Friday, May 30, 2014

The Lunker Hunters

If there are two things I want to teach my kids, it's to have a love for the outdoors, and to not be afraid to touch a fish. I've got some work to do on both regards...

The Girl, who is now 5, caught her first fish almost three years ago, while we were on a camping trip across the border in the crazy land known as Wisconsin. We had been fishing from one of the many man-made fishing piers on this certain lake for about 20 minutes when the Girl's bobber suddenly disappeared. She cranked on her little princess reel as hard as her 2-year-old muscles would allow, and reeled in about a 4-inch-long bluegill that tried to eat her worm. Thankfully the Wife was nearby, so she came over and took a couple of obligatory "first fish" photos, which I showed to anyone who would stand still long enough for me to hogtie them. It's possible I was a little too proud of her accomplishment... When the fish squirmed, the Girl backed away and hid behind me. The fish was released unharmed, and untouched by anyone but me.

Despite a couple of valiant efforts, none of the kids have caught any fish since that day. Until this past weekend, that is. We took all three kids to the lake that Grandma R & Grandpa D live on. I snuck over there the night before to "scout" it out on my own, and had a blast catching bluegills and the occasional bass on my fly rod.

None of the kids know how to use a fly rod yet, so when we went over the next day we brought a cup full of worms from our front yard and their diminutive spinning rods. I wormed up the first rod and cast it out, thinking I would have plenty of time to get the next rod ready, but the bobber instantly went under, and I reeled in a nice sunfish. Learning from this mistake, I got both rods ready and called the kids over to be nearby when the action started. I'm glad I did, because bobbers were bobbing, worms were getting eaten, and fish were getting caught pretty much nonstop for the next hour. The Little One's first fish was a nice sized sunfish, and the Boy's first fish was a robust largemouth bass. It was as much fun as you could hope to have while fishing with worms, except for the part where neither the Wife nor I brought our camera. Thankfully the Wife's sister had her phone with her, so she took a few videos of all the action. 

Since we forgot to bring our cameras with, these are an artist's rendition of what the actual events looked like, except that the Boy didn't actually touch his fish. Other than that I think the artist was able to accurately depict the jubilation that occurred, but the fish seem a little small to me...

When I pulled the Boy's bass out of the water, he ran off to hide, much like his older sister had three years earlier. The Little One is the only one that stayed put for her first fish, and she even reluctantly reached out to touch it with one finger. That sure made her Daddy proud! Maybe some day she'll even bait her own hook...


  1. Great blog, Scott.
    Your hero, Ron.

    1. Thank you, Ron. I don't usually fix my readers' typos, but I think your second sentence should read "You're my hero." I blame my HS Grammar teacher, Merle Halmrast, for making me such a stickler.
      Your hero, Scott.