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Welcome to Gavin’s Cove

“Need Gavin quote here”

A retaining pond nestled between an assisted living complex and a housing development is not the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about living a water life.

Welcome to “Gavin’s Cove.”  An unlikely paradise created by one ingenious fellow who proves that we all can find a way to get out and get On The Water.

A few years back, Gavin, who is now fourteen, was looking for a way to spend some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of his home, which includes his parents, his three siblings, and some adorable pets.  As you can imagine, with such a big family, at times can be hard to find peace.  Driven by his growing passion for fishing and a need for a little refuge, Gavin began looking on Google Maps to see if there were any ponds near his home.  To his delight, he found a small body of water that was just a short bike ride away.

When Gavin first arrived at the Cove, it took some imagination to see the potential. Remember, this is, in fact, retaining pond surrounded by an assisting living complex and housing development.  This body of water was not created as a fishing spot or swimming hole.  There were few fish, and much of the shoreline was overgrown with weeds and shrubs.

Gavin began by getting permission from the HOA to adopt the pond.  The next step, however, took a bit of elbow grease.  Cleaning the trash and clearing the shoreline was a true labor of love, but once he was done, Gavin realized that he was missing one essential piece.  He needed a boat!  You can’t have a cove without a vessel.

Taking an old rowboat inherited from his grandfather, Gavin lined it with FlexSeal to make it water worthy.

Now, came a paddle, and what better way to paddle than with a baseball bat.  A baseball bat??!!  As we stated earlier, Gavin is an ingenious fellow.  Not to be deterred by limited resources, he took the materials at hand to fashion a perfectly fine paddle out of a baseball bat and a plank of wood.

Now that Gavin had his boat, it was time to fish, but there were not many fish.  Ever determined to create his little piece of paradise, Gavin headed to Jones Fish Hatchery.  Using his birthday money, Gavin stocked the Cove with a variety of largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid bluegill and fathead minnows (to feed the game fish).

With the Cove stocked and his boat watertight, Gavin now spends his summer days preparing his fishing gear, packing a lunch, and hopping on his bike to spend some quality time On The Water.

Today, thanks to Gavin’s efforts, the Cove is flourishing with wildlife, including birds, snakes, fish, and even a friendly mouse that will occasionally hitch a boat ride.  Neighbors stop by, kids join in on the fishing, and even the local police come and converse with Gavin.  His trip to Jones Fish Hatchery with birthday money in hand has become a yearly ritual to keep the pond stocked.  And, in the truest sense of water-to-table, Gavin has honed his cooking skills to treat his family with a meal from his daily catch.

Mahi Mahi

Serves 4 / Prep Time: 5 Min / Cook Time: 20 Min


  • 1 medium lemon
  • 4 (4 to 6-ounce) mahi mahi fillets
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • Slice and juice the lemon. Cut half the lemon into thin slices. Juice the remaining half, you should have about 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice; set both aside.
  • Season the mahi mahi. Pat the mahi mahi dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Pan sear the mahi mahi. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mahi mahi and sear undisturbed until well browned on the bottom, and the sides are cooked just past halfway up the fillets, about 4 minutes. Flip the fillets and continue to sear until just cooked through and the flesh flakes easily, 2 to 4 minutes more depending on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to a serving platter.
  • Add the lemon juice and garlic over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the lemon juice, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the lemon slices and butter. Add the lemon slices, then stir the butter in one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is almost melted before adding the next.
  • Season the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the parsley. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper and needed. Pour over the mahi m ahi and serve immediately.