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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 3:27 pm | Mostly Cloudy 62º


Captain’s Log: Helping Your Kid Can Go Too Far

While out on my charterboat, WaveWalker, I had a family group out at the oil platforms off of Santa Barbara, where yellowtail (a hard-fighting member of the jack family) have taken up residence for the past couple of months.

The pre-agreed upon plan of action for the trip was to spend part of our fishing time trying for yellowtail and then switching over to lingcod and rockfish at nearby 4-Mile Reef. 

We had jigged up a bunch of mackerel, using Sabiki rigs from Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center. Catching bait can be a boatload of fun and we were all cracking up as the mackerel were coming aboard fast and furious.

Then we powered the boat up on the step and raced to the rigs where we soaked those mackerel baits on four different fishing rigs: live-line, Dink hook, sliding sinker rig and dropper loop rig. We had the water column stacked nicely.

The daughter’s rod bent suddenly and I could see at a glance that the bite had all the markings of a savage yellowtail hookup. It was a heavy fish hell-bound for the depths as the young woman valiantly tried to stop it.

It was a wild moment as yellowtail strikes almost always are, but I felt she was doing things just right and had leverage on her side. She was a strong gal in her twenties, and I believe she was on her way to boating that grand fish and feeding her family.

Unexpectedly, her dad jumped up, rushed up behind her, grabbed her rod, yelling, “Don’t lose it!” As he grabbed her rod he made a sudden jerky movement and the hook pulled.

The fish was lost. The gal looked devastated. The dad just kept saying, “I didn’t want you to lose it.”

I held my tongue, and to my credit, I didn’t throw the Dad overboard for shark chum even though you know I wanted to! My crew member, Capt. Tiffany, just looked up at me silently with an exasperated look. 

Sadly, we’ve seen similar scenarios play out way too many times over the years. Parents and professionals teach children, help them grow up and take life into their own hands.

A little help here and there can be a wonderful thing, but whether it be a fishing pole or most anything else in life, let your kids fight their battles — winning some and losing some for the learning experiences — but don’t jump in and grab the rod of life out of their hands!

Okay… as a charter captain and a father of three, I had to get that one off of my chest. Thanks for listening (or reading)!

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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