Happy Father's Day

Aaron Cisneros
Happy Father's Day
Here's Dr. Brian Burns and 11 year old son Beau — starting them young is a treasure for the future. Photo courtesy of Mike McBride.

The month of June marks Father’s Day, and for this piece I want to take the time to write a big, “Thank You” to all the dads who take time to take their kids fishing. I also want to share some experiences and tell you how important fishing has been in my life. I’m sure you have lots of fond memories fishing with your dad.

I still remember my dad sharing the story of how his dad, my grandfather, gave him a twenty dollar bill to go buy himself his first spinning reel outfit. As my dad was sharing all the details with me, I saw that spark in his eyes that one gets when something good happens to you. That story impacted me for a while; it got me into thinking that one day I will have stories like that to tell. It also makes me cherish every trip I take with my dad. Fishing with your dad or an adult can bring lots of fun whether you catch or not. Don’t look at fishing as just pulling fish out of the water, but look at it as a time to bond and learn some lessons in life. Some of the best conversations I have had with my dad have been on the way back from a fishing trip. We get a chance to talk about all kinds of things.

My dad and I have had some good times and some bad times. I remember the time when we were new to Baffin Bay, and nobody told us about the jellyfish and their long tentacles floating in the water. My dad and I wore shorts and walked into a mass of these stinging jellyfish. I got the worse part of it being wrapped around my right leg with these massive tentacles. I was on the verge of tears, and all my father could do was laugh and tell me not to be a sissy. Oh, I wanted to grab one of those jellyfish and throw it at him. He did take care of me as we headed back to the dock. I think the thought of going to eat at King’s Inn afterwards made me feel a little bit better. It’s funny now, but it was not back then.

As I look back on all of the trips, another one that stands out was when I got hit by a stingray. As I sat there in pain in the back of the boat, my dad did everything he knew to make me feel more comfortable. Little did he know that his comforting words did not ease the pain. He did get me to the doctor’s office in record time. Not all fishing trips will turn out to be fun, but they can all be lessons learned.

Recently, I had the opportunity to fish with some of my friends and their fathers, and the bond that my dad and I share is the same one I see in my friends and their dads. All fishing trips are different. Sometimes you catch; sometimes you don’t. Nevertheless, the common talk and the learning that takes place are memories that will last forever. Don’t miss out on the whole picture because you’re too busy trying to put fish on the boat. Fathers, take the time to share and teach.

There’s a saying that goes like this, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a life time.” Author unknown. My version is if you give a teenager a fish, you keep him entertained for a day. If you teach a teenager how to fish, you will have kept him out of trouble and won yourself a best friend.

The best fishing trips with my dad have been when we fish alone. That’s when all the trash talking begins. It’s always a blast when we sightcast to redfish because we fool each other by pointing out in the direction the fish is not going and then cast in the other direction where the fish really is. Let me tell you there is much friendly competition when my dad and I fish alone. Usually he is the one with excuses, but that’s part of the fun. Just don’t tell him I said that. When we wade together, I tend to have the stronger and longer lasting legs. If I end up catching the most and bigger fish, he uses the excuse that he’s the one that had to retrieve the boat.

I’m sure as you read this article, it will bring back notable you have great stories to share — some funny and some with a not-so-happy ending. Can you remember your first fishing trip? Whom was it with? I know that my grandfather was not a fan of fishing, but I’m sure glad my dad had an uncle that took the time to teach him how to fish.

My great uncle would pick up the kids right after school or on most weekends and head straight for the water. You could say fishing is a legacy that is carried on from generation to generation. Fathers, if you have found yourself to busy to take the young ones fishing, make it a point to get them out on the water soon. Teenagers or younger ones, if you seldom get out to fish with your dad, make it a point to fish with him this month. In my opinion it would be one of the best Father’s Day gift a father could receive.

In fishing there are many things to be learned that apply to our daily lives. For one, it keeps us young ones out of trouble, and it leaves a legacy and stories that we too can pass on. Are you ready to continue the legacy? A big tribute and thanks to all the fathers that take the time to take their kids out fishing. Keep making a difference and Happy Father’s Day!