Monday, October 3, 2011

Of Worms, and Fish

I have a secret that I don't often share with people. Around these parts, girls are supposed to be girlie, and girlies just don't do this sort of thing. Nowadays I don't care whether someone thinks less of me, but way back I had to keep my mouth shut about this or never, ever, date.

I like to fish.

There. I said it. Now that it is out there, I feel so much better! I really do enjoy casting out a line to see what take a bite. My brother and I went with my dad a few times growing up, and we always went fishing at my grandparents' house. My grandfather had two or three ponds at the back of the farm, and he stocked them with catfish and perch and some other fish that I can't name.

Almost all of the men in the family would gather up their rods and reels and such and head out to the ponds at some point during family gatherings. Occasionally I would get to go. I didn't usually catch anything, but for me it was about hanging out with my uncles. Those guys were the interesting ones in my family.

Of course, eventually, all of my uncles and aunts had kids(I was the oldest grandchild), and they came along with their parents to family events. There were five young cousins around the same age. They were shy at first, but once I chased them around the farm a few times(playing tag), they warmed right up. One day they decided that they wanted to go fishing. None of the adults wanted to go, so they came to me. It was hot outside, but I put on shorts and pulled my hair back into a pony tail, and off we went. We even took Beau, my grandfather's dog.

I lead the group through the wheat field, and they chose the second pond to try their luck. I put my bait on and threw out the line. I turned around when someone tugged on the back of my shirt; five little faces peered up at me. They all had worms in their hands.

"We don't know how to put the worm on," one of my cousins said.

This left me in a quandry: how do I teach these kids how to put the worm on the hook without jabbing themselves in the finger? I was barely able to do it myself without mishap! I had visions of the hullabaloo that would occur if any one of these kids were injured; most of them involved my mother giving me The Look. Then inspiration struck. I grabbed the nearest worm and hook; in short order all the hooks were baited and the kids were casting their lines.

Except that Beau, who probably was the stupidest dog EVER, thought that we were playing Fetch. He raced after a line as a boy cast it, and leapt into the pond, swimming right out to the bobber. Then he tried to grab the bobber, as if it were a ball. We all yelled at him, but this confused him more. I am sure that the fish were freaking out as well. Beau finally got tired of swimming and climbed out of the pond.

After that, we all settled down to fish. Or at least, I did. Little boys have short attention spans; they ended up talking and chasing each other around while I kept track of their lines. Needless to say, they did not catch anything. I, however, was able to wrangle the fish of the day: a perch about <-------> that big. I was very discouraged. The hook took up the entire body of that poor thing. My uncles showed up about that time, looking for their children.

I was ready to go back to the house too!

This is another prompt from MamaKat's. It brought back some nice memories.


  1. This summer my son was very keen on fishing with a landing net. He finally caught 3 tiny fishes which he put in a pail full of water and admired for a while. Then he let them go. Never asked for the landing net again.

  2. I fish too. Why should the boys have all the fun??!!

  3. And that is why we still have the lake house in Minnesota. I love fishing. Mainly the sitting and doing nothing for long stretches but it still counts, right?


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