And he said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Grown Up Fishing Christmas Wish List (And My E-Card to All My Fishing Buds)

This is what Santa does starting December 26th.  Can't say I've ever given ice fishing a shot.   It's not cold enough around here.  And I like my fireplace when it is....  Oh well, on to the Blog Post.
As we are here at the Winter Solstice, in the last few days before Christmas, I have been reflecting on the year, and all of my friends and loved ones that I fish with from the Spring time through December.  Since I don't have all the money in the world, I've decided I would give them "virtual gifts", through my blog post, so without any further ado, here are my special gifts for the special people I fish with during the year.  I love you all, and here is to an even better, more successful 2012!  Regardless, my Christmas shopping is done!  And I don't need to wrap any of these....

This is why I like my kayak.  It's never too crowded.  Merry Christmas to all my Fishing Friends and Family! 

But first, before we get started, let me give you a link to listen to while you read the rest of this post:

My Grown Up Christmas List

(Please ignore the typos if you watch the beginning of the youtube video.  You're supposed to be reading the blog, anyway.)

On to my Wish Gift List.

To Mike:
Mike, with his first (and so far, only) rockfish of the fall -- a beautiful, fat 24"'er.  Caught on a "storm" lure.
     Mike is the best friend with whom I fish the most.  Kayak fishing, fresh water fishing, surf fishing, whatever.  Chances are fairly high, if I'm fishing, then Mike is with me.  He's been a great friend for over 25 years, and he is a competent fisherman in his own right.  He has a NC Citation for red drum, and is perhaps the guy who is the subject of more of my blog posts than anyone.  (Good thing he has thick skin and doesn't take too much seriously.)  His Christmas present is a pair of chest waders with lifts in them (or heels), and a trip this spring up into the mountains for some trout fishing.  We are way over due to do that again, my friend.  (By the way, how does it feel to officially be the shortest person in your family, now that even the kids are taller than you?  Damn those growth spurts.  I love you, man.)

To Mark:
I couldn't find any photos of Mark with a decent fish this year (zing, ouch!) so here's one of him with his favorite beverage.)
     Mark is the guy with whom I have fished for about 30 years.  Fraternity brother and dear friend, the only thing bigger than his gut is his ego -- and his heart.  In all fairness, I must state that Mark also has earned citations in fishing, too, and prides himself as being quite accomplished.   (May I point out, however, that he has been skunked the last two Boys' Weekends, and even three BW's ago, didn't catch any fish until Sunday.)  His Christmas present is a BW that is actually 3 days long -- without any other (hunting) obligations going on.  And a boat motor that actually works for your Grady White.  (Maybe then, Mark, you have a chance at catching a fish or two.  I did outfish you this year.  Oyster toads don't count.)  Heck, I'll even throw in some fishing lessons....  (That'll go over well.)   And you can come trout fishing with Mike and me, too.

To Joel:
Dr. Birdman, Joel is our resident ornithologist, so this photo seemed appropriate for him.
     Joel is my friend with whom I have fished the longest.  My best friend growing up, we've been fishing together for about 40 years, and some of my best and favorite memories are of fishing with him.  Having not shaved since his junior year in high school, and not needing a haircut since his early 30's, (yes, he's bearded and bald now), he lives in Alaska -- the fishing paradise -- and just needs to have more excuses to go fishing for salmon, halibut, cod, trout, whatever.  His Christmas present is a week with all of us up there visiting him on the Kenai Peninsula, so that he can go fishing with us for these wonderful fish.  (That may not be a present for his wife, but oh well....  You can't please everybody.  Besides, he doesn't want Rogaine.)

To Ted:
I could have used the photo of you with the nice smallmouth you caught; but being that I wasn't with you when you caught that, I figured this photo was more appropriate....
     Ted is my brother, so there's nobody with whom I've fished longer -- ever since I picked up a rod.  In fact, it was Ted who first got me into fishing when I was very young.  I've had the pleasure of spending more time with him this year than any time since we were growing up.  Fishing together in upstate New York, the Delaware shore, and the OBX, it has been a real pleasure and treat to have had this extra time with you.  My present to you, is that we are able to do this every year, from this point forward -- and, if it looks like we are going to do a "trout fishing" weekend in the spring, you come down for that, too.

To Parke:
Not a big, impressive fish, until you realize that was your first fresh water striper.  And it impressed me.
     My older son.  I don't get to spend as much time with you as I used to, but the time we spend fishing, I cherish.  Whether it is upstate New York, the OBX, or the lakes and rivers around here, I absolutely love being with you, and sharing moments together fishing.  You have been with me during some of my coolest fishing moments (like when I caught that 31" drum in my kayak), and it is so neat, now that I no longer need to "tend to you" when we're fishing (like when you were two years old, catching 4 lb. bass).  You are fully capable on your own, now, and it is neat to see the young man you are becoming.  My present to you, is more quality time.  That we both make the effort to continue a tradition between Father and Son, that will go on for generations....  Even Father, Son, ... and Grandson?  (One day.  I'm not in that much of a hurry for that.  Take your time, still, and finish that education.  Then you can worry about finding the right girl.)

To Sheldon:
You caught the biggest perch up on Cayuga, beginning with this one.  And when it was raining,  it was you and Uncle Ted, determined to keep fishing, regardless of the conditions.
     My daughter.  I didn't get to fish with you that often this year.  Part of that is because you are a 15 year old caught up in all that teen-aged girls do, I get that.  But if there is one thing I know about you, is that I don't care how "girly-girl" you appear on the outside, there is that fishergirl side of you that loves the feel of a fishing rod when a nice fish is pulling on the other side.  Camouflage and pink go together with you, as do perfume and fish guts.  And I mean that as a compliment.  Your present, in addition to more quality time, is a prayer that you always have the love of nature and God's creation, that you have for all things "designer label".  After all, HE is the ultimate "Designer", and his works are the most beautiful of all.  You are my favorite daughter, you know.

To Clayton:
The simple joys of even catching smaller fish, are never lost  with Clayton.  You may not want to touch the fish, but you have no problem picking up goosepoop and throwing that at me.  Go figure.
     My special son:  You have taught me so much.  And when we go fishing down by the lake, the joy that you exude when you catch a fish (even if you won't touch it), or see a swan, or turtle, or any other animal, makes me remember the child-like wonder that I used to have.  And helps me regain it again, at least for a little while.  My gift to you would be that you maintain that innocence and joy of life, while gaining more independence in your life -- that you may experience more in this life.  I will always be here for you, and I love you for who you are.  Never forget that.

To Randy:
Inside our igloo we made last winter.  Another year will not pass without us fishing together, again.  I promise.
To my best friend, with whom I did NOT go fishing this year:  Part of that is my fault, I know.  But my wish for this next year, is that you are able to get away and fish.  Maybe in the spring for trout, maybe in the summer for puppy drum -- and definitely in the fall for BW!  It has been too long, and you are too good a friend to not enjoy being near the water with.  I love you, man, and I appreciate all that you do!

To Jerry:
An "action shot" of Jerry:  which was quite rare this past BW.  Unless by action, you meant sleeping, lounging or napping.
 Jerry, my gift to you, God willing, is that you get sick and tired of seeing me.  We need to fish more, together; you need to get your own #@$%&^*+ kayak!  And maybe, just maybe, I'll see you during the week, too.  'Nuff said.

This photo seemed appropriate, because I never see you during the year!
Jeff, dude.  You live five miles away from me, maybe, and I only see you on Boys' Weekend!  That's just wrong!  My wish for you is more freedom in 2012, where we can enjoy each other, and you're not just cooking.  (Though I'm never going to complain about your cooking, or food preparation.  You are the best!)  But seriously, dude.  I miss you, man.

And lastly, to Jeff J., Johnny, Frank, Dennis,Michael D., and all the other people I enjoy fishing with through the years, and didn't get the chance to this year, my wish for next year, is more quality time fishing, and enjoying your presence, with each and every one of you.  May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas, and may 2012 be a great, wonderful, and prosperous year for us all!  Until next time, for each and every one of you....  May you all say,

"Fish ON!"


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