Five keeper flounder in the first hour was a great start to a father-and-son fishing trip last Saturday.
Since he has a little brother with special needs, it’s important for Beckett to get time alone with his parents or just me in this case. When I booked the trip, Pam and I talked about whether we should all go. After reviewing the concerns we had with Carson and the potential for him negatively impacting the experience for Beckett, we quickly decided it would be best just to take Beckett since it was a four-hour trip. It was the right decision.
There are just too many unknowns when introducing new situations for Carson. He may have been just fine and enjoyed himself, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Beckett would have been super bummed if the trip was cut short or if there was a lot of drama caused by his little brother for whatever reason. Or, and perhaps more importantly, he would not have wanted to share any of the fish catching opportunities with his little brother.
We fished last year with Ocean City Guide Service and Captain John and Mate Austin. Rather than a two-hour evening trip like last year, we opted for a four-hour morning excursion this year. The weather was perfect and the flounder bite had been hot all of last week. We were fortunate it remained that way for our trip.
Within an hour or so, we had hooked 10 flounder, half of which well exceeded the 16 ½-inch minimum. Beckett was hooked up constantly for an hour with Captain John and Mate Austin always giving him their rods when they had a fish on. Since they were being generous, I opted to reel in the fish I hooked on my own, including one keeper flounder measuring 17 inches. If we had ended the trip right there, it would have been a successful day on the water.
We spent the next few hours catching some throwback flounder and some new species for Beckett including spot, sea robin, sea bass and a spider crab. With us being content with our five keepers, Captain John took us looking for some inshore shark fishing, which Beckett had been talking about for an hour or at least ever since the flounder bite eased up a bit.
It took some patience, but Beckett was able to reel in two small sandbar sharks. Both gave him quite the fight, and he tried to quit a couple times, but none of us were having it. He pushed through it, and we were able to grab some good photos of the kid with his exciting catch.
On the way back to the dock, as I thought about flounder for lunch and dinner, a highlight of Beckett’s day occurred. While he was most excited about the fish he caught, this situation was what he was most excited to text his friends about when he got back home. As we were cruising past a party boat, a group of ladies, celebrating a Bachelorette Party presumably, showed us some of their best dance moves and a couple women even flashed us. For some reason, my instincts led me to lift up my shirt to return the favor. Whether that was my best parenting model ever is debatable.
The look of astonishment on Beckett’s face when this occurred was priceless. It was similar to the excitement I saw when he reeled in his first keeper flounder and when the shark was thrashing around on the boat.
When we got home, it was interesting that Beckett led off with the topless girl story and then went into the fishing.
It turns out my guy had picked up on some of the fishing traditions, as in his story we caught more than 20 flounder, five shark and a whole boat load of women flashed us. Yes, he had grasped the whole concept of exaggerations when it comes to the sport of fishing.
I will not forget any of it anytime soon.
The next day Pam and I got away for an overnighter for a concert in Virginia Beach.
Since it had been several months since we had been away without the kids, there was some anxiety for us. We knew they would be fine, but the worrying was mainly a result of the timing with Beckett starting a new camp the morning we would be gone and Carson riding the bus to his school camp early in the morning. These are the details that give parents consternation.
Fortunately, my mom was our most valuable player and handled everything smoothly. The kids were fine and got to where they needed to be without any issues.
As a matter of fact, everything evidently went so smoothly it seemed like we were not even missed when we got home. At one point, I even wondered if our kids knew we were gone. While there were moments when we missed them, it did not seem like they felt the same way about our absence.
Though it stung a bit, that’s pretty much exactly what parents hope for when they are not home.