Captain Rafael is like family to us at Eagle Point Fishing Camp. He started fishing out of Eagle Point as a child, and even when he moved away for college and his career, he has made Eagle Point a second home during the summer months. Captain Rafael keeps his boat and RV at Eagle Point, and in the summer, for years, he's brought his daughters down for long weekends and even weeks. The girls started fishing with him from about the preschool age, and through lots of practice, they've learned the groove of fishing as a family, and they absolutely love their time together on Galveston Bay with their dad.
We asked Captain Rafael for his advice on introducing fishing to your children and how to create lasting memories with your family. Here are his top tips:
1. Food & Drinks: Bring plenty of things they enjoy snacking and drinking. Things they would normally not get at home. I also try and treat them to lunch/dinner of their choosing afterwards.
2. Shade & Protection: If they are miserable, they won’t want to come back. Make sure you provide shade for them during the summer and plenty of sunscreen. Sunburns are not fun.
3. High Percentage Opportunities: You might fish all day and find it fun, kids won’t. Mix in some Black Drum fishing or something else to help pass the time in between chasing the Trout and Reds.
4. Educate Them: Take time to educate the kids on their surroundings. I always have the kids on the lookout for dolphins and stop to watch them work when spotted. We talk about the cloud patterns, the winds, the water clarity, etc. Teach them what to look for and talk to them like a peer, they will learn more than you think.
5. Keep It Fun: There are times I can see on their face, they’ve lost interest. Change it up. Let them drive the boat or take them into Galveston for a quick trip to the candy store. They won’t forget it. Remember, if you want your kids to keep fishing with you, you need to be a part-time fishing guide, teacher, babysitter, and father. Promise you…you’ll learn and hear things that will surprise you.
6. Stay Patient: They are going to screw up, get tangled, break rods, etc. Don’t get angry, take a deep breath, and remember, you did the same thing when you were first learning.
Fishing is more than just teaching them how to fish. It's about building a bond with your kids. Rafael adds, "The good lord blessed me with two beautiful girls. They were raised on a boat and go with me everywhere. They know how to hunt, fish, camp, etc. During these times they not only learn about their environment, but I get a chance to learn about them, their friends, how school is going, their troubles, and their successes -- Things they might not tell their mother. These experiences and the closeness you get will keep your kids close to you and not the street. While it makes my wife jealous at times, my relationship with my girls is something I cherish."
Captain Rafael is part of Galveston Bay Fishing Guides and is available for fishing charters for you and your family. Below is a video of his day on the water with one of his daughters and dog.