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by Curtis Wright
As a youth I spent many days riding my bike down to the banks of the Indian River. I did not realize what I had set myself up for later in life. Leaving the house around sun up, mom and dad never worried, as it was pretty safe to be a kid back then. I would hit the river with a couple of plugs, a trusty rod and reel and I fished, or just stared at the water. No need to be home till the street lights came on. did not really mean much back then… My how things have changed.
Here I sit a man of 40 years. Married, kids, decent job, mortgage and credit cards I can’t afford to pay. I look back on those days of my youth in disbelief. Fish were plentiful, and boats were few and far between. With the stresses of life in these days my memories of showing off my catch for the day as a kid makes me smile. Heck, just the ability to remember those days makes me smile!
I find that my days on the water seem to mean more now. Luckily I have a wife and kids who understand my passion for the water. Where as now I usually get about 120 days on the water a year, which is down since my credit went up, when just a couple of years ago I spent the better part of 200 days on the water.
Those times on the water are what help me to gain my senses again. Be it by myself, with a friend, or my best fishing partner, my son, life seems to be ok and a calm comes about me like nothing else can produce. Just the act of seeing the water seems to have that effect nowadays.
We as men of the age we live are handed a life we did not always bargain for. Some men end up divorced, some end up drunks, drug fiends, or worse…dead.
However a few of us end up realizing we have to play the hand we are dealt. Those of us with that realization tend to read more into those chances to be on the water. While we struggle to comprehend what our next move is we find solace when we escape to those hidden coves on a windy fall morning. Seeing a glimpse of the bronze, or silver or even speckled prey lurking about in a sandy patch can sometimes make us as giddy as a school girl. To this day I still get goose bumps seeing a redfish waving his blue tipped flag at me in the distance.
Just because I see the creatures from the grass flats waiving me in for a cast does not mean I will succumb to his pressure. Seeing him and studying him tends to lend me a guiding light into me. He is no different than I. He too is eeking his life out the best way he knows how. Although it may be hard to reckon his life with ours in most logical manners, it really is no different. We all do what we have to do to survive.
I was just out alone for a sun up session in the north end of the river. It was one of those spur of the moment trips. I needed to re-up my inner core with a little action that only a dumb animal can provide. As I came off plane into a nice flat with green grass and not a ripple with the exception of my sled’s movement I saw what most fisherman long to see. A school on the prowl.
Now I was prepared for battle, all my weapons rigged and at the ready with points as sharp as razors. I stepped onto my perch preparing myself for an epic confrontation with the beasts who stalk my water. As I eyed my prey from which I had many to choose, I observed. I stared at them all in their eyes and silently I waited for the right moment to fire. I stood there at the ready and watched them all swim without a care in the world. Almost as if they knew I wasn’t prepared to take them on one at a time. They slid beneath, and around my boat and off into the distance. Not a shot was fired from the bow of my battle wagon. Not One Shot.
It was that moment when I realized where I am. I am on their land, an intruder. They did not attack, nor did they show even the slightest distrust in my presence. They did what they do daily. They lived.
Without doubt I know many of those soldiers have had everything imaginable thrown at them. I probably have put holes into the mouths of more than a few their brethren over the years, and have probably eaten more than my share of their ancestors. That day did re-energize my batteries, and I look forward to our next meeting. It’s funny who a short time on the water can always put things into perspective. I will go on about my week doing what I was put here to do. Survive.
I love the water, I love the art of stalking the swimmers from below, and I love to feel their strength as they fight from the end of a well placed lure. I also love the fact that the mere sight of something so beautiful can put me back on earth and into my place!
I know where I am and I love it!
Curtis Wright aka "Cost Efishnt" was born in West Palm Beach FL in 1971 and promptly moved to Titusville with his family where his father worked to finish out the Apollo Project.
Living in Titusville for the majority of his life with a couple of years spent in Huntsville Alabama and East Tennessee. The Outdoors is where he are from, and his time is never taken for granted, his passion is the salt water flats not just in his back yard but all over Florida.
He is the founder of the Annual Brandon Thomas Benefit Redfish Tournament in which all monies go to help children with cancer. He is currently on the Pro Staff for Flying Fisherman, Custom Gheenoe, and I Hunt Fish.
He also contributes to Reel Nerve TV and Microskiff.com.
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