Each summer members of the Fletcher family of the Wilmington area make a trek to Lewes. They pack up their vehicles, stop for bait in Smyrna and embark on a family fishing trip to Roosevelt Inlet.
It's something they do for their father and grandfather, Thomas Fletcher, who is 71 years old. Daughter Lisa Hanson – one of 10 children – said they wanted to do something nice for their father. "He has always done what we wanted to do on family trips," she said. "He's always been a avid fisherman, so we came up with this fishing trip. It's something he likes to do, but never takes the time to do it."
This year, more than 20 family members made the Aug. 10 trip. They backed up their vans and cars along Roosevelt Inlet and set up for the day. "We love coming here. It's so peaceful," she said. "We love watching the boats and we have met so many great people."
During the first trip four years ago, Hanson set up a men/boys versus women/girls competition, complete with several awards, including the most improved angler and best sportsmanship. "Now we get other people asking us if they can participate in the tournament," she said with a smile.
She said the men always win, and her dad usually catches the most fish, but it's always fun. It's tough keeping the little ones interested for long, and they seem to have more fun climbing on the rock wall. There is always plenty of food to eat.
"We get here early and stay late – that is until the eels come out and start biting our lines and the rats come out of the rocks," Hanson said.
She said the great sunset to end the day is just a bonus.