Tommy The Legend

Tommy came to a man's world to learn of kayak fishing armed with all the video knowledge he could find.
Mother nature always tests the kayak fishermen and Tommy was about to pay his dues.

He came with pictures of fish from legends of this magical place.
His eyes were aglow .
Kayaks everywhere he could see.
He was surrounded by legends and history.
Many men have come here and failed.

The test had begun, but Tommy being so young never saw it happening. Man after man succumbed to mother nature's test and packed up and left.
Mother Nature was thinning the playing field for Tommy.

As he paced and complained about not being able to get in his yak and fish, the remaining men pointed to the water and wind and said “its not time yet, kid.”
The relentless wind just would not let up. With each turn of the tide, the seas built. Tommy's dreams were vanishing.
Just to show who was boss, Mother Nature sent a gust to the tent Tommy and his dad were staying in and mangled it to the point it was leave like the others had done, or stick it out.
They chose to sleep in the car. They desired the reward.
Well, at least Tommy did. His dad was ready to pack it in.
Tommy's passion for the sport was growing...twisting inside him. Even to the point of breaking down for being punished for something he knew he didn't do.

We all felt his pain but nothing we could do for him.

I ran over to my truck and grabbed a legend.....
Yes a local legend... a plug.
Handmade by a legend.
Tommy, take your rod and throw this as far as you can into the basin.
Tommy was gone for 3 hours.

Upon his return he came to me looking dejected, but I said oh, how'd you do bud?
Nothing, not a tap. Thank you, as he handed me the plug back. Nope, sorry Tommy, you don't get to give it back until I see a picture of a fish on it.
Then I told the story of the legend who hand made it for me. No kmart special. Real wood, handmade right here.
His eyes were lit.

Daybreak on another day. I'm greeted by Tommy and his dad, already up and ready to go. A glimmer of sun, and winds were down to 8 mph.

Not just yet, dude. Still some stuff to pass by us. The sadness hit his face.
Even I knew it wasn't time yet.

Finally, mother nature let poor Tommy get his shot. But first, he had to paddle across the channel. She could have made it flat for him; but no, bumpy all the way with a bit of cross wind to taunt him.

As I watched from behind, I could see him digging in as he trolled. He has the passion and nothing was stopping him from catching his dream fish. The first one, the biggest one.... The one from his own KAYAK.

I came up next to him and saw his passion was overruled by the turbulence in the water. His little body in that big Kayak was letting him down.

With that, 2 of us older, wiser Kayak fishermen had a new plan for him.
Ride the tide and fish for fluke.

Gateway has a history of providing some awesome fish to those who work hard at it. And some lucky ones, also.

Great idea. To speed up the process, his dad pulled his Kayak aside while he peddled to the promised fishing ground.

I let some time pass before I ran over in their direction, and not to make it obvious, dropped a line and bounced for a bit before I asked.

When I asked. A very quiet voice said "got a keeper".
What !!!!! I exclaimed I haven't even gotten one yet this year ! (White lie)
That's awesome dude!
Now the smile came out and he was super proud. So was his dad. After all Tommy had been through, he had conquered Gateway Jbay like all the great guys he heard about.
His mission was complete. He searched for icing but learned that short fish are part of the passion we call Kayak Fishing.

Many men get beat down at Gateway Jbay. Not Tommy. He’s that Kid, the legend from Philly who spent three days battling Mother Nature for a shot at his first Kayak fish and won.