The Gift of Fishing

Growing up in a small town.

As a young boy growing up in a small town, being outdoors was the thing to do, and fishing was my favorite pastime. I have vivid memories biking to ponds and creeks with my buddies and trips to the Texas coast with my family.

When I wasn’t fishing, I watched fishing on TV. Hank Parker was one I tuned in on regular basis. So, you can imagine how humbled I was when I met Mr. Parker with my two sons. My youngest gave him the age-old trick of, high-five, down low, too slow! Mr. Parker doubled over laughing.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have published articles in a national fishing magazine, for which I am truly grateful to Coastal Angler. Nor did I imagine someday I would design and manufacture my own line of fishing lures. Without fishing, none of this would have been realized. Since we are in the season of giving, give the gift of fishing to a child so they can have similar memories.

A recent fishing trip with my boys.

On a recent trip, I took both of my boys, 5 and 7, fishing in the kayak. This was a lure-only trip. The boys wanted to get some casting practice, and they wanted to trick a fish on Dad’s lures.

The tides had been relatively high for the past several weeks, and I had been catching some good reds on one particular flat. The area had some small Islands and a grass flat that tapered off to a cove that was about 6 feet deep. I explained to my boys the lay of the bay and explained how some areas had drains or slightly deeper channels that drained off the flat and into a cove. These were the areas where we would cast because the fish would use them like roads as the tide was falling. I explained it was like a leaf floating down a river.

Once they selected the color of lure they wanted to throw, I strategically anchored the kayak in a position where they both had the opportunity to fish the area properly. It wasn’t long before we had the first fish, a 16-inch trout. After a few more trout for both, the excitement really began. My youngest hooked into a 7-pound red! The fish took him 360 degrees around the kayak, tangled in his brothers’ line, and went under the anchor rope! After the fish was landed, we took a few photos and I continued to show them the value of catch and release, which we did with all fish that day.

To say that I am a proud father is an understatement. In 2018, my oldest landed his largest trout, which weighed more than 5 pounds, and my youngest caught his largest red! Take a kid fishing and let them make their own memories. You never know where they might take them.

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures.

Captain Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of

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