When you are pulling in a fish that is half your weight, you better be ready to tangle with the tackle and wish kid Bailey, 12, was more than ready.
“I couldn’t believe how hard that the fish was fighting, it took about 20 minutes to pull it in but when the guys (from the charter services) saw it, they said it was one of the biggest fish they have ever helped to catch.”
Bailey is talking about the 44-lbs Giant Trevally fish, which is half his weight and the culmination of his wish to go deep sea fishing in Hawaii.
Starting his day on the water at a very early hour, Bailey and his family helped the crew stick up the lines, catch the bait fish and then pulled in not one, but two record-breaking fishes – the 44-lbs Giant Trevally and a 9-lb Pacific Needle fish.
“The Pacific Needle fish was a little bit easier because we didn’t catch it with the hook in the mouth, but with a hook on its back,” said Bailey. “It only took a couple of minutes to pull it in.”
Bailey, who was diagnosed at the age of 8 with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, understands fighting for your life. His diagnosis weakens his immune system, affecting all of his vessels and organs. It also requires him to keep moving so his joints don’t stiffen, but also can give him bouts of terrible pain. It’s a difficult diagnosis for an active 6th grade boy like Bailey, who swims 30 minutes a day (at least) and takes Tae Kwan Do.
His wish to go to Hawaii to do some deep sea fishing was a way to show himself that he could do something physical and fun, and bring his family, including mom Tina, dad Jeff and brother Mason, 8, along as well. In addition to their day at sea, the family was able to see the Pearl Harbor Memorial and eat some incredible fish – something mom Tina enjoyed a lot more than Bailey.
“The fishing was great but the best part was being with my family the entire week and having fun doing things that we all enjoyed,” said Bailey.
Bailey did come home with a souvenir as well – his 44-lb catch is mounted and hangs on a wall in the house.
“I’ve never been to Hawaii so it was great to be there, to go fishing and to have fun with my family,” he said.