Fireworks and Fish
The 4th of July has always been a special Holiday for the Hammer-Time clan. The 4th meant watermelons fights and Bar-B-Que's, family get together and horseshoes, kids playing on the slip and slide when the men shared stories around the bar-b-que pits, and of course Fireworks and lots of them. From sparklers to bottle-rockets, black-cats to cherry bombs, roman candles to those spectacular aerial bombs, when we pulled up to a fireworks stand the owners knew they would be making a profit that season.
I can still recall those anxious rides on the way home an almost Christmas Eve feeling only with more mischievous tone. Soon we were setting off black cats under and inside anything that wasn't tied down to watch our mini bombs blow things into unrecognizable of their former self. Anxiously awaiting the night when we would transform our one quite street into something reminiscent of the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Only to awaken the next morning with the smell of gun powder and smoke still in the air like a heavy fog to clean up the mess of our late night activities. Yeah the 4th has always been a special time for our family and one of the greatest joys as a youngster.
These days the tradition still lives on. I still get those child-like feeling when set off a bottle rocket and watch it screech across the late night skies. My chest still pounds when we have our annual Roman candle wars. And though the vendors don't know me by name like they did my Father they still smile when I pull up to their stands and grab their calculators. But recently we have added another flare to this family tradition, a combination of my two loves one of fireworks the other fishing. Instead of just the fragrance of gunpowder over powering our sense we have added those familiar smells of the beach. You know the combinations of salt, seaweed, fish and sunscreen, which when blended in the right proportions will not only rekindle those childhood memories but also satisfy those angling feelings of the modern-day child.
The twist we have come up with to combine these two passion is a night fishing trip to the nearest jetty system. The Galveston system is one that we have found that offers the best light show and fishing for your buck. Although space is available over the best hot spots it's at a premium, so get there early. Best bet is to pack plenty of bait, beverages, and binoculars for a long night of fishing and fireworks then set back and watch the show. In between rounds of areal starbursts and star spangled banner displays of Chinese technology you may find the occasional red or trout distraction. These annoying factors will hopefully continue till the early morning hours but hopefully you can still get in some exceptional light displays between hookups.
Although this is a new Hammer-Time family tradition I hope it will be as long lasting as the previous. Not only is a good time had by all filling both our visual senses and ice boxes at the same time. It has also reduced those once expensive trips to the local fireworks stands. Although the cleanup efforts of picking up discarded fireworks in the early morning is a traded off with an ice chest full of trout fillet is a wash. In the long run you come out ahead. While your still getting your fix of fireworks, at the same time getting the adrenal rush of catching a nice trout or red. All the while watching him break the water while a areal bomb exploded in the distance and you watch the reflection in the water as your quarry enters the net. It just doesn't get any better than that..
One tip for those that like to take it one step further. Although you may be tempted to set off a few firecrackers while on the water this is one you should definitely resist at all cost. Not only are powder burns a bitch to get out of fiberglass, but a misdirected bottle rocket will inevitable find those gas container no matter how protected they are. And that is one light show you don't wont to witness first hand although you fellow jetty fishermen may get a big kick out of it!!!!