I can still remember the excitement of catching my first keeper striped bass more than 20 years ago. My uncle had brought me to a spot close to home that he'd been fishing his whole life. It was a long walk through a marsh in the dark, something I take for granted now, but it felt so foreign to me then. Everything I used that night was loaned to me from waders to surf rod to the white curly tail grub and jig head that fooled my fish. We were the only ones on the point that tide except for one other angler. That angler had a camera and when he witnessed my uncle and me celebrating my catch, he offered to take our photo and mail it to us. I gave him my name and address, but the photo never came. I always wished I had a framed picture to document that moment, yet it's a fond memory still etched in my brain. It would have been a little easier today with digital cameras and email, but I digress.
Fast forward to Tuesday night and my uncle and I were back together at that same spot, but this time we brought one of his sons. It was now Max's turn to take that foreign walk in the dark and ask all the questions. Before this night, he had caught and released just one striped bass. He was beyond pumped to get out there. Despite the chilly temps and stiff ESE wind, Max slayed the stripers starting with his very first cast with a brand new Mag Darter. They weren't keeper-sized, but they were special fish nonetheless. My uncle and I were fly fishing and caught our first schoolies of the season, but watching my cousin's excitement was the main event. The kid is hooked. He has the surf fishing bug big time. It's good to see a young man his age getting started. Another generation. Someday it will be his turn to take a budding angler to that spot and pass it on.