I had a student in class this past year as an 8th grader that was nothing short of a fishing fool. Every day was he would be outside my door before I had consumed my morning coffee. Believe me, I need my coffee every morning during the school year. There were always questions about fishing techniques, types of fish, lure, and fly choices. The kid wants nothing more than to fish, fish, and then fish some more. As the year progressed he started tying flies and bringing them in by the handful. I was greeted daily with the same question: "Do you think this will work?" Some of his creations looked pretty good. Others, not so good. I appreciated his enthusiasm for fishing.
Well, as the year progressed he spent more and more time focusing on his "addiction" and less on his studies. He went through a very, very rough patch in the spring with the sudden loss of his mother over spring break and his interest in school really took a seat at the back burner, which I can understand. Third quarter really was tough on him. We met with his grandparents and set up an action plan to get him back on track. I pulled him aside after the meeting and offered him a deal. I told him that if he kept his grades up in all four of his core classes, I would take he and his grandfather out on the Sound for a shrimping and fishing expedition. That evening I received a call from his grandfather at home. He wanted to know if the offer was genuine. I told him that I could see the potential in him and I thought that this may spark his performance. I mentioned to the student that there was one major caveat. There would be no fish talk until he had his daily assignments completed to the best of his ability.
The year came to an end and the kid pulled it off. He pulled a solid B in my science class and did well in his others thanks to the support of his grandparents. The trip was on. We left Whittier Monday morning with both he an his grandparents,dropped the shrimp pots, and headed into the rain for the fishing grounds. The rain subsided and the baits hit the water. The first spot was a dud, but as we dropped at the next spot, we were into fish immediately.
Here is a picture of his first halibut.
We proceeded to catch a variety of rockfish, greenling, lingcod, and more flatfish. All firsts for him.
Happy kid! The smile says it all.
We headed back to the shrimp pots and pulled about 8 gallons of spots. The feast was on!