Fishing is more than just the thrill of hearing the drag scream, the quest for your personal best or putting some fillets on the table for dinner. It’s about the connections we make with our fellow anglers. Looking back on my life of fishing, I’ve realized that 90% of the friendships I have are a direct result of fishing. I can tell you where and when most of the relationships started and what was caught. Many of them took root in the early 2000’s when fishing forums were a thing. Then, along came facebook, instagram and apps like FishAngler. Each of these connections are different in their own special way.
Now that I have been running charters for several years, I am blessed with new connections every week. Most of my clients become friends and we build stronger relationships over time. For me, running charters isn’t just about the money. It’s about putting people on their first fish and seeing the excitement that comes along with that catch. Seeing the excitement on the face of a 12 year old kid from Iowa catch the biggest fish he’s ever seen is where it’s at for me. It was only a 7 pound kingfish but it was like catching Jaws for him. The smiles from his dad that followed touched my heart. I love teaching people the processes that go along with preparation, deciphering weather patterns, reading the water or birds, tides and currents, bait selection and presentations. A good portion of my business entails guiding on other peoples boats, which is just as rewarding. I offer to teach them how to do it all, from start to finish, including food preparation. Many of my prior clients will now send me photos of their catch and pictures of their meals.
Yesterday I was watching some old Spanish Fly shows and you could see the excitement in Jose Wejebe’s face as he was coaching his client through battle with a permit in the Florida Keys as it tried to wrap them up in a lobster pot. I may not be the storyteller he was or possess all the skills he did, but I feel the same excitement putting my customers and friends on fish. These are connections that will stay with us forever and cannot be taken away or canceled. I urge you to continue to build on your connections and develop new ones because like Jose, you don’t know when they will be gone.
Capt. Ryan Palmer
Family Jewell Fishing Charters