TYLER, Texas — Fishing can be a great escape -- a way to relax, reflect, and get away from the troubles of the world.
In this week's Hooked On East Texas, we wanted to share the story of one family's fishing trip that gave them a chance to get away from a tragedy with the help of an East Texas crappie guide.
On a warm Thursday morning, we climbed into crappie guide Jacky Wiggins' boat on Lake Fork. Also on board was Holden Radicke and his two young sons, Pierce and Riley. The Radickes were heading out with Wiggins, hoping a day on the water helps get their minds off of something that hit too close to home.
The Radickes are from Uvalde where, just last month, a mass shooting occurred at Robb Elementary School. Twenty-one people, 19 students and two teachers, lost their lives.
Pierce and Riley go to school at a nearby elementary, but their dad says they knew some of the students who died, and being out on Lake Fork is just what they needed.
“You now waking up one morning with your normal small South Texas town and the next day you've got the president and the governor, and everybody under the moon -- and still there and the memorials, it’s something to see," said Holden.
Fishing guides are there to bait your hook and get you closer to the fish, but in this case, Jacky was the friend they needed to help get over a rough patch and forget their troubles, even if just for a day.
“They knew a few of the kids and the older kid," said Holden. "Pierce, has been fine but had plenty of questions, he had some days you could tell he was deep in thought about things".
Jacky took us about a mile down the lake of where we started. He found some timber submerged in about 10 to 13 feet of water. He knew the crappie would be hiding in the shade under the the trees, lying down under the water.
Sure enough, the fish were biting. Both Pierce and Riley were catching fish at a fever pace. It took Pierce just nine seconds to drop his minnow into the water before he had hooked another. They day was off to a good start and the Radicke family was on their way to catching their limit.
“This was a good change of pace for us. The constant news, the questions, getting out here with a clear mind, enjoy the water, you know," Holden said.
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