Life Beyond The Pier
Fishing in Louisiana is more than a past time. Heck, fishing anywhere is more than a past time. For most people it is truly a way of life. They wake up thinking about fishing, they go to sleep thinking about fishing. This is something that most people can relate to. What most people can also relate to is that sometimes its always better to have someone with you.
What I enjoy the most is fishing with family and friends. Fishing with family can be the time when you can truly spend time with that member and grow closer to them. This is usually the bonding time that parents have with their children and vise versa. I know for me it sure is. When I get the chance to be on the water with my family it is the time that brings me the most joy. With the sound of calmness around us, it is simply a time of peace and bonding.
Recently, I had the opportunity to just that. We chartered a trip out of Grand Isle, Louisiana to go fishing with Cajun Bahama Charters. The trip was a 24 hour trip and was one for the books. We did our research on the weather and it was going to be a bumpy ride. Departing from Sand Dollar Marina we began our journey.
At first, all was well. We were bonding and enjoying each others conversation. We reminisced on old tales, and hoped to make more on this trip. The constant conversation was the well known, "my fish was this big". My uncle also informed us that he was the one who caught all the fish, a running joke in my family. Nevertheless, in the ride out we were able to grow closer as a family and were able to spend much needed time together. The family crew consisted of my two brothers, my uncle, and one of my first cousins.
After a several hour boat ride, it was time to fish. Everyone grabbed a pole and moved to their designated battle stations. We all anxiously held our bait over the water waiting for just the right time to, "make the drop". After Captain Drew gave the orders it was bombs away. After carefully calculating the depth of our bait we closed the spool and awaited for that tug on the line. Within minutes we had multiple rods hooked up and the fish were biting. Times were good and the memories began. With each of us being able to reel one in, we were happy. Yet, we still had several more hours to go. On to the next spot!
With a few fish in the icebox it was time for some food. We sat around once again sharing our stories and enjoying a good ol ham sandwich. It was at this point in time that I realized we weren't out here just to fish. We were out here to make memories that would be passed down to our kids and even to their kids. The fish we were catching were merely a bi-product of that quest for adventure. We not only were having fun catching fish, we were having fun growing as a family.
Not only were we growing closer as a family, we were also growing the bonds of friendship with the rest of our group. I met Captain Drew in college at LSU. We hit it off wonderfully after discovering we took multiple classes together. Little did I know that just a few years later I'd be fishing with my family on his charter boat. It goes to show that friendships may begin in one place, but you never know where they will take you. That is the beauty of living life off the pier. You're able to create relationships with people and bond over a common activity. Captain Drew, also grew up fishing. His family has always lived on the water and still to this day it truly brings them joy. Living a lifestyle like this is what brings us together. No matter what is going on in our lives, if we get the chance to cast a few, we always do.
In addition to growing these bonds and building relationships, it is also a time to teach each other valuable life lessons. I know my dad sure has taught me too many valuable lessons to count while we were on the water. One in particular is that of always being prepared. You see, when you're on the water you don't have the ability to just run back to the store, or go back to the truck if you forgot something. This 24 hour trip was something that those lessons from my dad came in handy. I was in charge of bringing the food and drinks for everyone, which in my family is basically the absolute most important thing there is. Without the training from my father there would've been no way for me to have been able to prepare in the manner I did. While I'm sure the group will tell you I could've done better, we can all do better with everything we do.
With trying seas, and tired men, we were able to bring back a successful bounty. Even more so, we were able to bring back memories that will last us a lifetime.
Whether you live life off the pier or on it, always make time to bond with your family and friends. They are the people that will be with you through thick and thing, good times and bad. These people will be the ones you can rely on, no matter what it is you need them for. And always be sure to thank those who taught you what you know, because without them you might not be where you are today. So, for everyone that's ever taught me something, thank you, you've given me the ability to live my life, Off the Pier.