As we get older, our definitions of spring break changes. For me, it was convincing the wife a good trade off was me going fishing in FL for some fish. As long as of course I would catch enough to pack home for the Fridays leading up to Easter.
Sea Bass and Grouper was what made the dinner table at the end of the day. We headed down to Tampa from Vermont in FEB, from -14 f to 74 f. Hitting the marina to pack the cooler with bait, ice, and some drinks, we loaded up on the boat.
An hour ride to find some deeper, warmer water, we had a big red blotch on the depth finder, that was them, hiding down deep and waiting for the waters off Tampa to heat up. We had to come to them and we did. Three hours later we had the cooler packed with filets, cleaned on the back of the boat.
At the end of the day, we all still look to ‘save the day,’ somehow. That day I did, our trip started after a long hard day of work on a local military base near Tampa. As someone else was driving, we packed some refreshments on the way out. Changed into our fishing clothes, jumped on the boat and off we headed. Work was over and it was time to crack open a few. “Who’s got a bottle opener,’ asked my fishing partners and all looked with a frown hoping someone else would answer.
Using my cooler as a footrest, sad that I could not open our drinks, I reached down to tighten my sandal and remembered that the Orion had it built into the corner. I ‘saved the day’ that afternoon, as small as it was.
Landing back in Vermont, my family picked me up at the airport. I cracked open the cooler to show everyone my catch, already packed for Easter.
~ Brian Dowling