Panther pitcher enjoying offseason outdoors

An offseason in Miami may consist of beach days, clubbing…and fishing? That’s how junior pitcher Ty Sullivan has been spending his offseason before reporting back to practice this year.

This isn’t the first time that Sullivan has picked up a rod and reel, in fact his story begins back when he was just a kid when he was taught by a unlikely source.

“Well most people would say they where taught by there mom or dad, but the crazy thing is both my parents are from South Carolina. In fact my dad never got into fishing or hunting, I just don’t think he had the patience for it,” Sullivan said. “So it was me and three of my friends that really started to teach each other how to fish. We were like 10 or 12 years old and we would go out to the pond on our golf course and just teach each other.”

Sullivan remembered just how difficult and frustrating it was when he first started back at the golf course.

“I remember we would tie like little square knots trying to catch fish and we would lose a fish every time and I would get so angry,” Sullivan said. “My best friend Sal and his grandmother are really into fishing and a learned a lot from him. For like the last 10 years now its just been us teaching each other something new from watching TV or reading about it or learning on our own from experience.”

Sullivan is also very careful not give away his secrets spots when asked about his favorite fishing locations.

“ Oh come on now you know I got to be careful about that,” Sullivan said. “However, I love Flamingo here its just unbelievable it was just absolutely beautiful. The water is just like glass over the flats for miles and we just killed it with the fish. We caught so many Snooks and Redfish we did very well.”

However, Florida isn’t the only place that holds a special place in Sullivan’s heart when it comes to fishing spots.

“Back home I got two spots I like to salt water fish there a couple of honey holes by Fort De Soto Beach up in Tampa. It’s a place with just beautiful water that crystal clear and you can see fish from 150 feet away,” Sullivan said. “I also love to bass fish as well and couple of other guys on the team are from the same area as me. So we would just go jumping from neighborhood to neighborhood in an afternoon and fish like in nine different ponds.”

Along with any fishing trip their are going to be funny stories that go along with the classic “it was this big” story and “you should have seen it” tale. Sullivan is no stranger to having funny moments when out on his outdoors adventures.

“This semester we where going down to Flamingo and I was with some friends and we where fishing out on the flats it was getting late in the day so one of my friends decides to invent this game with a dip can,” Sullivan said. “So he drops it in the water and instead of reaching over like a normal person he reaches for the push pole that almost looks like a triangle at the end. He would then take the push pole and try to scoop the dip can out of the water, throw it way up in the air and try to catch it.”

However the game for Sullivan and his friends didn’t just end there, it was at that time one of Sullivan’s friends decides to add a new twist to the game.

“At one point the can fell into the water and drifted into he flat, so without telling us my friend starts up the engine and kicks it to full speed,” Sullivan said. “Then we went in a circle for like 15 minutes trying to catch this dip can leaning outside of the boat. The best part about it was that there was like a line of eight or 10 guys kayaking that paddled over towards us just watching us drive in a circle.”

Not everything has been fun and games for Sullivan, whenever you head out into the wilderness you run into the possibility of facing dangers.

“There was one time in Tampa when I was kayak fishing with one of my buddies from high school and we had been on the flats all day doing well when we ran into a bunch of bait fish,” Sullivan said. “We where just cruising down when I see this scene out of Jaws appearing before my eyes. I see this bull shark’s dorsal fin come out of the water and come straight at me, and he’s not moving slow, so I’m freaking out as this five or six foot bull shark comes up to my kayak. So I take the paddle and slap it against the water and that’s when he turns around and swims off.”

When it comes to “the big one” that every fisherman looks for, Sullivan feels that his monster catch happened when he wasn’t even trying.

“Last winter we where fishing at pound in golf course by my neighborhood that has a legend. It was called the legend of big bertha, it’s just a big bass that cruises around in the water, and I’ve heard stories about people pulling out 10 and 12 pound bass,” Sullivan said. “It was me and my three friends and I ran out of worms so I was like ok I got nothing left so I pull out this 12 inch trigger worm and cast it out. Then this behemoth hooks up to it and after a long fight I finally able to bring it to the bank”.

For Sullivan spending time outdoors is just another way of relaxing and preparing his body for the upcoming baseball season. While other Miami college kids head down to south beach and clubs like Mansion or Space, Sullivan is happy with a rod in his hands and friends by his side.

About the Author

Francisco Rivero
: FIU Student Media Sports Director, Co-Host of Panther Sports Talk Live, Sports and Opinion writer, Communications major.

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