fishing in NC beach | Teen Ink

fishing in NC beach

September 21, 2023
By jiajiasoso917 PLATINUM, Cary, North Carolina
jiajiasoso917 PLATINUM, Cary, North Carolina
35 articles 25 photos 0 comments

The morning of the fishing trip, I woke up at 2 am. After realizing that I was four hours ahead of schedule, I tried to go back to sleep, but I could barely close my eyes. The very idea of going out to sea and catching loads of colorful fish tickled my brain and kept me awake. It’s been so long since I had felt and tasted a spray of salty vapor on my cheeks. I drew images on printer paper of me catching dozens of beautiful and delicious-looking fish as my parents watched with empty buckets in their hands, their jaws dropping in amazement.

My family’s first deep sea fishing trip, with the Captain Stacy Charter Company, had been in 2017, before the Coronavirus pandemic. This was a new experience for all of us since we were all used to lake-side fishing. I remembered being confused when the boat captain, a tall woman who always wore a pink cap on top of her long blond hair and had a prosthetic left leg, said we didn't need to cast the rod. My family and I watched as the more experienced deep sea fishers slowly lowered their bait into the ocean with the help of a small weight and learned from them what to do.

On our following deep sea fishing trips in 2018 and early 2019, we were much more knowledgeable, or at least I was. I knew that pulling the fish rod before reeling in the line was the trick to not letting the fish get away. The best part about fishing was the luck; each time I reeled up a fish, it felt like I won the lottery. Everyone had the same chance of getting the fish since everyone had the same boat-provided bait, and yet I was the one who got it. 

I assumed that when we went to Wilmington this past summer for a fishing trip we were going deep-sea fishing. We were all confused when the fisherman steered the boat a quarter mile from the dock, turned right, turned left, and stopped the boat near a marsh. * I looked around and saw that we had parked between a highway bridge and a swamp. Usually, we would have had to wait for hours to get to the fishing spot and there would have been nothing but ocean.

I feel like you need to posit the question. "When I asked my mom, who organized the trip, what was going on, she was as dumbfounded as I was. Still, fishing is fishing, right? I expected to use the same techniques we used in deep sea fishing, such as pulling up and letting the line sink itself. But I was dead wrong. The rods the captain handed us were the same as we always used, but everything else was different. The weights we used barely had any feeling to them, compared to the really heavy ones used in deep-sea fishing. Furthermore, instead of using dead, cut-up squid and salmon, we used live small fish. 

Before casting our rods, we placed our bets on who would catch the most fish and who would catch the first fish. My mom and dad both thought I would be the one since it was always like that during deep-sea fishing trips. But not even a minute after the first rods were cast, my mom felt a vibration on her fishing pole and reeled in a nice-sized flounder. Because the bait we used was live fish, we had to switch out my mother’s bait. For the following hour, my father and I gazed in awe as my mother reeled in four flounders one by one, each increasing in size until the sun came out. Once the sun was on us none of us could catch a single fish. My father and I just sat back and took naps while my mother kept trying to reel in a big catch.

There was a law that we could only bring home four fish of the same species because there were four people on our boat. We were brought to several other locations, but they all yielded the same results; one fish–always a flounder–was caught by my mom, and my dad and I were left empty-handed. 

As we ate dinner that night, I thought about how I was usually the one who caught all the fish. But today was different. Did that bother me?

Yes, it bothered me that I didn’t get to feel the satisfaction of fighting and winning against a fish underwater, but my overarching feeling that day was positive. Despite my losses, I gained knowledge on how to fish near shores. On top of that, my mother received her first fishing win in the family competition. How could I not be proud? We drove home, victorious, with four flounders in the cooler at the back of the car.

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