This morning I was joined for a “S.K.I.F.F.” fishing trip by 15 year old Javion Dupree, and 11 year old Edward R. III. Edward was accompanied by his “Big Brother”, Raphael McIntyre of the Ft. Hood Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
Edward and his “big brother” Raphael show a “double” that Edward brought in — two fish at a time on the same rod.
Javion, who actually attended a fishing camp earlier this summer on the coast near the TX/LA border, quickly caught on to everything I showed him 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.
Javion’s mother, Sergeant First Class Simmons, serves in the U.S. Army and is currently assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, Algeria. Javion’s step-dad, Leo Simmons is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major and served one tour in Iraq during his career. SFC Simmons is due back tomorrow for a 3-week mid-tour leave before heading back to Algeria to finish her assignment. Mr. Simmons and Javion share responsibilities in raising the Simmons’ 3 year old daughter while SFC Simmons is gone.
Edward’s father, the late U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Edward R. Jr., died on active duty in Iraq when young Edward was 4 years old. Edward’s mom, T’ana, also served in the U.S. Army as a medic.
Edward’s “Big Brother” Raphael works as a systems analyst at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, TX, and was paired with Edward in May of this year.
We had a great day of fishing today, catching a total of 76 fish. As has been the modus operandi for the past ~12 weeks, we used downriggers both to find the fish and during slower periods, and then took advantage of what we’d found by fishing more methodically with bladebaits from a fixed position once we found congregations of active fish. Today, we pulled fish off of Areas 058/1251/249 early, and off of Areas 1240/1241/484 late, all above the thermocline in 24-29 feet of water, often over much deeper bottom areas.
On two occasions we landed “triples” where we boated 3 fish at a time on one rod on the modified “umbrella” rigs we downrigged with. This always carries a “wow factor” with the kids!
Our total catch today consisted of 73 white bass, 2 largemouth bass, and 1 freshwater drum.
TALLY = 76 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7a
End Time: 11a
Air Temp: 76F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 84.8F
Wind: Winds were SSE6 at sunrise, then dying slowly to calm by 9:15.
Skies: <5% high patchy clouds on a fair sky.
Holding the Line Guide Service