Most of last week was spent with my dad on the St. Johns River. I wish I could say we caught a ton of big ones but the truth is we spent more time fishing than we did catching. Nevertheless, it was one of my best weeks ever. I’m refreshed and recharged. That’s the funny thing about fishing; you don’t have to catch fish to be successful.
We talked nonstop about anything and everything as we ran up and down the river. Dad had a chance to see how professional bass anglers get ready for a big tournament. I think he was surprised to learn that we spend more time scouting and looking than we do actually trying to catch fish. I wonder how many people only half believe us when we tell them that’s what we do? It’s probably a lot.
I got my truck dirty, though. (Those of you who know me know that’s bad in my world, ugly bad.) We thought we could find a ramp and fish Rodman. At the time, B.A.S.S. had it in play for the tournament so I thought it’d be worth a look. We did find a ramp using the Internet but it was at the end of a long dirt road. When we got there the water was so low I was afraid to try to get my boat in the water.
All I could see was a green, glassy ribbon in the middle of a previously flooded forest. Discretion being the better part of valor, we decided to turn around. My truck was a filthy disaster by the time we left, dust and mud all over it.
I thought I’d never get it back to where it should be, but I did after a lot of hard work. The next day I received an e-mail from B.A.S.S. saying Rodman was now off-limits. Dad and I both laughed at that.
We ate pretty good, too. There was a restaurant right on the river that we visited almost every night. All the seafood was fresh and the prices reasonable. We sat on an open-air deck for hours soaking up the atmosphere and stuffing ourselves with shrimp and fresh fish while we settled the world’s problems.
I’ve talked before about how much I love Florida. When I say that, it’s mostly in the context of bass fishing. But that’s not the only reason I adore this place. Experiences like I had last week with dad would be hard to repeat anywhere else. I’m not saying you can’t have a good time anywhere else but I am saying it’s easier down here, especially if you’re into fishing and warm weather.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Now it’s time to get ready for a tournament in another circuit, and after that it’ll be pedal to the metal into the Elites. But for now I’ll bask in the memories of last week and relive the experience. The real world can wait its turn.