Father's Day Fishing

By: John Harrington
By: John Harrington

It's a weekend filled with anglers looking to find big fish in the Big Bend.

Fishing is a sport that's been around since the dawn of man. Now, for the 17th year, it's taking the form of the Big Bend Salt Water Classic. The object of the game is to catch the big fish. If you can't do that, just have fun spending quality time with dad.

Setting it up, and talking it up: Father's Day weekend for Bob and Zack Hoelzle. That means camping out, but mostly casting about. The Saltwater Classic is a serious fishing expedition for both father and son.

Bob says, "If you cast your lure out and get a hit, that's really exciting, but if you get a hit and you're fishing for a tournament, multiply that excitement by five."

Zach adds, "It's fun. He always gets us in the best places he can think of. He leads us right to it.

Maybe that's why Zach has some bragging rights. He was the winner last year in the Junior Division.

"Last year I got a big gaff top sailcoat. About six pounds. I beat all the kids that weekend. I got first place, $50 and a trophy,” he says.

He's a lucky fisherman. Who's better? Let's see...

Winning isn't everything, or so they say, but maybe it's true on this weekend, Father's Day weekend. Mother's Day, of course, has its flowers and brunch. Father's Day, same thing, except different.

"Sweat and smelly fish all over your hands. It doesn't get better than that!”

Nor does the nurturing of the kindred spirit during an adventure such as this.

"You have to treat him with respect and everything, and wish him good luck and everything."

"I just can't think of anything I'd rather do than fish with my son in the Big Bend Salt Water Classic."

This will be Zach's fifth Saltwater Classic with his dad. He's 13 this year, which means he's competing with the adults; competing with his father.


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