Momma’s Mission for Me

The influence of women in the outdoors is growing and we must all be ambassadors for them and the children being raised by them. Although I am not a mother myself I was influenced from an extremely early age by my mother about the great outdoors and I try to pass it on to any children I am in contact with. Although my dad was a gun enthusiast, I know my mom played a huge part in my love for the outdoors, especially being a woman.

Every summer our entire family would vacation at the same cabins on the gulf coast for weeks at a time. It was nothing fancy and we never had money for guided fishing trips or our own boat, so we fished off of a pier, all day and all night. The days were spent with my mom showing me how to tie chicken necks in a crab trap to lower into the water from the pier with the hopes of catching some big crabs, walking the sand bars, exploring the tiny shell islands, and always learning. Mom would teach me to slide or drag my feet in the water instead of walking to prevent stepping on stingrays, to watch the current for floating jellyfish passing by, and not to freak out when seaweed brushed across my legs. I learned strength and common sense from her.

I would watch in awe as she would throw a huge cast net with perfection to catch her own bait that I knew we would be using later that night. I would watch as she hurled the net into a perfect circle landing on top of the miniature perch and mullet she had spotted in the water. Her strength and dedication was definitely rubbing off on me. Occasionally, we would have to spend some hard earned money to buy bait, even after all day of trying to catch it, but mom always tried to prevent that. As the evenings would begin to near, mom would make me sit out at her spot on the pier with her tackle box and bait buckets while she would make a quick dinner for us. She had fished up and down that pier for years and knew which spot produced the most fish. I learned persistence from her.

Somebody was always ‘holding down’ her fishing spot at some point and rotations would start with me, my brother and my dad to make sure momma had her spot! I will never forget the moments I spent sitting next to her at that spot, fishing until the sun came up. Not only would I watch her fish for hours but stare as she would bait her own hook, remove her own fish, re-tie her own tackle, clean and gut her own fish, then cook it up for the family. If we ran out of bait and the fish were still biting she would task me to catch a small fish with my cane pole to use for cut bait. She was the real deal and I was learning and soaking it all up. I learned patience and self-sufficiency from her.

My point behind this personal story is how much my mother influenced me. My dad would come out and fish a little but the dedication I saw in my mom was beyond what I have ever imagined. It didn’t matter the weather (it was always windy on the pier) she was out there; we would always joke about how our hair would look after a night on the pier but it didn’t matter because we were having fun and providing fish for the family. I learned humility from her.

Young children will always want to be like their parents for at least a short period of time and it’s crucial that we as parents, mentors, friends and family seize those moments and make the biggest impact we can. It’s typically expected that the father or male figure hunts or fishes but I guarantee that if children see their mother or greatest female influence not only participating but dominating in outdoor adventures, it will remain engrained in their mind and influence them in a positive way.

May 09, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2


2 comments on “Momma’s Mission for Me

  1. Tom Payton

    Thanks Candace! Awesome relationship with your mom. You have an innate way of drawing me in with how you tell your stories. It’s like I could almost smell the salt air and feel the sand on my feet! Thanks! Keep em coming.

  2. Candace

    Thanks! My mom is such an amazing inspiration to me. My childhood revolved around fishing and these memories will last forever!

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