A Reel Family Affair

This past weekend, I attended my grandfather’s memorial service, in Lake City, Fla., and listened to numerous people speak about how this wonderful man touched their lives. Inspiration came shortly after for writing a story about how the sport of fishing can bring togetherness among families like no other.

Shorty before Papa Lobeck’s passing, my dad, my brother and I came across an old cardboard box full of pictures, stuffed in a storage closet above his workshop. It felt like we had struck gold as we flipped through a lifetime of recorded memories. Among the stacks of photos were countless pictures of fishing trips and boating excursions. They seemed to outnumber the rest.

I was soon brought back to my childhood and the most prominent memories of that time in my life.

“Oh yeah, I remember that fishing trip,” I said, as I held a photo of my first time catching a bonita.

The fight took about 25 minutes. I remember refusing assistance from the mate, who clearly saw me struggling with this mighty fish. “It’s not my fish if I hand you this rod,” was the thought going through my mind after his offer.

Rounding out the day’s successes was a 20 pound dolphin, caught by yours truly. Even though the picture was taken about fifteen years ago, the memory is as fresh as if it was yesterday.

Dad and Papa Lobeck showing off their catch at Linderman
Key, where I spent most of my childhood.
My very first fish, a grunt, at the age of two.

I watched as my brother, Matt, and my dad thumbed through their stacks with matching grins across their faces, recalling their fond memories. It was apparent, right then and there, that Alan Lobeck had instilled a love for the ocean and for fishing in each of us. His memory, among many others, will be there every time we cast a line.

Capt. Alan Lobeck

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