The Power of Teamwork on and off the Water
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Before we had Grayton, teamwork on the boat looked a little different. Usually Scott backed the boat down the ramp and I would reverse out. Depending on the marina, I would either hang at the dock and wait, or idle out of busy boat ramps and come back to pick him up once he had parked the trailer. Some jobs today are the same as they are now, Scott still finds the fish, and I catch them (just kidding), but a few things have changed since our family has grown.
Now, with two small kids, it does get a little more challenging to go out on the water but having both parents or just any extra set of hands, is the biggest piece of advice I could give. Scott will take Grayton alone and they catch fish almost every time, but it’s definitely easier when he has the extra set of hands. Grayton is old enough that he knows what he is and isn't allowed to do on the boat (not that he is 'easy' to take fishing by any means, but he does know his left and right limitations. And he knows them by being out fishing all the time and testing those limits almost every time.) Chandler is a whole other ball game. Not only is she into everything, but she's still learning so much. Hooks, to her, are shiny and cool and don't even get her started on lures. If she's not trying to impale herself or throw herself off the boat, she's usually throwing a tantrum. Sometimes, we get lucky and hit that sweet spot right after she naps and she will just coexist with us on the boat. Those are the days we get to actually do some good fishing.
If you’re going out on the water with the intention of fishing, and I mean really fishing, you need to do a couple things. Have a game plan. Know the tides, know what species you’re targeting, have everything you need to make it happen gear wise. Next thing, plan for it to take at least twice as long as it should. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone out for bonefish, the kids are stomping and throwing hard toys, slamming the cooler, and they spook the fish. Don’t let this discourage you. In our case, more often than not, another school will circle through, or we are able to book it to a fresh spot before the tide bottoms or tops out. Which leads to my next point. Set your expectations very low. I mean like plan for catching all the fish, but expect to not even see a fish. That way, if you even get a shot at a bonefish or what have you, you will have already exceeded your expectations.
A lot of the time when we’re out on the boat, I take the responsibility of the kids. One reason for that is that Scott is guiding us to the fish. He’s either up on the poling platform or up in the front with the trolling motor trying to put us on fish. Sometimes, if Chandler is in a good mood, I can let her play in the boat and get up on the bow with Grayton and throw a few casts. Usually if I want to fish, we have to plan for that and we have a few times. But I’m just as happy being out in the sun, spending time with my family as I am reeling in any fish. For me, it’s not so much about the fishing aspect as it is the time together outside.
Preparation and communication will make or break you. Scott and I have been together and on the water and boat just long enough that we can anticipate the others next move. We have a certain rhythm on the boat that has taken lots of trial and error to perfect. And I use ‘perfect’ very loosely. Once we added kids to our mix, we had to adjust and find a new rhythm. When one of us forgets to do something, the other must be there to fill in. It has to be a dynamic relationship that is ever changing to suit the needs of the day, no one has specific roles attached to them. There is no secret other than to put your patient pants on and get out and find what works for your family. It may take a few times, it may take a few more than a few. Eventually, you will figure it out and your kids will only appreciate the time spent with you and the memories made. So get out there enjoy each others company and don't let the kids drive you too crazy.
Stay Hooked Fam,
Scott and Lindsay