories for me. To witness Fishing Boats pass through, loaded down with people and gear. Out they went, people standing on decks smiling and waving. Their hopes upon the bounty they would bring home for their families. My hopes were set in motion witnessing that kinda happiness and it filled my thoughts with wonder. What would they see and catch out there, what happens, how deep is the ocean, what if the fish is bigger than the boat. As a child I was sure each trip was full of white marlin grey hounding and mako’s throttling themselves out of the water for the delights of fishermen. In reality it was most likely a trip to find summer fluke for a quiet sunday dinner. But my imagination was active and running whenever I witnessed such a big boat.
The beach was fun I loved being in the ocean. But it was that spot along the rocks I remember with most clarity. Buckets of blue crabs live lined up those rock next to that spot. Tipping over of same said buckets in the car on the way back on the parkway. A day at the beach was simple, happy, filled with laughter, shell collecting, eating a packed lunch on the sand, an occasional trip to the boardwalk before heading home, and not wanting for anything more than to be on one of those boats. With those thoughts deep seeded plans of fishing were created left dormant for a very long time to experience. My life now, I pick those dreams off when possible, keeping them as simple as when I was a kid. As many boats I have been on, as many fish I have found from sand and deck. I wanted to have that feeling of being that boat passing the spot. To see the faces, experience the perspective of a memory from long ago.
It was the first time since my childhood I went back to that area. A flood of good thoughts entered my mind. Prior I was nervous I was not prepared. My gear, my expectations, my knots, metal, clothing – was it right? Could I come to this place held inside for so long and feel satisfied by anything I was about to do. I held it close to heart and just hoped.
By chance I took my place in the spot I would have the best view of that gazebo and it ignited hopes it was still there. And it was. The sun was not up yet but there it was like a beacon of light from my childhood held onto for so long. This time I was on the other side and it was right then I saw myself as a child in my own mind I welled up and smiled.
Dreams do come true.
If I just was able to do just that it was satisfying enough. But I got to do more. We had mackerel and albies around. We pot hopped. There were tangled lines and sea robins and skates. My knots were good and my gear choice correct. My love of bucktails runs deep and threw in lots of shiny things like AOK Tackle T-hex’s (one of my very favorites all year round) , Kastmaster, S & S Bucktail product’s and a few others. Within me a lil smile – because I am figuring this all out. Not just fishing different applications, but myself. On the way back in for a minute I forgot for a moment and then there they were, people. Standing, watching the fleet return. Which made me feel like I had accomplished something very personal quietly.
This one was special and experiencing it made me realize how much happens in life, how quickly it goes, how important it is to hold onto dreams. Most of all your life is your story. There are many versions of it. But yours is the unfiltered autobiography of truth. Holding onto who you are at heart without letting people, life, situations, tragedies take that away can be difficult. Keeping that light lit inside you – is up to you. Fight hard for it on the darkest days. Go grab your life and live it and cheer on the people you love and hold close to do the same.
By William Henly