Something in me knew that "this is amazing" when my grandfather handed me that cane fishing pole for the first time. I was in love the first time I watched that bobber dart under the water and could feel that catfish pull against that primitive fishing pole. When I landed my first fish, I was hooked -- for life.
I can still hear the creak of the barn door as my grandfather opened it and I can still smell the fish food as he scooped it into a small one-gallon bucket so that we could head to the pond and get the catfish in a feeding mood. I still remember my sister getting grossed out by my dad cutting up the chicken livers and baiting our hooks. I will never forget the way my dad taught me to hold a catfish so that I would not get stung by its fin.
I cherish these memories. The simple act of "taking a kid fishing" helped shape me to become the man I am today. I cannot imagine how different my life would have been if my grandfather and father had not taken me fishing.
I'm 100% certain that those early-in-life fishing trips kept me out of trouble through high-school and college, taught me how to respect life, gave me a desire to work (to earn money for fishing equipment, of course), and helped shape me into me a pretty good father. There are so many life lessons to be learned while fishing and when you fish with a family member, the bonding and learning are like nothing else.
Over the years I graduated from cane poles to Zebcos to high end spinning tackle, from johnboats to kayaks to flats boats to bay boats, from avid and obsessed recreational angler to tournament angler to full-time fishing guide. And, it all started with a simple fishing trip to my grandfather's catfish pond.
These days, I am carrying on the family tradition with my kids. My son was "hooked" when he caught his first bluegill on his "Superman pole" at 2 years old. Since then, he's graduated to first-mate on over 750 charters (before he even turned 12 years old) and he's caught redfish, snook, trout, tarpon, bass, striper, crappie, catfish, permit, barracuda, shark, mackerel, sheephead, rainbow trout... the list goes on and his passion for fishing grows every day.
I hope that the fishing tradition that my father and grandfather passed on to me, and I have passed on to my son, serves him as well as it has me. And, I hope that one day, he will have a family of his own to pass this amazing passion down to as well.
Eddy-Gear was started out of the same passion for the outdoors and fishing. It was this family tradition that was passed down from generation to generation that gave birth to the brand and the products. That's why when you fish out of an Eddy-Gear kayak, you're not just a customer, you're a family member. And, we hope you pass the tradition down to your family as well.
Written by Capt. Clay Eavenson