When these same people asked what I did over the weekend, I told them I watched the Bassmaster Classic coverage. In between hearty bursts of laughter their responses ranged from, “What’s the Bassmaster Classic” to “Fishing is televised?” As a matter of fact it is and I sat curled up on the couch with my bon-bons watching as much as possible. Especially since one of our own, Aaron Martens, was once again in contention for taking home the prize.
With the FLW Championship following a few weeks later, I’m all fired up about fishing. At the end of the tournament season, I’m wiped out. It’s a long eight months of travel, pre-fishing, and tournament stress, but I’ve had a rejuvenating summer and have my reels all spooled up.
With the strong media coverage bass fishing has received, I hope others get fired up too. Maybe getting fired up means taking a child to the lake and teaching them to love fishing or taking a parent or grandparent that taught you. Maybe it means taking the plunge and entering your first tournament or learning a new skill that makes you a more versatile tournament angler taking you to the next level.
In my ‘fired up’ frenzy, I decided to take my nieces fishing at Lake Castaic. Courtney, 11, and Taryn, 7, aren’t new to fishing and as I quickly learned, have impressive skills with a spinning reel (Grandpa taught them well).
In preparation for our adventure, I took heed of Tony’s advice in his article “Take a Kid Fishing”: I was prepared for anything and everything, I had my patient-face on, and I was prepared to be as flexible as a contortionist.
After about 30 minutes of casting Courtney caught a little 10-incher. The whole time she reeled it in she was chanting, “I caught a fish, I caught a fish, I caught a fish.” While she chanted, I frantically ran around Taryn, got the camera from my bag, and located the pliers. After an intricate extraction of the hook, I snapped a picture and she released her fish.
For a change, I decided we should move to a nearby dock and fish from there. While I tied a new drop shot rig for Courtney, she accidentally hit the line sending the hook into my finger (not past the barb; just a poke really but it still hurt like a bugger). “Patience, patience, patience,” I said to myself. My pain quickly evaporated though when I hooked a 3-pounder that the girls were eager to touch, hold, and look at.
We fished a while longer until swimming in the lake sounded more appealing than fishing and looking for treasures along the shore. I think they had a pretty good time and I did too. As Tony said “The purpose of the trip is to enjoy each others company and to help build a child’s confidence in themselves.” Mission accomplished.
A few days after the girls were gone, I happened to be cleaning out my truck and discovered an oxblood worm and a shell stuck in the back door handle. It made me smile.