First Fishing Trip with Dad St. Pete Inshore 8/11

Well my 2-year old daughter Aria had a teacher planning day at preschool Friday, so with Mom and I working, I planned to take the day off so she wouldn't be bored at the office and also driving mama crazy :)

I thought I would take her through the inshore routine of find bait, net bait, catch snook/ladyfish/whatever. Show a real fishing trip and not just a 5 minute pit stop on way to sandbar or boat ride.

Our niece Kaia was staying with us between semesters at FSU so she helped as an extra set of hands on the boat.

We had a bright and early dock time of about 10:30AM so it should be just in time for all the fish to shut down for August mid-day. I'm writing a report so you might guess that didn't exactly happen.

Got a good 6-7 dozen pilchards with the 12' net in one shot without chumming, some nice big ones too.

Plan now is to run back in towards home and fish some shorelines. Easy stuff. Aria had her Frozen/Barbie/Snoopy grade fishing rod, rigged with 5" of 20# leader tied right to the 4# main line. Lazy dad, should have given her a new leader...

First stop, first cast, she gets her first snook! Way to go Frozen fishing pole!


Dad gets one on the fancy Loomis, and bite gets quiet.

Our real destination was Riviera Bay ladyfish, so we move towards that. I have visions of ladyfish busting live chummers on the surface like tuna all around us, and the frozen fishing pole getting a workout with Aria learning how to fight fish. Such was not to be, rain moved in, fish weren't there, but hey we got a snook in about 30 minutes of fishing time so far.

On the ride in, I thought let's stop at another spot, morale was high in spite of the rain so we pulled up and threw some chummers and a couple baits out.

I catch a little one right away, Aria poses for a photo

I start seeing a couple of BIG boils on live chummers... So of course frantically make repeated perfect casts with a big pilchard right on top of them with my rod, no takes. Bummer.

Kaia mentions the frozen pole has a little bend to it in the rod holder... OK Aria, get ready, I think you have one.

I help her set the hook, and the fish just slowly freight trains away as though it may not realize it is hooked. We can't catch them all, especially on this tackle. Just as the fish gets back to the mangroves, it starts turning along the shore. We are working hard to try to get it turning back to us, but then it gets tangled in a prop root. I see a gold figure underwater, and think, let's pull the anchor and see if we can go grab it before the line pops, thinking it might be an overslot red.

As we start to grab the anchor, it frees itself, runs 10 feet back under the mangroves, and we hear it jumping but can't see it. Well, if this fish was gone before now it's really gone!

Not to be the case today, Aria and I (I am helping a lot here) get it turned back toward us and it comes back to open water and down deep under us. We follow it around the boat, and the fish comes up.

No landing net, no way to flip this fish with that long of a fight and 5 inches of leader, so just reach down and grab its jaw.

Holy cow dad!

Let's get a photo before we start reviving the fish

And there we go. Couple thunder claps and head on in. probably 45 minutes of lines in and had some great action at the wrong time of day wrong time of year.

I think we had a good first trip together, hopefully the first of countless :)

Tight Lines,
Eric Fosbender

Team Googanator

2006 Bull Dolphin 22 with 250 Etec


  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman Posts: 893 Officer
    Thats awesome
  • KortsmanKortsman Posts: 266 Deckhand
    There's something about kids fishing. They know exactly what to do even when they don't know what to do!
    Put those pics in a scrap book and show her when she grows up... Those will be better than any 40+ inch snook that you catch by yourself!!
    Good job dad!
  • mjrudd1mjrudd1 Posts: 267 Deckhand
    Way to go, what a great way to spend the day. Down the road, those pics will reinforce her recognition of the love and investment of time you made in her life.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 3,137 Captain
    That's great
    You should have been here yesterday
  • SaltySardineSaltySardine Posts: 159 Deckhand
    Here I would have thought having someone of FSU colors on the boat would have pissed off the fish gods.

    Well done though! Props for being a great dad/uncle
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,002 Captain
    :fishing Outstanding!
  • DaveNJaxDaveNJax Posts: 108 Deckhand
    Fantastic Job dad!...and lets not forget the Frozen fishing pole and beautiful daughter combo!
  • GratefulEdGratefulEd Posts: 316 Deckhand
    Nice. Real nice.
  • jay825jay825 Posts: 288 Deckhand
    Great job buddy:fishing
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,011 Moderator
  • ericfericf Posts: 447 Deckhand
    Thanks guys!

    She has been talking about the snook "this" big (arms stretched out all the way) to everyone... Pretty awesome.

    Tight Lines,
    Eric Fosbender

    Team Googanator

    2006 Bull Dolphin 22 with 250 Etec
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,478 Officer
    Awesome stuff!!!!!
  • keenerbenkeenerben Posts: 78 Greenhorn
    Nice work Dad! My daughter is a year and a half, can't wait to get her catching!
  • FS ShelbyFS Shelby Posts: 687 Officer
    Great report, thanks for sharing with the FS forum community!

    You will now be entered in our forum giveaway! Keep posting new reports until September 31st for more chances to win the fishing trip of a lifetime with Fishing Nosara in Costa Rica!

    Check out for more details.
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