This morning I was joined for a “S.K.I.F.F.” fishing trip by brother and sister pair Destiny Griffin (age 15) and Robert Griffin Jr. (age 6), as well as Josh Griffin (age 12, no relation to Destiny and Robert).
Josh holds the only freshwater drum we scored on today. This one hit a downrigged Pet Spoon in 25 feet of water.
Destiny, a self-proclaimed “old soul”, excelled at landing “doubles”!!
Robert, who was a little leery about holding a fish with his hands, shows off one of the many white bass he caught today.
SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trips are provided free of charge to families whose children are separated from a parent due to that parent’s military service thanks to the Austin Fly Fishers and a network of supportive individuals from all over the U.S.
Destiny and Robert are the middle two children (of four) of Sergeant First Class and Mrs. Robert Griffin Sr. SFC Griffin is a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed in Kuwait where he serves as an Operations NCO (non-commissioned officer).
Josh is the son of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Griffin. SSG Griffin is a medic and a combat veteran of 4 tours to Iraq, as well as a Purple Heart recipient. During his fourth tour to Iraq, while riding in a Hum-Vee, he was involved in an IED (improvised explosive device) detonation. The explosion caused a traumatic brain injury, and injuries to his elbows, left knee and back. Surgeries have helped with his elbows and he is awaiting surgeries on his knee and back at this time.
I was a bit surprised when I saw young Robert get out of his mom’s vehicle this morning wearing a monogrammed bass tournament-style fishing shirt complete with a Gary Yamamoto sponsorship logo and the “Lucky Strike” bass club lettering on the front. As it turns out, his dad is a member of that club and, of course, little Robert wanted to look like his daddy!!
We enjoyed great fishing today thanks to an eager crew and a stiff southwest breeze. We spent the first 2/3’s of our trip downrigging (Areas 040, 1240-1241, and 851) and, once we found a big concentration of fish suspended just off bottom in about 30 feet of water, we spent the last 1/3 of our trip fishing vertically or semi-vertically for these heavily schooled fish (Area 1247). Destiny really had a knack for catching “doubles” — 2 fish at a time. I suspect it was because she was relaxed about everything and reeled in more slowly than the boys did, thus letting the 2nd fish catch up with the one already hooked. Then, when we switched over to bladebaits, it was Josh’s turn to shine. He made a mental note of where he cast to as he worked his bladebait across the bottom so, if he connected with a fish, he could throw right back there and catch that fish’s schoolmates too.
Destiny and Josh stayed engaged the entire trip, but, as is typical for my younger guests, Robert’s interest waned at about the 3 hour mark. So, he became my personal, special fish holding device handler. In this very important role, he would use my Boga Grip to transport the fish we caught from my hand and back into the water after I removed the hook. He did a very good job at this. Did I mention that he requested that I take a picture of nearly every one of these fish he transported as well? Well, he did!
By around 10:30a the fishing was on the downhill slide. The handful of terns we saw working over open water gave up and went to perch and rest, and what occasional topwater feeding we could see amidst the whitecaps had also dwindled to nil. It was nature’s way of saying, “Time to wrap it up!”. And so we did, with 67 fish boated by my energetic crew.
TALLY = 67 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:55a
End Time: 10:55a
Air Temp: 78F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 86F
Wind: Winds were SW9 at sunrise tapering up to SW14 and stabilizing there for the entire trip.
Skies: 10% clouds on a fair sky..
Holding the Line Guide Service