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Submitted by Jodi McGreggor

2021 has started out as a rough year for me. On Jan 6th, my world was turned upside down when my father passed. He was my hero. He always pushed me to follow my dreams. He was my biggest supporter when it came to my fishing endeavors. When I started ocean kayak fishing he was worried like any dad would be for their daughter. He started off with scare tactics… ” You’re going to be shark candy”. “Pop, what is shark candy?” …” Well, youre crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside”. He finally accepted that my heart was set on furthering my fishing dream. I always made sure to take tons of pictures of the scenery and the fish I caught. It took awhile but I began to see why kayak fishing was so important to me and a lot of his worry turned to excitement for me.

Before every trip out my dad was the first person I called. He asked me about what tackle I planned to use, where I was headed, and if I remembered a snack. Our send off conversation always ended with a ” Be safe, catch a big fish, and have fun”. I am going to forever miss that.

Saturday was the first time I was able to muster enough emotional backbone to load up the shark candy coffin. So many of us have been going through a lot in the last years and you just have to find that spark. The spark that lit the fire was not just about me and my loss. A few weeks ago I got the message that a friend very close to my heart lost his wife after a long battle with cancer. My best fishing buddy needed me as much as I needed him. We both needed the therapy only fishing, friends, and nature can offer.

We loaded up our Jacksons and headed out to beautiful Margarita Lake on the Central Coast of California. Now, I have no shame in admitting that I am a horrible bass anglerette. The bass laugh at me when they see that unicorn fart colored kayak pedaling out from the docks. But the day wasn’t about catching. It was about being surrounded by the things and people we love.

We fished for a bit and then just simply went for a paddle. Talking and laughing. Sharing memories of both of our loved ones. The burden and stress of the world for those moments was lifted from our shoulders.

Fishing is much more than the catch.

Rest easy Abby and my pop. We are going to be okay.

Instagram: @jmcgreggor805