11 Year Old Catches her first Mahi Mahi

 

Some of the best times of my life have been spent on my Hobie kayak bass fishing with my eldest daughter. Our move to this tiny paradise called Guam has given us the opportunity to enjoy the amazing Pacific fishery. My daughter’s love for kayak fishing began when she was 8 years old, but the treacherousness of the waters off the coast of Guam has limited the amount of times she has been able to enjoy the sport. Still, she has been out with me several times over the course of our stay here. She has had the pleasure of landing emperor fish, jacks, snappers and groupers. Last year, while fishing with me on our tandem, she hooked and fought a Mahi Mahi. She had managed to bring the fish close to the yak, but in the end lost it. With the return of the Mahi Mahis close to our shore, it was time for her to redeem herself. We geared up and headed to the west side of the island. After launching from a calm spot, we started to fish the shallows in hopes of assuring a “no skunk day”. We landed some small groupers and then pedaled 5 miles out. In depths of over 2000 feet, we spent hours trolling a ballyhoo on my rod and a small lure on hers. The results were dismal; not a single bite. Disappointed, we headed back to shore. Near the shallow drop off, we bottom fished in hopes of boosting her spirits. My daughter caught a few feisty trigger fish before the downpour soaked us through. As we pedaled towards the shore, she dropped her line at my request and within a few minutes it went crazy. The look on her face was priceless as a Mahi breached the water pulling her line. After an intense fight, we celebrated her first Mahi catch! If you’d like to kayak fish with your child, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Apply sunblock early and often. You want to protect their sensitive and vulnerable skin.
  2. Snacks are a must. Keep them fed and always have extra to offer if they get bored.
  3. Comfy PFD for the kiddos. Invest in a comfy PFD for them.
  4. Fish while being a tourist guide. Point out nature and always let them know how lucky they are to fish with you.
  5. Assist when they are fighting a big fish only when necessary. Let them fight the fish, let them work through their mistakes as you provide some verbal coaching.
  6. Bring some tunes that you both enjoy. That helps on a long six hour fishing outing.
  7. Don’t get frustrated, it is really not about the fish but the time spent with them.

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