More Fishing with the Boy

bassYesterday, my wife was out of town and my mother was over helping out with the kids.  I was working from home which allowed me to simultaneously end the work day and be home all at once.  Funny how that works.  What that left me was enough time to bring Harry out in my new jon boat for a little fishing.  I am still trying to get Harry his first bass.  He’s caught sunfish, scup, black sea bass, and a number of other small fish, but there is nothing quite like pulling out your first large mouth. The forecast called for rain all day, but it was just sprinkling a little now.  I decided we’d throw the jon boat in the truck and make a run for it.  As we pulled up to the boat ramp just minutes from my house, the downpours started.  I pulled the truck down to the water and Harry and I sat and watched the rain come down.  We chatted about fishing, and hockey, and camp, and going back to school.  It was a great, uninterrupted, father-son moment we got to spend together.  Eventually, the rain tapered back to a drizzle and we decided to venture out and take a couple casts from the shore.  We got a couple of bites, but failed to pull anything in.  The rain tapered further and we both decided we’d give the boat a try. We piled into the small boat and loaded up our gear.  I threw a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cup into the back and Harry asked my what it was for.  “Well if we get stuck out there in downpour, we may have to bail a little,” I replied.  Harry’s face went from excitement to fear.  This pond is only about a mile across and probably about 6-8′ deep at its absolute deepest points.  I am pretty sure that Harry had images of a squall rolling in from the tropics and us being capsized by a 40-foot roller.  I assured him that we were in no danger and he seemed OK with that. About 100 feet out into the water, Harry said, “Whoa, we’re really far.”  I laughed as I pulled on the oars.  I had just picked up a pair of aluminum oars from Amazon that week and was very impressed with how sturdy they felt.  They fit a little loose in the new oarlocks, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some leathers or wrapping the locks with some rope.  All in all, it felt wonderful to be actually rowing a boat again.  As I was basking in nostalgia, POP!.  One of the oarlocks popped out of its socket, fell overboard, and sank into the weeded darkness.  Dammit!!  Rookie mistake.  I have spent 100’s of hours rowing all kinds of boats.  How could I have forgotten to put the chain and tang on the bottom of the locks?! Harry saw this change of events and again kicked into imagination overdrive.  He was sure that we were now stranded at sea.  We would have to live off the fish we catch and drop bottles into the water with messages tucked inside hoping his mother would notify the Coast Guard of our mysterious disappearance.  I calmly put one oar in the boat and picked up the other oar to paddle like a canoe.  My father used to say, “Act like you’ve been there before.”   Harry just accepted my new technique and we forged on through the lily pads. We spent about an hour fishing and had a wonderful time.  I caught a little 2lb large mouth that put up a glorious show for us to enjoy, but Harry got stonewalled.  He smiled when we called it a night, but I could see his disappointment.  Teaching a 6-year-old to be patient and to tug very lightly on the line to move the Senko slowly across the bottom is a challenging-at-best task, but he is learning.  He got a handful of bites and I let him reel in a tiny little bass that I caught on the way in.  As I mentioned in my Father’s Day Post, I was always taught that fishing isn’t always about catching fish.  Harry and I both know that, but we also both can’t wait for him to start pulling in the big boys.

Leave a reply