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Sports & Leisure

Marshmallows Killed My Fishing Career. Castaway Jaz Wants to Revive It.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation ambassador's enthusiasm is hard to resist.
By |
Elizabeth Lavin

My moderate toleration for fishing died sometime in the 1980s. In Canada. After a really long drive, because I didn’t get on an airplane until I was 20 years old.

In addition to plane tickets, my father didn’t believe in spending money on hotels. Why would he when he had a perfectly good 40-year-old canvas tent (crafted by my great-grandfather) that took up a good third of the interior of our Dodge Ram conversion van and could comfortably sleep a family of five?

So it was a treat when, thanks to a solid week of rain and horseflies in the Ontario wilderness, he finally broke down and rented a cabin. Not a Broken Bow sort of cabin, with a hot tub and a rain shower, but a beaver trapper sort of cabin, with no indoor plumbing.

Our joy was short-lived. The first night a clogged fireplace flue filled the small space with smoke. So much so that in the morning, despite the unrelenting downpour, my brother and sister and I were happy to follow my father out to a rowboat, collapsible rods in hand.

He had a bag of garlic-flavored, neon-colored marshmallows that were intended to serve as bait. For a moment I was thrilled, because I loved marshmallows, and it meant we didn’t have to impale wriggling worms on our hooks. But as the rain soaked under our ponchos, and the marshmallows disintegrated and floated away without a tug, I decided fishing was the dumbest pastime ever.

And for the next 40 years, I pretty much stuck to that belief. Until I met Jazmine Robinson at Xaman Cafe in Oak Cliff several months ago. We sat down for a cafe de olla and a conversation about how the newly-minted Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation “We Will Not Be Tamed” ambassador intends to bring the sport to the masses—especially to women and people of color. With a clever Instagram handle (Castaway_Jaz) and a brilliant smile, she’s well on her way.

The story about how she found her joy on the dock, how she prepares the most delicious Texas freshwater fish, and where to find her favorite fishing holes (at least the ones she’s willing to disclose) is in the June issue, on newsstands now. Or you can read it here; it’s online today.


Kathy Wise

Kathy Wise

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Kathy Wise has been the executive editor of D Magazine since 2016. At various points before that, she was a…

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