My earliest fishing memories took place in Puerto Rico.
Being a Navy brat, my dad was stationed there for three years. I had a Japanese lady angel by the name of Jeannie. She took me under her wing. Jeannie married a sailor buddy of my dad’s. Her passion for fishing matched anyone I have run across in all of my years of fishing.
I was charged with collecting the bait, which was hermit crabs. These critters were everywhere in Puerto Rico. As soon as I had a croaker sack full to the point I couldn’t carry anymore, I’d go to Miss Jeannie’s house.
She’d grab the rods, and we would head over to the long piers that jutted out into the clear Puerto Rican waters to enjoy an afternoon of fishing.
Cracking the hermit crab’s shell with a hammer exposed the soft tail. This was the “hot” bait, hermit crab tail. Many snapper, grunts and jacks would fall to this delicacy. Not only were many fish hooked, but so was I. I don’t think I could forget Jeannie if I wanted to.
A few years later, my stepfather, also a Navy man, stepped into my life and expanded my love of fishing.
Stationed in Oregon, he would take me to the Columbia River, where we would tip hooks with salmon eggs and catch trout and steelhead. With the patience of Job, he schooled me in the art of using spinning tackle.
I hold great memories of introducing my kids, Caleb and Sarah to fishing.
Caleb has been fishing for years and has a 45 pound cobia, a 35 pound mahi under his belt. Sarah can tell you about the time she caught six butterfish all at once. These are experiences I would not trade for any amount of money.
When’s the last time you took a kid fishing? Or for that matter, when’s the last time you took yourself fishing? Maybe it’s time to make some priceless memories and enjoy the waters of this coastal paradise.
By Capt. Miles Altman, Bayrunner Fishing Charters
Capt. Miles Altman of Bayrunner Fishing Charters has more than 50 years experience fishing the waters surrounding Hilton Head Island. The Finatic boat accommodates up to 12 passengers. Go to www.bayrunnerfishinghiltonhead.com or contact Miles at (843) 290-6955 to book an unforgettable charter fishing trip.