Memoirs of a Navy Brat






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Fishing Trips with Dad 



Our common interest in fishing and our frequent fishing trips, served as special bonds in strengthening my relationship with Dad. His naval career, especially when he was still young in the service, was mostly spent aboard naval vessels which kept him away from the family for long periods of time. We practically went through our growing up years in the care of our beloved Mom. The last twelve years or so of his service were mostly shore assignments, which opened up this opportunity for the special bonding. Among the siblings, I was the only one who developed that intense passion for fishing, and I guess this rubbed on to my Dad as he saw the catch I was bringing home regularly.

Aside from our nocturnal fishing routine for groupers at the pontoon barges, Dad and I also had our regular Sunday fishing trips. Dad would rise early on Sundays at 5 am and head for the public market to buy live shrimps for our fishing baits. He would then pick me up and our fishing equipment at home, and we proceed, before the sun rises, to the northernmost end of the base to fish for trevally, locally known as talakitok, which are aplenty in that part of the shoreline. We would usually fish the whole morning till noon. On occasions, we would also fish at the same site late afternoon of Saturdays, "talakitoks" being early morning and late afternoon feeders.

On two occasions, Dad brought me along on fishing trips in the waters off the historic Corregidor Island. Our first fishing sortie in the waters of Corregidor was on board a small naval sea craft, together with other navy fishing enthusiasts. We dropped anchor some distance away from the island and fished overnight, but I don't remember anyone landing an exciting catch. This was deep sea fishing and totally different from shoreline fishing which we were used to. I thought maybe we used the wrong fishing bait, live shrimps, for the underwater denizens below. We, however, managed to land some catch when the vessel docked at the pier at Corregidor in the morning, where we fished in the clear shallower waters.

For our second fishing trip to Corregidor, Dad and I motored to Naic, a municipality of Cavite just overlooking the island. This was arranged by Mayor Vic Dualan, a nice guy and former navy man who worked under Dad during some of his naval assignments. From Naic, we rode in a motorized banca with outriggers, in the company of two fishermen late in the afternoon, and headed straight near Corregidor. It was here that I witnessed how deep-sea fishing was done by the fishermen. When we arrived at our fishing site, they dropped a line about 50 yards long with a feathered artificial fishing bait and started pulling it as the banca continued on sailing. Not long afterward, a foot-long trevally or"talakitok", which I thought was already a nice catch, would be pulled into the banca. But that fish's flesh was to be cut into pieces and used as bait to catch the bigger tuna species prowling just underneath. What I just observed confirmed my suspicion during our first fishing sortie that we probably used the wrong fishing bait. It was already dark when the engine was cut off and the real fishing began. We all started dropping our lines several feet below just by the side of the banca. I remember I felt that bite, a slight tug, but failed to convert it into a catch. Later in the evening, I felt dizzy as I was not used to the constant swaying of the banca, and thus, was not able to see the actual landings of the big catch of the fishermen as I slept the night away. I was greeted with the sight of several big albacores on the banca's floor as I was roused from my sleep by the roaring of the motor just as dawn was breaking. We were on our way back to the shore in Naic. Though Dad was not able to land a catch either, we did not go home empty handed. Our ever generous mayor-host gave us some of the catch to be brought home.

Though no memorable catch was made on these two fishing trips, the new learning experience on deep-sea fishing and the time spent together with Dad made it even more unforgettable and worthwhile.

[Sea Worms - Fishing Baits]

Gulf Shores fishing on your family vacation Family fun and fishing
Gulf Shores fishing on your family vacation
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