New Captain on the Reef
By Capt. Charles Newton
Redfish Charters has worked hard to establish a definite name for itself over the past 32 years and I’m known by most as Capt. Charlie. I have been guiding in the Rockport area for over 32 years and still love every minute of it. Over the course of my career my greatest accomplishment is training and teaching my grandson Aerich the ropes of the bays.
Aerich is now 18 and has recently gotten his Captain’s license. He has been in training since he was four, really, a four year old aspiring to be a captain. All kids say they want to be something when they grow up; a policeman, doctor, lawyer, fireman…the list goes on and on, I’ve never had one say captain. Every time I started out the door to fish he wanted to tag along. When he was about 10 I started him out steering the boat while I caught bait and it just progressed from there.
They always say take a man to fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he can eat for life. I’ve molded a child to do that and he’s made a career. I not only taught him to fish I have taught him the bay areas around Rockport. He has learned well and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments. Because he’s 18 definitely let his age fool you, he can handle the boat better than most grown men. For the longest people would ask me why I let that little kid drive my boat and cast my equipment. I guess the only answer I could give them was “because it’s mine”.
My dream was always to have a son, I was blessed with 3 girls, my youngest blessed me with grandson and granddaughter. She made the choice to join ROTC last year, again, a huge surprise and source of pride there! I have enjoyed fishing with Aerich over the years and I truly feel that I have taught him well. I have had no problem letting him take my boat anywhere he wants to go for the past two years taking friends and family, even without me. He is now running charters and I get to sit home to hold my recliner down; you know, these coastal winds may blow it away! On occasion I tag along just for fun. It’s surely not because I have to.
Aerich has not only learned the waters, but he truly has a desire to take people fishing, especially if they have never fished before as he loves to teach. He will fish with the most experienced or the novice. He absolute loves to take kids fishing so he can see their smiling faces when they bring in their catch. He has learned a love of people and especially children which is a great gift in my opinion.
School is obviously first on his list of things to complete. He will be a senior this fall and will be completing his high school year before I completely retire. Aerich went through Captain’s school and has gotten all the license he needed to satisfy the US Coast Guard and Texas Parks & Wildlife last summer so he could activate his license as close as possible to his 18th birthday. He also completed a course in Towing to be able to help a fellow fisherman out in case they get stranded. He’s always there to lend a helping hand.
Aerich is probably the youngest Capt. in the Rockport area, he received his license 3 weeks after his 18th birthday in April. A sportswriter called and wanted to be the first one to write an article about him because he had fished with me and Aerich as my deckhand a year or so ago. John Goodspeed did an article for the San Antonio paper a few weeks back, you should definitely search for that one!
If your passion is to go flounder gigging Aerich can handle that as well. While I’ve focused Redfish Charters for the past 32 years on purely swimming fish he’s expanding it to include those elusive “laying saddle blankets” as we call them. He has had much success flounder gigging in our bays and flats. It is a treat of a lifetime to see the many types of marine life swimming under the LED lights of the flounder boat. You can experience the opportunity of watching a nighttime redfish swim under the lights and see its beautiful iridescent colors. You might even see a beauty trout or two. However, you must just admire their beauty as those require by law a hook and line, you can only gig the flounders, black drum and the sheepshead while on the gigging trip.
We (and I say “we”), because Aerich, myself and my wife Beverly, continuously strive to provide you with the best fishing opportunity on the Texas Gulf Coast you have ever had.