Being a fifth generation South Floridian, I believe I was born with a fishing rod in my hand and a hint of saltwater running through my veins. There’s nothing more calming than the smell of the salt air and the sun’s reflection off the water hitting my face. Then, the screaming of the line snaps me out of my relaxing trance. So, I grab the rod out of the rod holder and holler, “FISH ON!”
Whether I’m wading off a beach in The Everglades, anticipating a snook’s approach to the shoreline, or offshore deep-dropping for swordfish in Fort Lauderdale, I always feel at home when I’ve got a line in the water.
I grew up fishing in Homestead and Key Largo. Biscayne Bay was a familiar location to me as a child. My first fish, a puny little grunt, was caught at the age of two and my first shark, a nurse shark, was caught at the age of six. My childhood was anything but typical. The echo of my father’s voice from my younger years still rings loud and proud in my ears: “That’s why it’s called fishing, not catching, Rach!” And, I’ll probably use that same line when I have kids someday.