Having spent my entire life on Texas Coastal waters, the contact with species of fish, waterfowl and other wildlife made for both educational and recreational memories; Some more painful than others. Catching my first fish(Hardhead) at age 3, I was never long away from the yank of a line, point of an arrow or sights on a gun from what has become known in my family as “Sanity maintenance”. From skimboarding down the yard into Highlands Bayou during Tropical floods, skiing everyday before school(Winter too) or surfing through the decades that saw me cut my board from 9 to 5 feet, the types, locations and disposition of aquatic life was an “In your face” daily lesson.
As life took me to heights and places other than our environment in the aviation industry, I became aware just how valuable the Texas Bay system we take for granted ranks around the World. It’s Big folks. We are fortunate to be able to drift for hours in any season and still be 5 minutes from a population. Our abbreviated seasons mean lures must still be chosen as to water temp, depth or ambient light. Yet the species are always available year round. Estuaries and salt Grass marshes offer among the highest level of fin nurseries and waterfowl habitat known to man. When the time arrived for choosing a life after aviation; There was little doubt in my reluctant families mind, where it would be.
Captain was not new to me, having been associated with aviators, mariners and military for 30 years, yet the training and transition to sea Captain was a bit awkward. The same government background, registration, training and regulation was there, only in a strangely familiar language I’d spent my childhood taking for granted. The waterway rules, horns, lights, channel signals etc were something I’d always thought everyone understood. Boy was I wrong. Now having cleared the hurdles of man, my real skillset sets me apart. Not only as a State Licensed Guide but as one that Guaranteed a fish to my first charter. When it happened, the die was cast. Only once in the first 3 years have I had to charge only operating cost and that was due to weather. My years and years of haphazardly drifting over spots throughout the Bays several times before realizing they always held fish, gave me a data advantage many don’t have enough life left to gather. Sure every angler has his “Honeyhole” but I likely know where it is; Only because there’s hundreds, I choose where they aren’t fishing. Funny though, It doesn’t take long for those who recognize my vessel, to be within casting distance. Some even know my tricks for moving to another location unnoticed. Face it folks just as in aviation; “ If I make it, you make it” still boads as well for fishing or hunting as it did for destination or deadline.
I’m Captain Gary Campbell of Fishin’ Hookers; Give me a shout; Charter a day or night and find your own memory as those that have filled my life.
Captain Gary is a guide for fishing and Hunting