Story

Fishing On South Walton Beaches

May 20, 2012 by Laurel Abbe

“Sit Quietly and Smile.” Anyone know what book that quote is from? While very therapeutic, in this fast paced world it is sometimes hard to do and people might look at you funny. But if you sit quietly and smile while watching a great blue heron fish for breakfast you won’t look the least bit odd.

And you might also be lucky enough to witness an osprey doing the very same thing. 
While the heron took a slow, careful approach, the osprey took a confident, fast and very steep dive. Equally effective, both creatures caught their fish within minutes of each other. It was a treat to observe them.

Walking back to the beach access, I thought about how growing up in South Florida, I went fishing a lot. Well okay, I tangled the lines a lot and hooked myself more than I fished. My father was an avid fisherman and it was a big part of my life with him; my best family memories.  I never picked up his skills but I’m starting to understand the art of patience.

We shore fish here at Blue Mountain Beach once in awhile too. Well okay, we hang out with our friend Dave when he shore fishes and we are lucky enough to share in his bounty because he makes his “sculpin jigs” (sells them at Yellow Fin in Seagrove Beach) and he’s really, really good at catchin’ fish.

I always thought shore fishing was the one thing in the world you didn’t need a license for, but you do. It doesn’t cost a cent, but you need a permit, unless you already have a saltwater fishing license.  If you're not a Florida resident, you need a saltwater license and a shore permit. It seems all fishing requires a license!  Who knew?  For now, as long as they don’t use fishing poles, the birds don’t need to carry any paperwork. 

Fishing is such a great way to spend time outside and shore fishing is very satisfying, not to mention cost-effective and relatively uncomplicated. I really admire people who are good at it. Still I’m content to watch or to take advantage of my angler friends or to buy the fresh catch at our local fish market. My dad would tell you the world is safer for that.

See you on the beach.

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Laurel Abbe's picture

Laurel Abbe

Laurel is a joyful, driven, curious, grateful, enthusiastic, interested, always-searching, self-appointed beach ambassador.

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