Law Office of William F. Underwood - July 2019

229-888-0888 • Justice MONTHLY On the Hook CELEBRATING THE SUMMER DAYS SPENT AT SEA N othing can compare to a Georgia summer, when the sweaty, sticky weather usually hovers around 90 degrees. As a kid, I could often be found on my bike, cruising down local trails and hopping off for a quick dip in a local blue hole or someone’s backyard pool. If we weren’t biking around town, my friends and I were probably on the baseball diamond or trying our hand at a new video game in someone’s house.

JULY 2019

While the majority of my summer days were spent pedaling through southern Georgia, it’s the few days I spent off my bike that really stick out. These are the days my dad and I would load up the car and head three hours west to the Gulf of Mexico to go saltwater fishing. We were never the die-hard, wake-up-early fishermen, and our days on the gulf were more like leisurely boat rides with a few poles in the water. But they were always fun adventures. Dad had been deep-sea fishing in the past, so he was familiar with angling big fish, such as marlin. But when I joined him, we were typically fishing for mackerel, mahi-mahi, and amberjacks. We’d spent most of the day hoping our patience would pay off in the form of a big haul, but when there is a nice breeze and great company with you, sitting in the boat with quiet lines is never that bad either. After hooking and reeling in a few catches, we would clean up our fish and take them to the local hook and cook restaurant just off the marina. It really doesn’t get any fresher than that. Of course, like all experienced fishermen, we have fishing tales to tell. I still remember the day my dad caught a large amberjack, and this fish fought with all it had to avoid being caught. My dad was wrestling with that fish for a while! Meanwhile, the biggest thing I ever caught was some garbage. There’s nothing quite like the heart-racing adrenaline of thinking you have a story-worthy fish on the line, only to discover it’s some selfishly discarded human junk.

If it was just Dad and me on these expeditions, our days were pretty much just about fishing. But if my stepmom, sister, or some friends would join us, we usually stopped at the beach for a lazy afternoon. My dad was always inviting friends and peers from the legal field on his fishing adventures, which were often navigated by our friend, “Captain” Dan Ricketson. Whether or not we were able to put a pole in the water and catch our supper didn’t matter too much to Dad. He was content to spend the day in the boat or along the Florida coast. In fact, for a while, he and my stepmom spent nearly every weekend down there. It’s been a while since I have been back to our fishing spot, and reliving these old memories has me hankering for another fishing trip. This summer, I’m going to see if I can sneak away for an extended weekend trip. Who knows, maybe I’ll catch a bigger amberjack than Dad did. -William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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