Zack Miller not only caught his limit of red snapper on Sunday, but also his bride to be.
After a Father’s Day of fishing with family aboard the Finest Kind with Capt. Tommy Browning, Zack, son of Scott and Rebecca Browning Miller, got down on one knee and popped the question to his girlfriend of four years, Sam Schellhorn.
"I was completely surprised," said Sam the morning after the proposal on the Destin docks in front of a board packed full of red snapper. "I had no idea, but it was awesome."
Zack had been planning the proposal for three months.
"Every year we fish with grand pop," Zack said. And with plans to be here for a week on Father's Day, the family fishing trip was the perfect time to pop the question.
Zack had given the ring to his step-mother Rebecca for safe keeping while they were all on the boat fishing. But when they got back to the docks at 7 p.m., she handed the ring to him as they stepped off the boat.
"It was a long day of knowing," Rebecca said. "I thought he was going to throw up from nervousness, not from sea sickness."
After a family photo with the catch of red snapper, Tommy Lee Browning asked Zack and Sam to get back up for a photo of just the two of them with the fish — which was all part of the plan.
Once the two of them were in front of the fish, Zack went down on one knee with a ring box in hand.
He told The Log "I had this long speech planned out," filled with fishing-related metaphors.
But when he got off the boat and saw the crowd gathered on the docks, which were there to see the fish, he got nervous.
"It was freaking me out when I saw all the people," Zack said. "I went blank and when I came to … everybody was cheering," Zack said. " ‘You're the best catch of my life’ … that's all I got out. But it still had a good outcome.”
However, it almost didn't.
Sam, the bride to be, nearly missed the fishing trip.
"I got sick the last time we went," she said. "But everybody said you have to go … everybody knew (about the proposal) but me," Sam said.
They got her a patch for motion sickness and she did just fine on the water.
Zack totally caught her off guard when he went down on one knee in front of the red slimy fish.
"I figured it out when he opened a ring box," she said.
Sam said she started freaking out, which totally threw him off.
"But neither one of us remember anything," Sam said.
Once the shock wore off, "I called everybody I could, although they already knew," Sam said.
The couple, who reside in Atlanta, is thinking about possibly getting married next year … maybe even in Destin.
"I thought it was perfect,” she said of the fishy proposal. “I don't need anything fancy … it was cool."