Saying Goodbye To A Fisherman...

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: January 19, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: MikeA
Saying goodbye to a fisherman (long)

My brother and I are each posting this on favorite forums just to get it out.
My father died five years ago. He called me one night to come over and take him to the hospital because he had chest pains and his left arm hurt but he couldn't leave because his wife was at the store and his adopted daughters were asleep. So my wife and I came by and she watched the girls while I took him to the hospital. They immediately took him in and transported him to another facility; he had two heart attacks in route but made it there. We flew my brother down from Oregon and he got to be there and we talked to him together the night before he coded for the last time.
At the funeral there was a bit of family trouble. I let it ride because I'm pretty sure that killing a relative in a church is bad karma or something but I always felt that my father didn't get the sendoff he deserved.
My father and all of the men in his line are fisherman, hobbyists but to the point of obsession (he left my brother and I a collection of equipment that appraised at $30k 7 years ago). At the funeral we lined his casket with iron and had a heavy action roller guided Sabre with a Penn Senator and a spike jig attached leaning on it.
So after five years it's time. My bro is coming down and on Feb 6th and we've hired a boat to take us out into the channel between the mainland and Catalina. The ashes will be placed in a bag, in a basket and covered with rose petals. My ex wife will lower the basket into the water, my brother and I will be at the port and starboard corners of the stern of the boat, as the basket sinks, leaving the rose petals floating on the surface, my brother and I will freespool iron for about 15 seconds, at which point I'll give the captain the high sign and he'll light the engines. From there, we will troll a slow circle around the floating rose petals and my father can begin his last trip, floating with the current coming down the coast from Alaska, taking him from one of the first places I ever remember fishing with him (Long Beach) down past all of his favorite fishing grounds, Ensenada, Todo Santos, San Vicente etc.
While it's hard to finally let go, I think it's the best sendoff I can give him, and to mark the occasion, I had a yellowfin inked on my right forearm the other night so I'll always have something that can't be taken away or lost.
Sorry for the length, but it's something we had to get out and I figured if anyone could appreciate a good sendoff….

Posted by baitchucker
A good sendoff indeed

I just lost my father about week ago; A passionate angler to the sudden end. After giving him my final fishing report, we said our goodbyes to each other and vowed to fish together from the piers in the afterlife. After about an hour, the toll from the massive stroke suppressed his breath, then his heartbeat. He left our world surrounded by his family and thoughts of mullet off the Newport pier.

He will have an fisherman's sendoff as well; just not so elaborative. As a minimalist, he would want it no other way.

Posted by gordo grande
Our condolences, Baitchucker.

I've lost both my parents, and I know how it feels. Our thoughts are with you. May thoughts of your dad keep you warm on those cold fishing mornings to come.

Posted by Salty Nick
Condolences to you and your family

A fitting sendoff for an avid fisherman. Salty.

Posted by tinle
Re: Saying goodbye to a fisherman

Just remember everything you've learned from him and his memory will live on. Good sendoff! Hope all is well. My condolences.

Posted by canepole

Re: Saying goodbye to a fisherman

My father loved the redwoods so i scattered his ashes in the redwood forest. That was my tribute to him as your going to pay tribute to your father, and remember him fishing his way thru eternity. Keep in mind life is a circle and soon you will be fishing with him again where the fish are huge and always biting

Posted by MikeA
Re: Saying goodbye to a fisherman (long)

Well, I'll say one thing, even though it'll be February, I'm holding my rod with both hands. I wouldn't put it past the old man to toss a little something our way as he heads out.
For all of you fathers out there I'll say this. I don't remember ever begging to go with a friend's family on any trips to Disneyland or anything, but I always had friends asking to come along with me and my dad on our fishing trips. And when I hit my rebellious teens and we couldn't even be in the same room together, he could still shake me awake at 2 in the morning and we'd watch the sun rise over another body of water as we plied our trade. I look forward to building the same bond with my little guy and I hope each of you has that opportunity.

Posted by OregonBoy
Re: Saying goodbye to a fisherman (long)

I am the other brother involved in this and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the kind words. I was telling my brother the other day how dad is going to be there every time I tie a clinch not or think about color selection from a jig. He taught me patience, persistence and how to strike up a conversation with anyone I meet on or near a body of water (or at the very least how to walk buy and figuring out what they are using). These are all things I can't wait to teach my yet unborn children. That seems like the only true way to honor what he did for me as human being just through the simple act of wetting a line. Tight lines to you all.

Posted by dompfa ben

...perhaps the greatest satisfaction on the first day of the season is the knowledge in the evening that the whole of the rest of the season is to come.

ARTHUR RANSOME, "The First Day at the River" ROD AND LINE (1929)
Posted by corbinaman1

Very Touching and A Nice Sendoff... it is always hard losing a loved one, but the good memories will definitely sustain you.