12.21.20 Do You Remember Your First Yellowtail?

One of the greatest gifts that I have ever received while on this Fish Village journey was a story from a first time Fish Village customer. Richard Williams booked a spot on one of our 2.5 day kayak mothership trips to San Clemente Island last June and such a good time that he wrote us a short story about his experience. We loved this story so much we just had to share it.

Do you remember your first car?  Mine was a 1950 Ford that I found in the back parking lot of an apartment building in Bethany, Oklahoma when I was sixteen.  It had its original exterior color, faded mint green, and original interior, light beige vinyl.  I got it for $275.  Push starter with three on the column.  I was the cool kid at a school of only 300 students, until Bill Reynolds showed up a month later with a ’57 Mustang. 

Do you remember your first kiss?  Kim Klopfenstein.  I finally got the nerve up and asked Kim out.  Of course I had to then ask her dad if I could take his daughter out (which is another story) and after he said yes I picked her up on Saturday and off we went to the local burger joint, Braums, and then to the movies.  ET was playing at the time so we drove to the theater, parked the car and I got out and started walking to the theater.  All of a sudden I realized that Kim wasn’t with me.  She was still sitting in the car, waiting patiently for me to open the door for her.  My parents taught me better than that so I ran back and apologized profusely.  After the movie, I drove Kim home and on the front porch I mustered up my nerve and had my first kiss.

Do you remember your first yellowtail?  Leave it to a fisherman to bring anything back to fishing.  It was June 27, 2020 at around 3:30 pm by San Clemente Island.  The captain of the Islander had moved the boat because of the wind, and we launched the kayaks. Right out of the gate, Tim Boyer from Pure Watersports caught a yellowtail.  I had spent the day before toiling all day in hopes of my first yellowtail.  Nothing.  But I knew it had to be today.  I had fished all day long with one line weighted with live bait and then a free line with live bait.  I had a couple of hits that I thought might be a yellowtail, but then later discovered that it was just a seal following me and stealing my bait.  I was about to give up for the day, but I remembered Tim telling me to hook the bait by the butt and the bait would swim deeper. Why not give it a try? At this point, I was willing to try anything.  After releasing the bait into the water I could hear it take the line slowly into deeper water, so I knew that the trick worked. About ten minutes into it, I could hear the bait getting nervous from the amount of line it was taking. Something’s up. I slowly reached back and grabbed the rod, and that’s when the reel started to scream. I flipped on the drag, and we were off to the races! The rod doubled over and the line was flying off the reel. I reached up and tightened the drag ever so slightly to give some resistance.  It helped, but this fish was not slowing down! Is it a shark?  A black sea bass? I had just witnessed one of the other guys bring in a five foot shark and ten minutes later a 75 pound black sea bass.  Then I was worried that the fish was on my lighter set up, so I looked down and it wasn’t, so I knew that my odds had just increased.   I kept saying to myself “just be patient, don’t overwork the fish.”  Sure enough, after about fifteen minutes of tug-of-war, I saw color.  The most beautiful thing to see was the silver and yellow.  I got it in, pulled it on board, and in my excitement, I didn’t even bother to measure it or weigh it.  I do remember the fish’s nose was at my seat and the tail ran past my feet.  When I went back to the mother ship to hand off the fish, I had a hard time lifting it, it was that heavy!  But of course I was pretty spent at that point.  It was truly a great experience and something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Richard Williams (Fish Village customer)

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