August 16, 2019
By Lynn Burkhead
School bells are ringing across the country as the summer of 2019 wanes.
And for many students returning for the fall semester, an essay is likely to be assigned about how they spent their summer vacation.
Don’t be surprised if a Texas elementary school principal decides to pen his own essay. He has a whopper of a fish story from an angling vacation.
And it’s no Texas tall tale, either.
Kyle Uber, a principal for Denison Independent School District’s Houston Elementary School north of Dallas, has one of the summer’s best angling tales — one that involved a stolen dinner.
It all happened a few weeks ago as Uber and his family vacationed in the beautiful Emerald Coast region of the Florida Panhandle.
As the North Texas resident fished with Capt. Larry Pentel of Dead Fish Charters out of Grayton Beach, delicious red snapper for dinner was the primary target as the group fished several miles off the coast.
But as Uber reeled up on a good red snapper, almost as quickly, the menu was suddenly altered.
“It was a large bull shark,” said Uber. “It was awesome! I caught it [off] the coast between Destin and Panama City. I caught a red snapper and was bringing it up when the big shark hit it. It was the fight of my life for about 8 to 10 minutes as I reeled it in.”
While Uber’s crew landed several saltwater fish for the table, the shark was cut loose when Uber got it to the side of the boat.
“After it was over, I asked Captain Larry how big it was and he said it was at least 300 pounds and about eight feet in length,” said Uber. “Needless to say, it was a great memory.”
As great a memory as it was, Uber said it was nearly topped by yet another shark catch.
“My son, Nate, had one on as well,” said Uber of Nate, who will be a senior point guard for the Yellow Jackets’ basketball squad this winter. “Unfortunately, he lost it before we could see it.”
Even so, if Uber does write an essay about his Florida fishing trip as school starts this week in Texas, he’s got a good shot at an A.
After all, he’s the principal with a 300-pound bull shark story to tell.