kids fishing

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It’s not about the size of the fish you catch — it’s about the size of the smiles that those fish bring. Go out and just have fun.

I know a lot of people get very excited about Black Friday shopping. If you’re one of them, that’s fine. But I am not, and I’m not the only one. For those of us who are planning to avoid making sacrifices on the altar of retail this holiday weekend, I have some suggestions.

If you’re planning to fish, fish close to home whether from boat or shore. Long drives mean more time on the road among the shopping rush, and more time spent driving instead of with family.

Instead of going out with a certain fish or area in mind, go out to just fish. You’ll probably have some company out there, which might make plans tough to follow through on. Look for birds to show you a school of ladyfish for nonstop action. That kind of thing keeps the kids and less fishing-inclined adults interested.

If you’re fishing from a dock or pier, try some micro-fishing with tiny hooks and eensy bits of shrimp or squid. See how small of a fish you can catch. Try to catch as many different species as you can. Make it a fun challenge with friends and family. You might learn that while anyone can do it, micro-fishing provides unique challenges for anglers of any skill level.

If you’re fishing with a more hardcore crowd, challenge yourself to try something different. If you usually only beat the bushes, try trolling the edge of the flats or canals. Try to learn a new technique or spot or lure.

No family to fish with? Well, fishing is always more fun when you share it with someone. If your family isn’t here, take a neighbor or friend. Remember to just enjoy your time. It’s not really about the fish anyway.

You can have a great day on the water without fishing. Take the family out on a boat ride. Show them the outdoors and the wildlife and the beauty we have around this Harbor. Drift the flats. Take binoculars. Look at birds, mangroves, fish shacks, whatever’s out there.

If you want to try something really different, go upriver to see a totally different part of the Harbor. There are alligators, cypress trees, manatees and all kinds of neat stuff. Just be careful and try not to get stuck in the mud — there’s plenty of that too.

• • • • • • •

Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Really, we should be thankful every day, and I try my best to do just that. But I get to lay out my gratitude for the public to see once a year.

I’m grateful that each and every day, people come into the shop and make my day better. There are customers that touch my heart on a regular basis. I’m truly a lucky person.

I’m grateful that I have an incredible mother. My family is great. My family in the shop (the pirate crew) are so amazing too.

Frank and Terry — not enough thanks can be said to them for all they have done and continue to do. Thanks to Josh for helping and allowing me to do this and make me sound smarter than I am. And I am very thankful for my girlfriend Christina for giving me kindness, affection, a fishing partner and a smile.

What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful to? Take just a moment to let them know. It will make their life better, and knowing you’ve done that will make your life better. Always be grateful for what you have.

Robert Lugiewicz is the manager of Fishin’ Frank’s Bait & Tackle, located at 4425-D Tamiami Trail in Charlotte Harbor and at 14531 N. Cleveland Ave. in North Fort Myers. Call 941-625-3888 for more information about the shop or for local fishing info, or visit them online at FishinFranks.com.

Robert Lugiewicz is the manager of Fishin’ Frank’s Bait & Tackle, located at 4425-D Tamiami Trail in Charlotte Harbor and at 14531 N. Cleveland Ave. in North Fort Myers. Call 941-625-3888 for more information about the shop or for local fishing info, or visit them online at FishinFranks.com

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