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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Daily fishing report
By DOUG HEMMER
Published January 2, 2006
As a fishing guide, I sometimes lose sight of the simple joys of catching fish and being out on the water. Most of my trips have the pressures of finding bait and locating schools of elusive fish. Friday's trip reminded me of the joys of years past that were simple, relaxing and productive.
Paul Weekley and his sons Adam and Carson loaded the live well with store-bought shrimp and we headed out for a day of sight fishing for sheepshead around the residential docks of lower Tampa Bay. The boys were 6 and 8 years old, normally an age where boys want to spend most of trip playing with the bait in the live well. This trip was different. We used a trolling motor to pass the front of the docks in search of sheepshead hanging around the pilings. When we found a school, we anchored the boat and cast small chunks of freelined shrimp next to the school. I made the casts and handed the rods to the boys, and to my surprise, they did the rest. Rigged with only 6-pound test and little arms, they managed to land 15 sheepshead.
The best part was watching the boys smile, grunt and holler with each fish they hooked. Their excitement took me back to the days when I fished with my dad. He would do all the work and I got to land most of the fish. Those were the good old days.
--Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.