• A fishing rod can be called a fishing pole!

    How many poles do you see on the Miss Judy Too?

    Trust me when I say, “A fishing rod can be called a fishing pole!”

    Many years ago after getting my charter captain license I tried everything that I could to get extra business. I put up fishing signs and distributed business card wherever I could. Heck, this was way before I-95 was open so therefore Highway 17 to the north and to the south was full of filling stations and mom/pop friendly stores. (At least most of the time, however, there were a few times, well that’s another story!) Most of the time, those in charge had no problem letting us hang our signs up and display our business cards on their counter.

    Then someone suggested that I write a magazine and tell them my story. Back in those days there weren’t that many fishing magazines. So I just picked out one, got their address, and started writing “to whom it may concern!” While writing this I was particularly in a great mood. My father and I had just won a cobia tournament and the prize was a state of the art camera, which was capable of taking color pictures. Heck, for me this was a big deal.

    Anyhow I proceeded to write this letter to the editor of biggest magazine for this time. I picked out the thickest one on the magazine shelf. This magazine claimed to be the “Fisherman’s Bible!” Heck, during this time there was article after article written about fishermen, their catches, and their knowhow. All I could think was, well, I have a little knowhow and my father knows a lot. I wrote about my father, me, and our charter boat fishing company. There was this local writer that always said, “All of our business is passing us by. Once they get on Highway 17 South, they don’t stop until they get to the state of Florida!” I really hadn’t thought much about this, because I thought we had the same stuff here and in most cases we were not overfished or over populated!

    Now you must remember, I didn’t type this letter, it was hand written. I didn’t have a typewriter just pen to paper. So I told my story all the time hoping that the magazine would find us interesting and maybe write a story about us. I thought we were news worthy! And besides, at looking at their magazine Georgia was a state that was not mentioned. So I thought heck, I could help them with that! After much re-readings and dozens of tossed pieces of papers, I had finished. I added a few pictures of my father and me. I quickly went down to the local post office, which was located at the Island’s pharmacy. (Another story) I brought the proper amount of stamps and off my letter went. I was excited for sure! I even told all those in the pharmacy about letter!

    After about 2 weeks, I quit looking for an answer to my letter. I didn’t know how long it took for my letter to go through the process. I had to think positive. Then one day the mail came and there the answer to my letter arrived. I was so excited, because I knew if they were writing me back it must have meant they were coming to do an article about us! So I tore into the letter and started reading! I couldn’t wait to start reading the letter.

    Once inside the envelope, I found a very short note. And it went something like this.....There is no way you can be considered a fisherman, because you called a rod a pole! I was taken back so far so quick and it was if, the one writing the letter was standing right in front of me. I was speechless and really didn’t know what to say, but since I had run my mouth to my father about the arrival of this grand letter, I had to say something. So I said, “They will be getting in touch with us soon!”

    I wish I had kept this letter, but I didn’t! It would have been “Priceless!” However, now that I think about it, I am glad I did not. It would have caused more bad feelings!

    I am going to let you decide, which magazine’s editor took time to write this letter to me!

    I have to add this so that I can make this clear...This is my 51th year of taking people charter fishing! And I am proclaiming that in some cases a rod is a pole! And I don’t think that by calling a rod a pole that it has hindered me one bit!

    As far as that is concerned, I now have created my own Captain Judy-isms! Thanks goodness for that! I wonder how this not so thick sports magazine would have to say about this now!

    Thanks for reading! Captain Judy