Thanks to Tom Tomfohrde for sharing the story of a fishing trip that gave those who went a new outlook on life.
'DON'T UNDERESTIMATE DAUGHTERS'
By Tom Tomfohrde
If you told us five years ago that we'd bring a bunch of women on the annual fishing trip and then get thoroughly out-fished -- we'd say you were out of your mind.
So how did this happen?
A group of Hilton Head Island friends have traveled to Central America each winter for the past 12 years to fish the Pacific Ocean. In 2013 we held the first father/son event, which was shared in The Island Packet's "Sea Foam" column because of an unusual incident: Four 120-pound sailfish were caught simultaneously.
That trip was a huge success, so we discussed what to do as an encore. Someone suggested a father/daughter event for 2014.
After debating the likelihood of our daughters' interest in such a crazy idea we did a survey.
Paul Koepke's daughter, Sheryl, responded immediately: "What??? You're asking me to join you??? Wow!!! Book it."
Others had similar responses.
It became embarrassingly clear that for years each father had included sons in fishing, or golf events, and never considered that a daughter might be interested.
So four local fishermen, plus married daughters, made their way to Pacific Fins in Puerto San Jose in Guatemala.
The fathers from Hilton Head were me, with my daughter Lynn Tomfohrde of Houston; Merry Harlacher with daughters Stephanie Sullivan of Hilton Head and Jennifer Pizzi of Philadelphia; Paul Koepke with daughter Sheryl Koepke of Boston; and Larry Bentley with daughter Judy McLaughlin of Hilton Head.
After four days of pursuing large game fish in three boats the score was:
All sailfish were released unharmed to swim away; mahi-mahi became delicious lunches on the boat and dinners at the Pacific Fins lodge.
The ladies caught significantly more fish than their brothers caught in 2013, and many of the fish were larger than the lady who caught them. They were ecstatic. The professional crew members were amazed. They had never hosted a father/daughter event.
For the fathers it was beyond their wildest expectations. Why? Modern women have earned their positions as equals in many formerly male-dominated fields, such as business and sports. But lots of men (like me) who were born in the 1930s and '40s were retired before they experienced this firsthand. And they are now amazed to see their daughters perform in "guy" activities, and in once all-male careers.
The daughters got four days of pure vacation (plus two travel days) away from children, jobs, house responsibilities, snow and ice, etc.
As Merry Harlacher's daughter, Stephanie, said: "Thanks for making me feel like a kid again."
For the fathers, it was quality time with daughters away from other family distractions for the first time in many years. And we had the pleasure of seeing our daughters develop rapidly into a competent big-game anglers.
The unanimous conclusion: If you want maximum fun on your next "guys" outing, include your daughters on the team.
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