I would like to preface this blog post with a little information about myself. One very defining quality I have (and have been told I have by many people) is that I am inherently girly. Everything from my walk to the way I talk screams feminine. So imagine the surprise on my coworker Sam’s face when I took him up on his offer to take me fishing. Mind you, I have no qualms about being outdoors and in the water- I have always been naturally drawn to lakes, rivers, oceans, pools, and any other body of water. I just have never been a huge fisherman (fisherwoman?) nor am I an excellent kayaker, so kayak fishing was definitely something new for me. That’s exactly why I figured I should give it a shot! Sam accepted the challenge and we decided that the best time to go would be that Saturday morning.
That Saturday I met him bright and early down at Lady Bird Lake in Austin ready to enjoy the already gorgeous morning. He started setting me up in his extra kayak as well as setting up his fishing gear in his Diablo Chupacabra. This was my first time ever seeing a kayak that you could also stand up in and I immediately became a little bit obsessed with the combination! After the initial set up I hopped in my kayak and slid out into the glassy waters of Lady Bird. We paddled away from the city and he directed us towards a small enclave covered by trees, which according to him, was filled to the brim with fish.
This was about the time I decided to give casting a shot. I watched him throw his line out a few times and thought to myself, “Ehh, can’t be that hard!” Little did I know there is an entire science behind casting a line. Initially, between tangling up the line and getting caught in the surrounding trees, I thought I would never get it right. However, with a little practice I was able to finally get a technique of my own down and successfully cast my bait a solid distance. Sam was surprised and, dare I say, proud that I was able to pick it up so quickly! Shortly after I managed to get casting down, Sam told me to focus on catching a fish. This obviously was the main goal of the trip however it was also my main source of anxiety. Needless to say, I was able to get over that anxiety the minute I felt a tug on the line. With Sam’s help, I was able to reel it in and finally catch my first fish! I was absolutely elated until he proceeded to tell me to grab it by the mouth…something I definitely was not expecting.
I had never touched a fish before this trip and it was not something I was interested in doing. So when he let me know that it was time to hold the fish I may or may not have freaked out a little. Eventually I decided to man-up and to be honest, it really wasn’t all that bad! With my thumb and index finger I gripped my first fish by its mouth while Sam took a photo to document the moment. I was convinced that it would wiggle around in my hands but to my surprise the fish stayed perfectly still. I like to think that it was posing for the picture. The second the flash went off I happily dropped the fish back in the water – mission accomplished! I watched it swim away and decided to quit while I was ahead. We paddled around a bit longer then called it a day. As I drove home I recounted the story to my friends and provided the proof (like I knew they would ask for). I still fondly remember the surprise on their faces as it sunk in that yes, I not only went fishing but also held a fish long enough to get a snapshot.
The memories of that day will always be looked back on with rose colored glasses as one of my favorite firsts in Austin.
Do you remember the first time you went fishing? Comment below and tell us about it!
-Dayvee @ ACK
Category: Kayak Fishing