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I remember an occasion in late April or early May back in the late 80’s or early 90’s, before ORV permits were necessary. It was late afternoon. I was in the famously known tackle shop in Buxton picking up bait and ice for the hoped-for evening drum bite. There was a gentleman with his son, maybe 10 or 11, trying to talk to the guy behind the counter. Unfortunately, the guy behind the counter had the superior attitude of an expert and instead of helping the man, was dissing his rod n reel and constantly talking to others in the shop. As the gentleman was brushed off and standing there, I asked him what he was going to fish for and where he planned to fish. He didn’t know where to go or what to do, he just wanted he and his son to catch a fish. He did have a brand-new Chevy Blazer, a 9-foot Garcia Conlon rod and Mitchel reel. I don’t remember the model of the reel. We walked away from the counter and just started talking about terminal tackle, sinkers, bait, and types of fish he may encounter. Despite having the vehicle and a rod n reel, he had never surf fished before, but he knew he was in the mecca of surf fishing and that he wanted to go to the world famous “Point.” After much discussion, I didn’t tell him but I figured he was not equipped for drum fishing. I steered him to a couple of 4 oz sinkers, double fireball rigs, a couple of bunkers, and handful of finger mullet. He didn’t know how to get to the point and asked if he could follow me. I said sure, but just thought to myself Uh oh. He followed me out to the point. The trucks were already lining up. I pulled into an open spot maybe 10-12 vehicles south of the point. He pulled up cross ways behind me and asked where he should go. I pointed south down the beach and felt bad telling him he should park well past the end of vehicles lined up. Before he left, I tied his brand-new double fireball rig on for him, and showed him how to cut up the bunker, and how to rig the finger mullet. Off he went. My son in law and I proceeded to bait up our heavers and get into the Conga line.

It was maybe about an hour later, the sun was setting and the bite hadn’t started; fishing was slow. I had completely forgotten about them. Wouldn’t you know, I was in the process of returning to my vehicle to cut up some more bait for the bait holder on my belt, and here they come. Both were grinning from ear to ear from probably ½ mile away. The little boy was cradling about a 10lb blue in his arms that was all covered in sand and fish slime. He didn’t care, he was thrilled. The father was thanking me profusely and explained the little boy just had to show me the fish. The excitement in that kids’ eyes and voice even caused me to get excited and make me think about moving my vehicle down the beach. The father wanted a picture of me and his kid with the fish. I didn’t know them from Adam, but how could I refuse. After the obligatory picture and more thank you’s, off they went. I did not catch my big drum that evening and I didn’t see them again for the rest of the week. But as I sit here now, all these years later, I know I did the right thing that day and that kid probably still remembers his first fish.
 
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