I’ve known my friend Chad Hallett since 2000 or 2001 and I’ve known his 14 year old son Fisher since before he was born. He’s a little ginger like my wife (although he outgrew her 2-3 years ago), so I’ve always looked on him with a bit of suspicion, but I like his parents so I figured he’d eventually get straightened out.
The coolest part of watching him grow up is that I’ve seen him develop his own love of fishing. Since I don’t have children of my own, I can only speculate about how I would’ve guided that interest in my own offspring, but I think the Halletts have done a pretty good job. I’d expect the kid of a dad with a 20’ bass boat with a 250 Merc on the back to be pretty selective about how, where and why he fishes, but every time I talk to Chad he tells me that just about any time Fisher has a few moments to spare he grabs his tackle, hops on his bike and heads to the nearest lake. They’ve allowed just the right combination of guidance and self-determination. That has extended into his gift requests, too, which now consist mostly of gift certificates to Tackle Warehouse or Bass Pro Shops.
Chad had traveled to Mexico with us in 2015 and 2016 and Fisher gave him no shortage of grief about leaving him behind. That’s why it was especially cool that they surprised him with a trip to El Salto as his Christmas present. They even took a video of him unrolling a scroll of paper and figuring out what a plane reservation to Mazatlan meant. For a kid who’s at the age where it’s often only acceptable to look uninterested or unimpressed, the sheer joy on his face was unstoppable. Two weeks later he was on the plane, tackle ready, and whacked his personal best (so did his dad) before heading back to the states and back to school. He even caught the big'un on a Senko, another sign he's been raised right.