Family Goes To Fish But Dad Catches Something Huge

Something On His Boat

The fishing day with his family had been a nice family outing. But just as they were finishing up their day on the water, they heard something breach the surface of the water and land on his boat.

Elijah checked on his family to make sure they were alright. But then he turned to look at the back of the boat. They had an unwelcome guest on their boat.

Elijah Sims

Elijah Sims lived in Dauphin Island, Alabama. He considered himself a family man. He ended up marrying his wife, Ava after they met at a party 15 years ago. A lot of time had passed since then.

Both of them had been through a lot together. Every job promotion, every illness, and most importantly, the birth of their son - Tommy.

Thomas Sims

The happiest day of Elijah’s life was when he welcomed his son into the world. He and Ava named him Thomas, after Elijah’s father. Growing up, they called affectionately called him Tommy.

Tommy was now 13 years old, and living on Dauphin Island meant that there was one tradition that started at an early age, and Elijah welcomed it.

A Family Tradition

Dauphin Island is an island town in Alabama. This meant that there were a lot of fishermen living in the town. Elijah wasn’t a fisherman himself, but he was influenced by the culture there.

Dauphin Island is an island town in Alabama. This meant that there were a lot of fishermen living in the town. Elijah wasn’t a fisherman himself, but he was influenced by the culture there.

The Dauphin Island Fishing Rodeo

There was no wonder fishing was so popular on the island. It was home to the Dauphin Island Fishing Rodeo - the largest fishing tournament in the world. This event attracts thousands of pro-fishermen and spectators.

It was this culture that Elijah and his family were swept up in. The only thing was that they didn’t like the crows, so they normally went fishing when it was quiet. But they had no idea what they would find.

A Quieter Lifestyle

The town was a close-knit community. Most people knew each other and always got into their business. It’s not like Elijah was rude. He just was more introverted than the rest of him. 

He knew Ava could spend hours talking to other moms at the grocery store, but he liked to keep to himself. But that would lead to no one knowing about their next fishing trip. One that would end with a lot of danger.

The Waters Of The Alabama Deep Sea

The waters around the Alabama Deep Sea have a lot of biodiversity. It’s one of the major reasons why the tournament has been hosted there since 1929. 

But that also means there are a lot of predators in the sea and even close to the land. There’s one apex predator that comes to mind when people living on Dauphin Island think of a worst-case scenario. One that Elijah didn’t have a clue about.

Tiger Sharks

When it comes to sharks, all of them can be dangerous. But there’s one in particular that ranks among the most aggressive in the world. That’s the tiger shark. Out of 111 reported attacks, 39 of them were fatal.

The only shark with a higher record of fatal human attacks is the great white shark. But tiger sharks are relatively common in the Alabama Deep Sea.

A Fishing Trip To Remember

Early one morning, Elijah decided to take his family out on a fishing trip. Tommy had been bugging him all week, and they hadn’t gone in a month. So Elijah thought a Saturday morning would be perfect. 

They packed everything they needed for the trip, snacks, bait, and their trusty fishing poles. Elijah hitched up the boat to the back of their trailer, and they were on their way. Unwittingly into danger.

Out On The Lake

After arriving at a launch point, unhitching the boat, and pushing off into the water, they were excited for the day ahead. It was a warm morning, and they were keen to see what they could catch.

But after being on the water for an hour, something happened that caught Elijah completely by surprise.

Something On The Boat

Just as Elijah thought that the day was wrapping up to be a perfect trip, he heard the sounds of water splashing and then a loud thud. The entire boat rocked, and he grabbed onto the railing for balance.

He slowly turned around to see what was going on, and to his horror, something had lept onto the boat. He thought he was safe from the predators of the water while on his boat, but he was wrong.

A Strange Creature

Elijah felt a chill down his spine. His first instinct was to protect his family. He told his wife and child to stand behind him while he assessed the situation. There was definitely an animal on the boat. 

Horrible thoughts ran through his head. What could it have been? Could it have been a shark? Then his obligation as the head of the family reminded him to step even closer.

Dark, Glossy Skin

After carefully examining the creature, Elijah saw white spots on dark, glossy skin. But that wasn’t everything. He saw that there were babies too. The animal that had landed on his boat had brought its offspring onboard.

He was still examining it when his wife, Ava, shouted out from behind him, “I know exactly what that is!”

An Eagle Ray

The animal turned out to be a Spotted Eagle Ray. They were common in the water, and one of Ava’s friends had spoken about them in passing while they were at the grocery store. It had jumped out of the water onto the boat for some reason.

With the knowledge that he wasn’t in immediate danger, he could assess the situation and try to help the poor stranded animal.

Quickly Thinking Of A Plan

Elijah knew that he had to quickly devise a plan if he wanted to save the life of the rays and keep his own family safe. Everyone looked to him to save the day. But what would he do?

He couldn't throw them back into the ocean in good conscience. What if they needed medical attention? He needed to get them to a vet as soon as he could.

Racing To The Shore

After a second of thought, he decided to trust his gut. He needed to race to the shore before it was too late. But his plan felt a little half-baked. What would he do once he got to the shore?

He put the boat into high gear and sped towards the shore while he continued to hatch his plan in the meantime. 

An Idea

The idea came to him while he was racing towards the dock. He could try to arrange for the local marine conservation group to meet them there when they arrived. All he had to do was make the phone call.

The entire time he sped towards the shore, he just hoped that the rays were okay. They couldn't last long out of the water.

A Phone Call

Elijah desperately told his wife, Ava, to call the Marine Resources Division. They would know exactly what to do. She shakily found the number for the organization and then dialed it. 

A consultant picked up, and she desperately explained the situation to them. But would they make it in time to save the animals?

Arranging To Meet At The Docks

They arranged to meet at the docks and hung up the phone. The animals wouldn't last long on the boat. They were close now, but would the organization be ready once they arrived?

Ava felt beyond nervous when she saw a relieving sight. She saw a van waiting for them on the shore. She just hoped that it would be enough.

Handing Them Over

Elijah parked the boat at the dock, and the organization's people rushed over to take things from there. They had a stretcher for the eagle ray and her babies and took her to their van, where they could put her in a tank.

They took over and gave Elijah a number he could call before speeding off. He felt responsible for the animals and worried about them.

Feeling Responsible

Even though they were now out of his hands, Elijah felt partly responsible for their wellbeing. Even that night, it hung on his mind. He couldn't shake the feeling that he needed to help out more.

He flipped the card through his fingers while he lay in bed. He knew in the morning. He still had work to do regarding the previous day's events.

The Morning

Elijah woke up in the morning and knew what he would do that day. He called the number on the card and found out where the foundation had taken the eagle ray. After begging for what felt like ages, he finally got an address.

He got in his car and drove to where he knew he could get reassurance. He had to see things to the end.

A Private Clinic

Elijah had to drive to a private clinic where the eagle ray was being treated at. It was five miles out of the city and was a state-of-the-art facility. The animal was getting the best treatment possible.

Still, though, he wanted to see for himself. It had become a borderline obsession. He arrived at the compound, not knowing what to expect.

Getting In

The next biggest hurdle was the security booth. Elijah rolled up and greeted a worn-looking man. It was clear that he had been on shift for at least a dozen hours. Elijah knew this wouldn't be easy.

When the man asked for ID, he frowned and started explaining the situation. He just hoped it would be enough.

Letting Him Through,

After a back-and-forth with Elijah appealing to the older security guard's sensibilities, he agreed to let him pass on the condition that he was on his best behavior. He thanked him and passed through the booms.

He was one step closer to his goal. He just had to park his car and find the reception. His nerves made his hands shake the entire time.

Getting To the Reception

Elijah ran through the sterile halls. He'd never been in such an expansive clinic just for animals. Especially one for aquatic ones. He found a reception desk and knew once again he'd have to convince someone to let him pass.

But he was pleasantly surprised when the woman told him she had been expecting him. The partners who had picked up the eagle ray knew he would come looking for her.

Finally Seeing Her For Himself

Elijah was directed to one of the rooms at the end of the hallway. He was told that the eagle ray was in there but not what kind of condition she was in. He got to the doors and held his breath before opening them.

Elijah didn't know what to expect, but once he was inside the room, he couldn't believe what he saw. Everything would change.

Looking Healthy

The eagle ray inside the room looked as healthy as ever. The doctor monitoring her vitals explained that they had made sure she was in good health before they would release her back into the coastal waters.

But Elijah noticed something, where were her babies? He asked the doctor about the babies, but he shook his head.

Tragic News

He sadly explained that her offspring hadn't survived. The trauma was just too much for them. But at least she made it out of the entire situation okay and would live a long life.

The doctor even added that she'd find another mate and have more children to cherish. All wasn't lost, as long as she survived the ordeal to live another day.

A Full Recovery

Elijah visited the stingray once a week until she fully recovered. The day of her release was finally here, and she could go back to where she belonged - the open ocean. They even let Elijah come and watch her be set free.

He was glad that he had saved her life. He was assured that if he hadn't acted so quickly, she would have never survived.