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Hollis and John, October 1998

Sacramento Delta adventures — 1998, 1999, and 2001

The Big Guy grew up fishing with his family, so it was only natural that some of our most enjoyable family vacations in recent years have been spent near (or sometimes on) local California waters. Even though his parents relocated to Texas several years ago, we try to make time at least once a year for a week-long retreat at either Clear Lake or the Sacramento Delta.

In 1998, our group of seven — including the Big Guy’s parents, Hollis and Pansy; his aunt and uncle; and fishing buddy John — rented a houseboat near Stockton. Ever since that memorable experience, which included waking up one morning to find the boat grounded at a jaunty angle after water levels dropped overnight, we’ve stuck to shoreline cabins like the ones at B&W Resort, a few miles outside of Rio Vista.

For our first dinner aboard the houseboat, Pansy cooked us red beans and cabbage along with a huge ham she had won in a golf tournament. It was a big hit, and even to this day my mouth waters whenever I think about it!

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Day 1 — getting ready to leave the dock

The fishing can be unpredictable on the Delta; some years the guys have had good success, and other years it’s a struggle to boat a decent-sized bass or striper. But none of us would trade away the memories of those past trips and the rare opportunity to spend precious time together.

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Hollis (left) and Uncle Don (right) prep their fishing gear before heading out
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An early morning start
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At the fish cleaning station, October 1999
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The Big Guy’s Aunt Mona Kay and Pansy at B&W Resort, March 2001
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