It's not often that my nearly grown teen son wants to get out on the water with me. Truth is I was so independent when I was his age that I left home, striking out on my own. I was too hard-headed to know any better. Thankfully, he has a better head on his shoulders - probably thanks to his mom. I left home not long before turning 18 and never went back. Looking in the rear view mirror, I'm not sure now that my mile-wide independent streak has served me well in life. What a blessing that he does not seem to have the same disposition.
Nevertheless, between school, work, girlfriend, church, hog hunting and chores, there isn’t a lot of time left in the day to kayak mullet fish with dear old dad. But, when we do manage to find the time, it becomes a day or evening full of memories.
His mom and I still laugh that one of the first fully developed words he ever uttered as a toddler was the word “out”. He was standing at the back door of our house in Pensacola, looking through the glass, when he turned and looked at us and said “OUT!” It has been that way ever since. I have never had to worry about dragging that boy from in front of the television and banishing him to the out-of-doors. It’s been more of a problem to get him to slow down long enough to come inside and get a good eight hours of sleep.We both saw about a week in advance that there was set to be a negative .7 tide in the harbor. We both knew what that meant. A negative .7 literally drains the water out of the bay. Where we like to fish, the Harbor would be as dry as a bone. So we put in the kayaks early in the day, while the harbor was still flooded, and paddled across to the bars and marsh islands on the other side. Soon, we were seeing the telltale swirls of the fishy protests that mullet like to give when you enter their kingdom.