OPA-LOCKA – “I am not giving away our spot,” said Opa-locka Vice Mayor Joseph L. Kelley when asked to reveal the lucky “honey hole,” where the size and the amount of the “catch” reportedly would make the most skilled fishermen envious enough to inquire about the location of the Vice Mayor’s Annual Seniors Fishing Trip.
Blue skies, mild temperatures and a perfect site made Monday, April 15 a great day of biting, the participants said, as approximately 25 seniors cast their lines into the water and waited for mullet, bluegill and catfish to nibble at hooks baited with earthworms provided by Kelley.
Given the ocean, rivers, lakes and canals in Florida, fishing is a common pastime for people of all ages seeking quiet moments or time alone with family or friends.
Kelley, who has been doing this for at least 10 years, stated that he is “always glad to give back a small token of appreciation to the seniors through these fishing trips, where they look forward to bonding on the water.” The event doesn’t cost the seniors or require them to bring anything except their own fishing pole and bucket.
The trip began at 8:30 a.m. and ended around 1 p.m., when Kelley began peeping into a few of the pails. He discovered that one of the men caught five fish, while among the women, Dorothy Bishop caught four, Sadie Jones and Ollie B.
Kelley reeled in two each while others proudly displayed the “one that didn’t get away.” Although Jerri Baker didn’t land her prize on the trip, she excitedly reserved her seat on the bus for a return outing to the covert freshwater haven discovered by the vice mayor.
Kelley would speak only in generalities as he shared, “The bus took 30-40 minutes to get near Highway 27 on Alligator Alley in Broward County.”
The “sharp as a hook” seniors weren’t telling at all; they conveniently and convincingly “forgot” when anyone tried to lure them in by fishing for the location of their private retreat.
He said he is considering more fishing expeditions for the group, throughout the year. “After all, how many fun, safe, free activities are there for our seniors?” Kelley said.
“This is the type of quality time and memories they enjoy creating. It enriches their lives and they benefit from the outdoor experience through fresh air, exercise and socializing, during this unique excursion.”