Many moons ago, before returning to my second year of college, I remember sitting on the front porch with my friend and telling her about a guy I had met the prior year and that, “This year I’m going fishing until I hook him.” Later I found out he had the same intention. We hooked each other our second year, married our third, and the rest is history.
We did not start fishing regularly until our boys were in their late teens, and that was strictly an escape to survive all of the testosterone flying around our home. Once we became Empty Nesters, we lived for fishing at every opportunity and it’s the same since we’ve retired.
I’m sitting on the river bank in the shade of a sycamore tree, taking a break from fishing…or should I? A bass just jumped out of the water right in front of me. It’s amazing how quickly I have learned to identify what kind of fish is hitting my bait before I even pull it out of the water. A Dude (big bass) will generally pull and release-pull and release the bait, and a Snaggle (catfish) will generally pull the bait and keep pulling and pulling. A bass on the move swimming upstream will give one hard chomp and you either hook him or you don’t. Once a Dude or Snaggle is pulled out of a hole, the Blue Gill feel safe to feed and swarm in like roaches coming out of the woodwork. You know it’s a blue gill by the tap, tap, tap and if they don’t get your minnow right away, upon inspection you’ll see it’s been disabled. Blue Gill will suck out their eyeballs and chomp out their gills to disable them for eating. And once they start hitting, it’s time to move on to a new hole because the big guys are gone.
A life time of summers later, instead of fishing for the man, I’m fishing with him, and no matter what we catch, I know I snagged the best fish in the sea . Happy 38th Anniversary to us…spending the day fishing on the river.