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A Fishy Tale: Our Fishing Tournament Experience

My daughter and I participated in a fishing tournament.  I highly recommend this to anyone who has a burning desire to punch holes in animals.  Bullfighting is hard to come by in Florida, but fishing is easy. We participated in the Capt. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge.  

We met the boat at the Miami Beach marina.  It was me, my daughter, my sister, her son, my two nieces via my third sister, and a handful of other moms, dads and kids.  There were many other people in this competition too, but on different boats.  

The captain of his boat and first mate were from the J. Crew catalog of casting.  Handsome as all heck with just the right scruff to their boots and chins. They helped the motley crew we were onto a fishing boat.  The kind where you'd rather pee on the floor than use the bathroom.  I made a note to dehydrate my kid. 

We set off for the sea and the big fish.

The water was choppy and the kids thought the up and down motion of the boat made a great carnival ride.  They sat in the front of the boat to get the full effect of the chop chop of the waves.  Up and down, up and down.  Then it sets in that this is a carnival ride that never ends.  You are even expected to eat your lunch while the boats a rockin'.

Circumstantially, few were in the mood for lunch. By this time, many of the moms, dads and kids were losing their lunches or lying down somewhere.   

Bait or throw up?  I was hoping I'd be able to tell the difference when we actually started to fish because even after half an hour we were still heading out to sea.

Lucky for me, I only get sea sick on cruise ships.  My daughter and nieces were fine, as well. 

I put an end to our ocean voyage before we reached Europe and asked the captain, on behalf of the greenies, including my sister and her son, to take us to the bay.  We'd be fine catching the little fish. At least people would be able to stand upright to catch the fish.  

We ended up off of Fisher Island and the water was significantly calmer.  We finally had a chance to fish.  They gave us the rods, they gave us the bait and we dropped our lines in.  The fish were biting. I had no idea there were so many fish out there.  My daughter caught a fish right away.  After a photo to prove this actually happened, the captain unhooked it and threw it back in. (The ones were we were catching were too small to keep.)  We put the rod in again, but this time there was no instant gratification.

With no instant gratification, she got bored.  

Only two more hours of fishing to go.  This is not the sport for people who don't like commitment.  

I was fine with her lack of interest given that animals were indeed being hurt for our entertainment pleasure.  

She went to eat her lunch.  My sister and I had both packed goldfish crackers and a lot of antibacterial wipes.

After lunch my daughter wanted to try fishing again considering that this was a contest and two of her three cousins were out fishing her.  My nephew caught four fish.  One of my nieces caught nine fish! The other niece was inside reading a book.  Our luck came when my daughter caught the only poisonous fish of the day.  A scorpion fish.  Now she was happy.  As long as no one else caught anything that could kill you, she was a winner in her own mind, with a fish story to tell.  

She also had the amazing chance to see one of the boat people give mouth to mouth to a puffer fish. He actually blew it up like a balloon.  Gross and fascinating all in one. 

The boat ride was about 4 hours long and it was around 12:30 when we reached shore.  My sister continued on to the award ceremony but I had had enough.  I took my daughter for a manicure and a smoothie and we went home. 

It had been an interesting mother daughter bonding experience kind of a day.