Fishing's big fun factor
By By Otha Barham / outdoors editor
May 23, 2003
If your only child likes to go fishing and you like to go fishing, then the two of you should go fishing; a lot. This is a truism that should be a principle of human behavior embraced by families of the world and practiced faithfully. Fishing together is among the leading activities least likely to result in disharmony or other trouble, and among the most likely to generate bonding and just plain fun. And it is at the top of the list in the potential for providing a delicious main dish for the table.
So why don't we go fishing more often with our offspring or parents? The reasons are legion, but we should not let any of them count for much. My son John lives 182 miles from me and we have used that distance as an excuse; until last week.
So what if I drove that distance plus twenty more miles to the lake and then had to pull over and take a nap on the four hour trip back home and we barely dodged a tornado and got rained on and only caught one fish. It was worth it.
The pleasant surprise for both John and me was that I have finally mellowed enough not to require medical tranquilization in order to go fishing.
The excitement I experience as the anticipation builds in the early stages of a fishing journey has always led to hyperactivity that produces, among other things, misplaced tackle boxes, lost boat plugs, and minor personal injuries.
This time I was determined not to rush onto the water like a defensive tackle out of Mike Ditka's locker room. And I vowed not to urge John to speed up the trolling motor to the next weed bed. And I didn't!
I mimicked John's customary demeanor and relaxed. I found out that slow paced fishing is fun too. And I wasn't so drained when the trip was over.
Percy Quin was our destination lake and what a beautiful one it is. I had heard much about its good fishing. My anxiety was moderated by the fact that they didn't bite that day. This could have been due in part to our sleeping in and arriving at the lake around brunch time. And John had only fished the lake once and had not talked to any locals about where the bass hung out.
And if another excuse is needed, the tornado siren in McComb sounded off, causing us to look skyward and spot some clouds that were curling up like one of those big waves in the surf on the back side of Oahu. The rains followed and prematurely ended our fishing.
The storm came just as I had landed a respectable bass at the dam, a catch that foretold of many more holding there in the rocks.
The fish had inhaled a blue lizard with a broad white tail that provides drag on the lure which gives it great action. John had lent it to me with the admonition, "Don't lose this lizard, I can't find any more of them." Well, the run for cover in the rain caused him to forget the lure and I made off with it. On my very next cast, just three days later on a trip with my brother, a bass liked it so well he bit the whole thing off my line, leaving my Gamakatsu dangling as bare as a baby's foot.
The day on the water with my brother saw the two of us land just under 40 bass. It was a bunch of fun, but the number of fish made little difference. The trip with my son was also a bunch of fun.
It's really hard to find fault with a fishing trip when someone you love is along. Really hard.