Fishing With D.

I took my nephew D. fishing last Thursday, and all I have to say is this: The pupil has definitely surpassed the master.

The truth is, I was never much of a master fisherman, but here's how our days at the lake would usually go: D. would fish for bluegill and sunfish off the dock for most of the afternoon while I sat in the shade and read. Occasionally, he'd call me down to the water to help him get a fish off his hook or just keep him company, and I'd happily oblige.

And then, around seven p.m., we'd take my parents' fancy paddle boat--they have the type with pontoons--down to the dam and fish for bass and Northern pike. This is where UnkaChad would land a keeper or two, show the boy how it's done.

So, Thursday began like most of our days at the lake, only D., in addition to catching a number of baby bluegill and sunfish during the afternoon, snagged a keeper-sized crappy. We put it on a stringer, and he was elated.

Then, a little before seven we paddled down to the dam, where we saw a peacock. (The peacock isn't really a part of the story, but it did fascinate the two of us. We saw it from a few hundred yards away and kept paddling toward it, hoping to get a closer look, and eventually we did. A peacock, strutting along the dam road. I thought it was an anomoly but found out later the guy has been hanging out at the lake for quite a while).

So, the peacock eventually walked out of sight, and we set to fishing. I was using a Rapala, my lure of choice, and D. was fishing with a worm and bobber. Eventually, he asked me to paddle near a weeping willow at the corner of the lake and he switched lures--to one of those pumpkin-scented fake worms. He cast all of two times, I think, before he snagged a two-pound bass. Unlike UnkaChad, who has a tendency to get excited and lose fish before he actually gets them in the boat, D. was patient, got the fish up near the boat, and asked me to grab the net. (Or, you know, shouted, while stomping his foot, "Get the net. The net! Get it!").

At that point, since the paddle boat doesn't have a live well, I became the guy holding the net with D.'s two-pound bass in it, so that I could keep the fish alive until we got back to shore. A little while later, D. switched his lure back to a worm and bobber, and UnkaChad started paddling us back to the cabin. About a third of the way there, I paused so D. could cast a few times, and he very quickly had something big on his hook. The fish was fighting, and we thought maybe it was going to be the biggest bluegill in the history of the world. Once he got it back to the boat, though, we realized it was a four-pound catfish--D.'s favorite fish to catch.

So, that got added to the net UnkaChad was dragging in the water, and a little while later we parked the boat and took off for home.

Final Score:

D: Three keepers.

UnkaChad: Zero.

At least he still needed me to drive him home.


fringes said...

He will always need you.

Great story.

heather said...

beautiful :-)