Fishing with Daddy and Uncle Junior.
When I was young my family did a lot of things outdoors. We went hunting and fishing and camping. We went on a lot of vacations across the country and I have a lot of great memories from all of that. But the thing that sticks out most in my mind was my time with my dad and my uncle junior. We went fishing down in the Gulf of Mexico and along all the small islands along the coast of Texas. We had a special spot that we really liked to go to, down by the Brazos inlet where we would go flounder fishing.
My dad’s favorite fish was flounder and I guess it’s mine too. He always used to say flounder was god’s perfect food. You can coat in cornmeal and fry it, you can cut it up and put it gumbo, or you can bake it or grill it, you can cook it anyway at all and it always comes out great. It’s just the best tasting fish I know.
When dad would get me up to go fishing it was always before the sun came up. I had an old pair of his overalls that I wore and one of his old, torn, long sleeve white shirts that he used to wear to church, that now had holes in it. You really need to cover yourself up good when your fishing on the gulf. The sun gets very hot and I would get a bad sunburn each time. No matter how much sun block I used and no matter how much I covered myself. I always got a bad sunburn. That’s OK it was worth it.
Dad had a small camper and great little fishing boat and we would hook it up to the camper and we would go pick up uncle Jr. and off we’d go. It took a few hours to get there but we always had a spot to pull the camper into, once we put the boat in the water. There was a small bait shop there and we would pick up a bunch of bait and we were off to go fishing for flounder. Fishing for flounder is a little different than other types of fish because they lay on the bottom of the water. You must have patience and you really need to know you fishing line because they don’t strike like trout or catfish or bass. They barely touch the line, so you really have to set that hook hard if you expect to get that fish out of the water. I can’t tell you how many times I lost a good one because I was caught off guard and didn’t get a chance to set the hook right. Daddy used to bust up laughing at me. We had been fishing together hundreds of times and he still got a kick out of watching me loose a good fish. Uncle Jr. however was not as happy about losing one his self. He would get all grumpy and surly and dad would make fun of him and he would get madder. It always went the same. Daddy would be laughing, and Jr. would be swearing under his breath. It was fun. The best part was who would catch the most. It was a big deal in our house hold. I managed to win a few times, but most of the time it was daddy. He would rib uncle Jr. all the way home. Like I said it was fun.
When we would drop uncle junior off we would split up the fish, so everyone had some. No matter how many fish daddy caught, he always split the catch fairly. We would have a fish fry or dad would make gumbo if we had enough. You need to understand that gumbo in our house was a thing to behold. Our entire family had built in radar, because all daddy had to do was pull out that big old gumbo pot and everyone in the family somehow new, and they showed up for dinner. It was spooky.
I really miss those times with my dad and my uncle. Those memories are some of my most precious. I can’t wait till my time comes, so I can see my day and my uncle and that old boat and get a chance to go fishing with them once again.
Sorry this got a little sappy, but I don’t care.
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