Digest — September 2004
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
|Part 2: The three of us would sit there, occasionally looking at each other, but mostly just looking out to the water.|
Chip, who you can tell by now was the quieter one, and I would run (again) back to the car and wait for Gramps to catch up. In retrospect, I wonder why we raced to the car in the first place. We always had to wait anyway.
The ride back to his house always seemed faster. I think it’s because my mind would race with thoughts about catching fish as fast as my feet skipped across the ground. Maybe there was a monster-size perch or snapper that lived in the lagoon? Or perhaps even a shark?
It was a quick walk from grandpa’s driveway to the garage to get the bamboo rods. That’s right, we fished with bamboo (no graphite or carbon fiber here) and a string tied to the end with a red-and-white bobber. I didn’t know bamboo from Shimano, all I knew was, I was fishing!
While I was chattering a mile a minute, Chip was quietly tying his line while grandpa helped me with mine. I’d bait my hook and then walk over to a piling that supported the bulkhead, toss in my line, and start fishing. And then something amazing would happen: I’d become quiet. (I sometimes wonder if that’s why grandpa took me fishing.) I’d sit on the head of one piling with Chip on another, while grandpa walked a few feet back to his picnic table to watch us. The three of us would sit there, occasionally looking at each other, but mostly just looking out to the water. Sometimes we’d catch perch and snapper. Once in a while, grandpa would offer some advice about setting the hook or feeling the bite, but eventually my dreams of catching monster fish faded and I was content to just sit there with my line in the water, enjoying the silence with my family.
By the time I was nine, grandpa was gone, and so were the days of fishing on the quiet bulkhead with a bamboo rod. But they are as fresh in my mind today as the day I had to stand up on the back seat to grab that stubbly gray face and tell him I wanted spearing. He still smiles back, even if it’s just in my memory.
So yes, Kevin has a bib that says “Angler in Training,” a fish mobile, and squeezable fish bath toys. And when he was just two weeks old, I took him onboard my boat for his first taste of salt air. And when he’s ready to start fishing, we’re going to go to the store, get some spearing and a bamboo rod, and go down to the pier. And I’ll watch him fish, because it’s the time together that this tradition is really about.
At two weeks old, this fourth-generation angler-to-be gets his first taste of salt air.
Previous page > Part 1: Fatherhood reminds a third-generation angler what fishing is really about. > Page 1, 2
This article originally appeared in the August 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.