I met Bob through the Backcountry Flyfishing Association when we were both members. The first time I took him fishing he wanted to get a redfish on a fly. Back then it was pretty easy. I put him on some tailing fish and he got one right away. He was real happy. It was good.
I took him out of Port Canaveral one time. He caught a little bonnethead shark, maybe three feet long. Bob was an orthodontist. I thought he might have a professional interest in the dentition of the critter, so I held it upside down to show him. To my horror he reached over with his highly skilled fingers to remove the hook from the shark.
“Bob!” I cried. “Don’t you make your living with those fingers? For God’s sake, get them away from there!” A potential accident, narrowly averted.
On the way back to the dock we found some crevalle blowing up mullet. Bob hooked one, the fish in the photo to be precise. While they battled the reel seat on the spin rod broke. It no longer held the reel, making a tough fish a whole lot tougher. In spite of the handicap he got it anyway.
Bob knew both my sons, put braces on both of them. His sons were around the same age as mine. Some Sunday afternoons the Kumiskis would meet the Hicks’s at the golf club. Bob was a member there, and he was an avid and accomplished golfer. The kids would hit some golf balls, then we would fish for bass in the ponds. It was a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I appreciated his inviting us.
Bob and I were fishing for redfish in the Banana River Lagoon one time. We found a school of giants but an errant cast made them flee. We searched for them for a couple of hours without success. Finally, I suggested we fish for a somewhat less glamorous specie. “Anything,” Bob said. “I am so bored of this.”
I anchored the boat by a dock where there were a lot of catfish. Using small pieces of mullet, Bob started catching them one after another. The rod bent again and Bob set the hook. Thirty pounds of upset tarpon went cartwheeling through the air. He caught and we released that fish, the first and I believe the only one Bob ever caught.
I would call Bob to ask him if he wanted to fish. While we fished together at least a dozen times, the last fifteen or so times he said no. He was golfing. He was teaching his sons to golf. He must have done a good job of it. At least one of them got a golf scholarship.
But when you get refused enough you stop calling, which is what happened. I would stop by his office occasionally and we would talk, mostly about fishing or golf. He would enthusiastically tell me about his son’s golfing and their golfing trips to Scotland. I told him when he wanted to go fishing again to let me know.
He never did. Now he never will.
“Don’t it always seem to go,
that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
Bob was a great guy. We didn’t fish enough and I will always miss that. But I will also treasure the memories of the time we did spend together.
Bob, I hope the greens are perfect wherever you’re playing golf now. Thank you for everything.
All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.