• by Ginny Hauff

Captain Kathy and the Kids

My daughter Kathy has enjoyed fishing since she has been a little girl. As a youngster, fishing in Peconic Bay with grandpa was a very special treat. So, it was not a surprise her ultimate goal would be to own a house on the water and her own boat to fish upon. Well, hard work makes dreams come true and this is what she now enjoys. It was a few years back she owned a Sea Ray Amberjack. At one time she was a little shy of the ocean, but that’s not the case any longer. Always being careful, cautious and knowledgeable, taking a 30-mile run to drop the lines to find the big fluke now comes to her without hesitation.

Her neighbors, like family members, give a cheer of “good luck” or “have a great day” as she leaves her canal. Those same folks, are often dockside to throw a line and view the catch upon her return. Of course, the young kids are especially excited.

I am her mom, and she takes my husband and I fishing often. On one of our recent outings she mentioned she would love to take Kurt and Liza, ages 12 and 9 respectively, but expressed it would be easier with extra hands aboard to help. We gladly accepted the assignment.

jackets buckled up. Ideal conditions allow us to leave the dock early. As Kathy navigates the 5-mph zone, we make sure the poles are ready, fresh rigs and all, leaving no reason to miss the big one. Enjoying the ride to the proper fishing grounds, the Captain announces “this is the place”. She reminds the kids, “the bottom is where you have to be”; the kid’s lines are down first. Only minutes pass and Liza has the first one coming up. A little assistance in holding the pole firm and Kathy is ready with the net. The first fluke is in the box, a beauty, about 21 inches long. A short time passes and now Kurt announces “ I have something on my line and it’s heavy!”

As Kurt is reeling up, almost to the surface, it dives taking out more line. We tell Kurt to keep reeling and don‘t worry about the drag. First thought was, this might be a blue fish but we can now see it is a giant fluke. “Oh, Kathy - please don‘t miss it, please !” Kurt rambles, and of course Kathy nets it safely. This was the big daddy, over 25 inches and 7 lbs. The kids kept up the good work and nine keepers came home that day. Sorry to say my contribution was only the lunch, unless skates count?

As we pull back to the dock, Kurt is yelling to his parents “come see, I caught the big one” and Liza’s mom is now crossing the street. What a greeting, what a great catch!

Kathy had told the kids that if they caught a decent size fish she would take them to Comb’s Bait and Tackle to have their picture taken. Keeping her word, now she, the kids and their fish were on their way to Amityville. At Combs, Bill was so gracious, listening and sharing the enthusiasm of their stories. He takes their pictures and prepares Kurt a special rig in recognition of that prize fish. I don’t know who is more proud, the kids or the Captain.

That was quite a day. As afternoon turned into evening the kids were still showing off those fish. I never saw fluke get handled so much. It was dark as the captain filleted the fish, cleaned the boat and made a promise of a great fish fry for tomorrow’s supper.


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