Monday, October 4, 2010

Lunkers and Lawyers

A few years ago there was an ad campaign called "Take Me Fishing."  You can check out the ad here:

I tear up every time I see it. 

Fishing is one of my great loves.  Always has been, though I have really grown to appreciate it as a father of four. 

My Dad took me regularly.  We even did a couple of trips to Canada.  In Canada the routine is eat, fish, eat, fish, eat, play cards, sleep, repeat.  Kids in Canada keep crank bait in their lunch box.  Like the two sports in Texas (football and spring football), Canada has fishing and ice fishing.

Years ago I began to introduce fishing to my kids.  We started with the local park fishing program, then "graduated" to a couple of nearby lakes and lagoons. During weekend getaways I loaded gear in the car, hoping to find a quiet fishing hole.

Fishing with young kids is an adventure.  Most time is spent untangling lines and baiting hooks.  It amazed me how quickly I would look up from the tackle box to find lines wrapped around each other, or around a kid.  Success defined as being an o-fer on emergency room trips.

One time I had to release a small mouth that was in bad shape with the hook in pretty deep.  We continued fishing when a gull swooped down next to the boat and grabbed our forgotten catch.  The look on the kid's faces was priceless. 

My daughter was in the habit of naming the worms as she fished.  Somehow seeing me yank and hook Lizzie McGuire never upset her.

My son was all business, and shrewd at that, asking me to cast the line and hook the fish before he reeled it in. 

One morning back home we were walking along when my son looked over a bridge and asked, "Are there bass in there?"

With age and experience came my son's growing excitement at being able to use "lawyers" instead of worms.  He meant lures, but who am I to correct him? 

Why fish?

I love hot coffee and the stillness of nature's morning.  I love listening to the loons and geese.  I love gettin' back on the water for 20 or 30 minutes at the end of the day.  It's not about the fish.

I enjoy the serenity that comes from time alone.  No phone, blackberry, T.V. or IPod.  Our time, with nothing to do but fish.  And talk.  Take me fishing...anytime.

How do you bond with your kids? 

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