Pier 61 Summertime Fishing

Summer is my favorite of all Seasons. It’s that part of the year that I feel most alive, vibrant, active, inspired and jubilant. Just the mention of the word “Summer” brings into my mind visions of fun under the Sun, cool blue waters and powdery sand beneath my feet. It’s the perfect time to drive to the beach and enjoy an almost endless list of sun-kissed possibilities. There’s swimming, making sand castles, surfing, gathering sea shells, book reading under a bright-colored umbrella, snorkeling, catching a frisbee, flying a kite, getting a glowing tan and my recent discovery, salt water fishing.

Summer Adventure Number 7: Summertime Fishing At Pier 61

My wife surprised me by planning a fishing trip at 61st Street Pier in Galveston Island. A friend of ours went there last week and he said that we must try it before the Summer ends. He said that there is an abundance of fishes this year and he even caught a 2 feet shark. His story stirred our interest to try something different .

The timing couldn’t be more right. I had a 5 days off and my wife wanted to do something special for me and my son. I’m impressed that she wanted to have an outdoor activity knowing that the temperature would be in the sizzling 100 degrees that day. Unlike me, she is not an avid fan of the Sun. While I savor its warm rays with open arms , she would be hiding under the shade. I thought it was sweet of her to get out of her comfort zone. She knew that one of my son’s Summer wish list is to go fishing and catch his first fish. We tried at the Brazos Bend the last time but we’re unsuccessful. This time we’re determined to make his dream into reality.

We left the house around 06:00 A.M., all excited  on our fishing adventure. Honestly, It’s been a while since I went fishing. I admit that I was rusty and hopefully my son won’t notice it. I felt as much of a beginner as he was. Isn’t that embarrassing? But the fishing trip was not about me, it was about my son experiencing the joys of the sport with his family.

It was almost 07:00 A.M. when we reached the Pier. My son said he was hungry so we passed by McDonald’s for some breakfast. He had 2 pieces of chocolate cookies. Just perfect to boost his energy level. I had my caffeine fix to make sure that I was fully alert and functional. Just before we left the car to head for the Fishing Pier my wife asked me, ” Is the car moving?” I replied, “No, the car is not moving?” She asked again, “Are you sure it’s not moving?” I answered back, ” Yes, I’m sure!” By then I realized that from my excitement I forgot to step on the brakes. I told myself, ” duh? ” We both laughed on my first blooper of the day. There were more to come.

The guy who sold us the fish bait which were simply frozen shrimps that my freezer could have produced, told us that these are the possible fishes that we may catch in the Galveston waters. My son told me, ” get me a shark dad.” As I looked at my tiny fishhook I replied with much optimism, ” I’ll try my best.”  In my head I was telling myself, ” probably not with this small fishing rod.”  Again, this was all about my son making a memorable fishing adventure.

I told everyone, ” here we go, let’s catch some fish,” as I follow my son who was pulling me hurriedly towards the fishing deck. I told my wife, ” Sorry but you’re going to be our camera guy. I’m relinquishing to you the iPhone camera. My hands would all be stinky with  both the fish and the shrimp bait.” After a quick instruction, she started clicking and capturing the day’s event. Judging from the photos, I would say she did pretty good.

This group had fished since early morning. The boy with the red shirt told my son that they caught a small Black Tip Shark at around 06:00 A.M.

Call it beginners luck but we caught a Yellow Tail just within 5 minutes of throwing our first hook. It was luck all right because it took almost an hour to get another fish to bite the next bait. My son kept shouting, ” we caught a fish, we caught a fish,” as he rushed to call his mom. We were all excited. After a few pictures, it was time to take the hook out of the fish mouth. I then realized that I needed a glove or a towel to hold the fish because it was slimy and had spikes on it. The nearest I could grab was my white handkerchief while my wife ran to buy a hand towel at the Pier’s store. I thought all I need was a fishing rod, a hook and some bait. Boy, was I wrong. It is a skilled activity that requires the right equipment, basic knowledge and a bit of experience. Blooper number 2.

It felt like forever to remove the fish-hook.  The Yellow Tail was trashing left and right. I tried using the pliers to take it out of its mouth but to no avail. My son sat next to me as he held the rest of the nylon wire. He was a great assistant.  I told my wife, ” did I bring the wrong tool?” I felt bad for the fish. In my panic moment, I decided to cut the nylon wire. Eventually, I was able to remove the hook  and set the fish free. I found out later that I did bring the right tool. I was just not using it correctly. Blooper number 3.

My wife excitedly called me to go to the opposite side of the deck. She saw a school of Mullet Fish. We thought they would be an easy catch. We waited and waited. After a while, an older man approached us. He told us that the Mullets don’t eat fish bait but plankton. No wonder I’m the only one fishing on that side. I was a bit embarrassed due to my ignorance. I read later that they actually eat detritus. Blooper number 4.

Mr. curious got bored and decided to talk to this gentleman who caught a lot of catfish. He was more than happy to share the tricks of the trade. I saw my wife smiling when she heard their conversation. My son is fond of using big words that sounds both amusing and funny when he says them. He addressed the bigger boys as “dude.” I would remind him to properly ask and call them by their first names.

I felt a tug. I called my son so he can hold the fish pole. He shouted to his mom, ” we got something, we got something!”

False alarm. It was only a seaweed. My son went back to the older guy who this time caught two eels intertwined with each other. It was amazing. How they happened to bite at the same time was a fascinating mystery.

2 eels in one bait. How cool is that?

Finally, we caught our second fish. It was a small catfish. My son was jumping from sheer joy and excitement. He kept saying, ” so cute, so cute.”  I told him that it’s still a baby and needs to rejoin his family. After taking out the hook, we let it go.

The upper deck has a great view of both the Pier and the Beachfront.

Another 30 minutes went by without any signs of our third catch. I was getting bored and restless myself. I’m just as active as my son and it’s hard for me to stay put in one place after a certain amount of time.  It was also getting uncomfortably hot and humid.  My vision started to blur. To keep me entertained, I would stare at the beach front which was getting busier as more people arrived , setting their beach umbrellas. I saw a couple of surfers riding their waves.

Just when I thought that the fishes were just not into my bait, a kind-hearted man in his 60’s approached me. He was with his grandson who loves fishing. We talked for a while , then he checked my fish hooks and diagnosed the problem. I was using the wrong size hook. Blooper number 5. He gave me two smaller hooks as well as a sinker. He also told me to cut the bait into half. Most of the fish that morning were small Catfish, Yellow Tails and Croakers. He also asked me to join him where he was fishing. My son and his grandson immediately bonded. So did we.

As soon as I used the right hook with the right size of bait, we were catching fishes in quick succession. We were so happy with the new turn of event. It reminded me of the saying, “when it rains, it pours.”  By the time we’re finished, we had about 17 fishes in our cooler. The gratifying feeling was beyond words. We were on cloud 9.

My son wanted to stay longer. He told me that he was having so much fun. I let him fish for another 30  minutes. It was almost noon and we still want to go swimming before heading home.

The fishing adventure was both a learning and an awakening experience for me. Obviously, it thought me and my son the basics of fishing which hopefully would make us better fishermen on our next visit at the pier. The other invaluable lessons are the following:

First, learn from your mistakes. I made several bloopers in this trip but that’s nothing compared to some of the major mistakes in my life. What’s important is that I was able to accept and find ways to solve them. It may take a long time but I was able to move on and rise above a painful situation.

Second, face life’s difficulties with some humor. Even the most stressful and scary circumstances seems easy and bearable when I’m able to laugh about it.

Third, don’t be afraid to ask or accept help. There are a lot of generous and kind-hearted people out there.  I met several during this trip. During my lowest moments, my family helped me unconditionally. When I was down, they picked me up, nurture my wounds and helped me to recovery. I would do the same for them in a heartbeat.

Fourth, live your life. Have fun. Chill-out. Take a deep breath and exhale freely in all abandonment. For the past year, there’s so much news of death and sickness in the family that it made realize how fragile and unpredictable human life is. I made my rule, ” live today like it’s the best day ever.” That’s partly one reason I made this Summer adventures with my family. Life is to short and uncertain to waste.

Fifth, make beautiful and lasting memories with your family. Money is not everything. Material things can’t buy you real happiness but the love you and your family share is bound to last a lifetime. Today, my son and I spent 3 hours at the pool. He had so much fun swimming, sliding down the water tube and playing with the other kids. It didn’t cost me a dime but it did involve  quality time with him. Just before he took a nap, he gave me a hug and told me how happy he was. I kissed him and hugged him back. I also whispered, ” I had a great time too, we’ll go back to the pool tomorrow.”

I hope you enjoyed today’s Summer adventure. To be able to share ourselves through writing helps not only in ventilating what we feel and think but it may serve as an inspiration to somebody else. What’s your Summertime story?

About Island Traveler

Just A Dad With A Dream. Check out our new family adventures at beachandtrips instagram .
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45 Responses to Pier 61 Summertime Fishing

  1. misswhiplash says:

    My husband loves sea fishing but living in the middle of Bulgaria there is no sea. The nearest one is 350k away.
    Another thing about fishing, sea, lake or pond is the solitude.Time to contemplate and put the world to rights.

    Beautiful photos and a great post…thank you Daddy’O


    • Thank you. That is so true. Fishing helps in making you relax, gather your thoughts. I don’t know if its the water or just the stillness of things but its like time froze and you’re just at peace. My son is now crazy about it. I really have to overtime on improving my fishing skills now. have a wonderful day.


  2. Thank you for sharing your quality time with family, lessons learned and these great photos. I enjoyed reading every bit of it and with appropriate photos in place, I felt like I was already with you on that awesome fishing trip.

    May God continually enable you to be a loving husband and Dad to your wife and son! 😉


    • Thank you. I try my best but God takes care of the rest. I’m glad you like the post. It feels great that people appreciate what I do . It motivates me to continue sharing my life’s stories. I thank God each day for blessing me with such a wonderful family.


    • Thank you. I pray each day that God would bless me with the heart to be the best dad and husband that I could ever be. Sometimes it’s hard when there’s so much pressure around me like work, bills and so forth. But I’m thankful that he gave me the greatest gift of all- my family! Their presence gives meaning to my every day life. I’m glad that you like the post. May God shower you and your family with blessings too.


  3. We loved going to 61 street! It was so easy to get to from Broadway. I would say the fish were biting that day….one heck of a beginner’s luck day for your son. The mullet used to jump in the canal that we lived on in FL and teased us to think that there were fish. Wrong…your new friend is right. They don’t respond to the bait we use. I see no bloopers, only an amazingly successful day of catching fish and meeting nice pier buddies. And…your wife probably got some shopping done too. The gift shop there is so interesting and amazing. Great post!


    • Thank you Georgette. When I read your comment, it felt as if you were there with us on that special day. Wouldn’t it be a blast though if you and your family were also there? Those mullets were such good teasers. My wife and I laughed at each other after knowing that they don’t bite the shrimp bait. The best part of the whole event was that the whole family participated , had fun and made some unforgettable memories. My wife got busy with the camera and watching my son. He would sometime jump to reach the top part of the deck’s rail and honestly it scared me that he would fall over. I could feel my heart skip when he did it. I’m happy that it was a success and now he’s obsessed about fishing. I have an iPhone application about fishing game and he’s into it for the past few days. Have a blessed day and God bless you and your family.


  4. ceceliafutch says:

    Love this post! Been years since I went fishing, but this makes me want to pick up the pasttime again!


    • Thank you. I never thought it could be this fun. When I was a kid , I just use a bamboo pole , a nylon wire and a generic hook but nowadays technology made this pastime more exciting and interesting. I was also surprised how friendly and helpful most of the people were at the Pier. I’m planning to get a year round permit this August. My son loved the whole experience and it could be one of our ” father and son” activity.


  5. thedailydish says:

    Your wife is a NATURAL, IT!! Her photos are amazing, each & every one. Make sure you encourage her to keep up the photography!!

    Your fishing trip was a blast, and what a wonderful learning experience for you all. It’s funny, my husband has a saying about accomplishing a goal, whatever the task may be he says it can always be accomplished as long as you have the RIGHT TOOLS. Your fishing trip has proven that yet again. It took the kindness and aid of the gentleman & his grandson to show you – you just needed a smaller hook. But you’d never have known that on your own. How many times do we struggle by ourselves, when it would just take a second from someone else to help us succeed. Your post has reminded me to be more helpful whenever I can – even when it seems insignificant, it could make all the difference to another person.

    Thanks for another amazing adventure. Can’t wait for the next!! 🙂


    • Thank you for such a rich and generous comment. I learned a lot from the fishing trip and I was humbled by the kindness of those that were at the pier. Even the bigger kids were more than happy to teach my son and share their stories of the day. 3 older guys helped us. One even gave us new baits. What a cool group of people! I could learn a lot from your husband. He’s one good handy man. The chicken coop your family made recently is just one of the many impressive works I’ve seen in your blog . I always made it a point to help others if I can because I’d been to a lot of situations that people helped me without asking in return. There are still men and women out there who would step forward and assist a stranger in need. May God bless all of them. I’m glad you like this week’s adventure. Best wishes to you and your wonderful family.


  6. cocomino says:

    I could really enjoy your post.I have never done fishing but I could know fishing was deep hobby.
    Your son is lucky to know and experience valuable things.:)


    • Thanks. I bought the fishing rod last year when he wanted to fish in our pond full of goldfish but they won’t bite because they eat fish food instead. This Summer his interest grew and it was time to do some serious fishing. I’m learning also and hopefully I’ll be better next time. Actually, I’m the one that feels lucky because through him , I got to experience all of these. Have a great day my friend and hope your family can do some fishing in the future. It’s a beautiful experience for the kids.


  7. MOL says:

    This post was A real fun read. Great sobering points at the end. Your son still seems young and he might still forget these great times. Thank goodness for your blog to chronicle this precious time in his life, and yours!
    There’s something very wrong when you can’t even laugh at yourself in the predicaments you can get into in life.


    • Thank you for such an inspiring comment. I wish he would remember but your right, if not then I have this blog to refresh his memory. Humor and laughter helped me survive some of the hardships that I had in my life . My whole family has the same personality too. I grew up like that and I’m glad that I did. Laughter is truly the best medicine for life’s predicaments. Have a great day.


  8. Gail says:

    I enjoyed reading about your family’s fishing trip so much. You have a way of telling about your adventures that makes me feel I’m right there experiencing it too. Your son hugging you and telling you how happy he was…. well, that was just priceless. Another great memory for him! I love to fish and when we go to Florida, one of my favorite things to do is to walk along the pier and watch all the fishermen.


    • Thank you for such a beautiful comment. I’m new to fishing . Any fishing tips for me? It’s one cool, relaxing and fun activity. I always love the waters and now I have more reason to be close to it. I’ve been noticing that every time my son feels happy about our activities or travels he would hug or kiss me or his mom. I love it when he does that. Makes my heart swell with joy.


  9. barb19 says:

    I enjoyed your fishing trip too – it felt like I was there as you were describing the events that were happening to you and your son. You met some lovely people there too, who were so helpful which goes to show that there are still nice people around. You are making some wonderful memories for your son which he will never forget.
    Your wife is a great photographer, she did a fantastic job of the photos!


    • Thanks Barb. I was also surprised how my wife’s pictures turned out. She has a talent that she’s not telling me. Normally , she would let me take the pics and then she would post them on her face book. Now I can let her be my camera buddy. Everything was perfect on that day and I get to meet some interesting and friendly people. The hard part was cleaning the fish, that was my first too. I didn’t eat any fish for days after that but yesterday I finally did. Have a blessed day.


  10. Angeline M says:

    Loved your post. I was zooming through it to see what would happen next. You’ve got a wonderful family! And, you’re right…enjoy each and every minute!


    • Thanks my friend. Since I moved to the U.S., basically it’s just the 3 of us having to share and live each day’s exciting adventures. I wish one day my son will get to meet his cousins, perhaps to do some fishing with them. I try to remind myself each day to value time, live in gratitude, grow in love and make lasting memories . I guess as we get older, we’re wiser with more important and meaningful priorities in life.


  11. thirdhandart says:

    A wonderful Summer Adventure! My grandparents took me fishing quite a bit when I was very young and your post brought back some good memories. You’re a very good author and your wife is a very good photographer! -Theresa


    • Thank you Theresa. I’m happy that it brought back good memories for you. You have such a loving , adventurous grandparents. No wonder you love nature. One thing I like about blogging and reading other’s work is that it helps me reconnect with my past and appreciate the sweet history of long ago. I’m honored by your compliments. It will serve to inspire me on my future posts. I will tell my wife of her compliments too. Thanks again.


  12. A wonderful story beautifully told! And your wife is simply great with the camera.
    I have never gone fishing. It seems people here fish only as a means of livelihood. My Facebook game friends have been waiting for the weekend to go fishing. One of them told me– “You have a big ocean in front of you there, how can you not know how to fish?” After reading this post, I think I’ll look for a rod. (One game friend told me– use string and toes! Haha!)


    • String and toes? could me a great idea? ha, ha, ha! Some of the best experiences I had are the ones I didn’t plan or expect. It’s nice to try something new as long as they are not dangerous. Do get a rod, head to the ocean and have fun. It’s also helps in creating wonderful reflections The waters have a way to soothe life’s heartaches and troubles. I miss your comments. Thanks for visiting today. Have a festive, colorful Summer.


  13. Lotus Flower says:

    The story read so enchantingly I couldn’t finish until the end. What a wonderful experience starting from your wife going out of her comfort zone to using the symbolic reference of fishing to one’s personal life decisions and outcomes. This type of story makes me anxious to have a family of my own to do things like this. An amazing story and 17 fishies! Amazng!


    • Thank you. That is one beautiful and generous comment. I’m sure in time, you’ll have a happy family to share life’s exciting adventures. I went to check your Blog. The post on friendship was touching. You are not alone in those circumstances. I had a few of those drifting relationships, I wish they didn’t happen but it did. What matters is we try to have a clear conscience, try to reach out, as forgiveness and forgive as well. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Then we can move on at peace with ourselves. Hope to journey with your Blog as well. Have a wonderful Summer. It may be hot at 100 degrees but there’s so much out there that spells FUN,FUN,FUN.


  14. eof737 says:

    This is a fantastic post tied in with an amazing set of wise advice. I don’t know how you coped in that heat but the pictures and your story were delightful and fun-filled.
    Bravo my friend! 🙂


    • I’m also surprised how me and my son managed the heat. Adrenaline may be? We were too excited to dwell on it. The breeze helped . My wife hid under the shade in between her picture coverage to avoid the intense Sun. I was touched by her desire to make the event a success for all of us. Thank you for the words of appreciation. That means a lot to me.


  15. auntyuta says:

    This is a great blog. Congratulations! My husband and I always enjoy holidays by the sea, even though we’re not interested in fishing. Our son loves fishing. He finds it very relaxing. My husband claims he doesn’t find it relaxing at all.


    • Thank you for the visit. It’s always wonderful to have memories by the Sea with family. Your son must have a lot of great stories about his fishing adventures. What a lucky guy. I appreciate the visit. Stay blessed.


  16. Oh man the things I could do to that yellowtail. Looks like a great outing. Love the pictures.


    • Okay Rufus, you’re making me feel guilty. The yellow tail is still in my freezer. After cleaning them, I kind of lost the appetite to cook and eat them. I asked my brother-in-law who’s know a chef to cook them for us but he left for Chicago last week and now I’m stuck with it. Any suggestions? My wife was thinking of just frying them. Thanks for the comment.


  17. I felt I was there on the pier! Superb essay.


    • Thank you.I’m glad that you felt that way. Summer is all about discovering places that are fun and exciting. the more the merrier! It was one of my favorite trips this Summer. I hope to do it more often with my son while he is still into it. Perfect father and son bonding time.


  18. jhirzel88 says:

    Sometimes even the most experienced fishers don’t know what they are talking about sometimes. They are just there to fish. If in the event that they did in fact read up about the proper bait, I can definitely say that it was simply a common mistake. Sometimes, even older people have an easy time forgetting things like that.

    My grandpa likes to fish and he typically goes on competitions too. He always has fun and he never wants to stop. It seems like he goes fishing almost every day but he probably only goes about once a week. He keeps his fishing poles in good condition because he spent a lot of money for them I think.

    Fishing is kind of boring for me, I suppose it would be fun to catch fish, it’s just the waiting part that’s boring. Plus, the fish are all sticky and feel nasty like. I would rather just stay home than do that.


    • It is nice to hear from your again. I enjoyed reading your comment. Looks like your grandpa is passionate about fishing. Good for him. For some people it’s a way to relax, to think, to unwind. For others, it’s the trill of the sport. For me, I just want to bond with my son and make great memories with him. I had some fragmented memories when my dad would bring as to the fish farm and fish using a bamboo pole. Life was more simple then. The waiting also makes me feel restless but maybe I will get the hang of it. It was a happy experience though for my entire family.


  19. Pingback: Fishing At Galveston’s Pier 61 « In parole semplici

    • Thank you for such an priceless gift. I’m happy and excited to have received it. I’m honored to be a part of your Blog . So much amazing people have shared and it’s a wonderful discovery each time.


  20. Pingback: 10 Adventure Opportunities Of Summer | this man's journey

  21. Paula says:

    I enjoyed these pictures a lot… They are even more documentary than your text 😉


    • Thanks Paula. The Fishing at the Pier was a personal favorite of mine. It was my first and that of my son. We learned a lot that day including my bloopers. It was a fun day. I’m hoping to do one this Summer. I need to go back again to fishing 101. Ha, ha, ha.


  22. Sunshine says:

    I enjoyed this summertime adventure because your family looked like they had so much fun and of course, you featured the lovely ocean…:)


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