A little fall canoeing

West Galveston Bay, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Caught 3 redfish, two of which were slots and went in the smoker, throats saved and grilled with butter and lemon, 2 flounder, one of which was undersized and was thrown back, the other filleted and used to make sole meuniere that night, some hardhead catfish, a stingray, two blue crabs, and a stone crab.

My 5 yo daughter, for the first time this year, loves being out in the canoe for hours on end, and likes fishing but is frustrated that she hasn’t caught anything we could keep and eat yet. She loved that it was cold enough she could wrap herself in a blanket and drink hot chocolate while my wife and I paddled. This fall paddling in cool, crisp weather is something I start pining for about mid-August down here, knowing in all likelihood I won’t actually get the weather for it until November, maybe late October if I’m very lucky. So this year I took some pictures that I can pull out and look through next August, kinda did an LL Bean catalogue-style shoot here.

I was hoping to get the kids out here, but we’ve just been swamped with craziness of life. Every weekend is full on stuff, I wake up on Monday more exhausted than when I signed off work on Friday and can’t tell you a thing we’ve done - but it’s sure not canoeing.

I’ve got my stinkpot working on my canoe, which I think my daughters will like tooling around some. We’re into Spring now. The rivers are cool enough that I won’t take the kids with me. Too much risk for my limited survival experience. My skills are good enough to keep an adult going - bigger tolerances. With kids you’ve got to move fast and alone. I’m just not good enough to risk it. Been thinking about taking some classes to get the practice in a controlled setting.

I hear you on that
We’ve been down to our bay house only two weekends this whole fall. Though one nice thing is we decided that when we go down, we leave the 14 yo boy at home with his dad. We tried to get him into fishing and paddling and the outdoors ever since he was about 5. He just never took to it and would refuse to go out, and just wanted to stay in the house watching tv and ebing on his electronics. Then come sunday morning he would start pestering us on when we were going to go home - he had no plans, mind you, just wanted to be home.

With our 5 year old daughter, it is totally different. She loves being outside, in the canoe, loves fishing, hates returning to the dock. Night and day. Leaving him with his dad and having her down there has made our times down there so much more enjoyable.

Tough spot
My kids are a little like that. I took them out on a rental rowboat at a lake for some fishing. I got us set up on a good spot, but the eldest kept complaining about this that and the other. She wanted to be somewhere else, so we moved to ‘her’ spot, which was not a fishy spot at all, and then she was bored. She asked for snack after snack after snack until she had eaten all of the snacks. Then she started to complain about that and how she hadn’t caught any fish yet and when can we go back. Of course, she had had her line in the water for only about five minutes of the two hours by that point. In the same time, the youngest had caught four or five fish because she was actually fishing instead of directing, eating, complaining, distracting, complaining, eating, and complaining about how much eating distracts her. She doesn’t go with us much any more. I’m hoping that when we come home with fun stories of what he did that she’ll want to go instead of having to go along.