A fisherman caught this pinfish on the Naples Pier. The first time Id ever come to Naples I was about 11 years old. My sister Felicia and I came down to visit my grandpartents Captain Joe and Grandma Felicia. My grandfather would walk down to the pier each morning and fish with his buddies where they would catch snook and Spanish mackerel and whatever else was there to be caught.
He got me up at 5am to go fishing with him and although I have a terrible memory I remember that morning well. We met up with some of his fishing buddies, many of them also retired and had the same routines of walking down and fishing each morning off the pier
Every year I take the girls down to the Naples pier to walk down to the end, see what the old-timers are catching, get the girls some ice cream and reflect a little about what an incredible man Captain Joe was. How strong he was, how hard he worked, how much he loved his family, how generous he was, how respected he was. His shoes are impossible to fill but he set a great example for us to try to follow.
When walking down the pier there were a few benches and plaques with some of the names of the old timers who had gone to that pier to fish day after day and had now passed.
I wish my grandfather had a plaque there as well but I know his spirit as a fisherman is still present down there plaque or not- for me anyway as I’ll never forget that morning strolling down those wooden planks that made up the pier way back when I was just a kid.