Text & Photos by Patrick “Tupat” Eichstaedt // @TheRealTupat
Fishing is more than just catching fish…For some, it’s an escape or a weekend hobby or a job. As for some though, it’s a road to recovery where everything slows down and the mind is able to relax and find solace amongst Mother Nature. I’ve been fishing the backwaters of Bethune Beach for over 40 years now and there has never been a day that I’ve come in and was not feeling refreshed and free of stress. It’s amazing what the simple things in life can do for our minds.
Fishing as Therapy and Recovery
My cousin Garret Little is a recovering addict that has recently immersed himself into the backwaters to learn more about fishing, the waters, Mother Nature and most importantly himself. It’s a great feeling watching him thrive and feel the stoke of catching your own dinner all while bettering his state of mind. Garret says, “I am a recovering addict. I say recovering because it is a daily grind to continue to recover from the damage I have done to myself and others. Being in the backwaters of Bethune Beach allows me time to center myself and let my mind be clear of everything. Fishing has provided a very healthy outlet for someone who has had particularly bad habits in the past.” Here is Garret (pictured above) showcasing his very first redfish catch – his face says it all!
Craig Uhle (pictured below) has a very similar path as Garret and they happen to be very close friends that met in rehab. Craig says, “Active addiction takes away your identity and purpose. The majority of years I’ve lived on this Earth have been spent playing hide and seek with my personal demons. This new game of recovery has left me wondering ‘Who am I? What is my place in this world?’ When I’m on the water, I know in that moment I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And I know with perfect clarity that I AM A FISHERMAN!”
It’s truly amazing and simple that something so free as fishing and Mother Nature can help people to live a better life. I myself have utilized my backyard as an escape from the everyday grind not to mention it’s like being refueled for the tasks that are ahead once you step foot on land.
Fishing in August in Florida
This past month was epic and filled with multiple catches of redfish, snook and trout. On one particular evening, my good buddy Tyler Chestney and I were on our way in and had a top water session that was like no other. The fish were on a frenzy just a the sun went down and every cast was a huge hit with a solid fish. Here is Tyler (pictured above) with a beautiful backwater trout.
As we move deeper into summer, the fish will continue to eat and the bait will be piled up. Stay true to your spots and good luck! Just remember – always have fun!
Until next issue…Cast ‘em, Hook ‘em and Catch ‘em!