This past weekend, our family headed to the beach, where we found ourselves gathered around the tacklebox on the pier, throwing shrimp covered hooks into the ICW. Our son, Clayton, was the first one to get a fish on within just minutes. We are an unusually 'spicy' family, so immediately after, the smack-talk started. "Winner of today's fishing trip picks where we have lunch. Loser can't complain." The next one with a fish on a hook was Jason, aka Dad. Clayton's fish was bigger, as he reminded us of no less than 13 times.
Is there anything that paints the picture of 'summer outdoors' as much as fishing with Dad?
I recall going on a fishing trip when I was around 3 or 4. (Ok, maybe I don't totally recall all of it, but I recall hearing the story 3x a year for the past 37+ years.) My grandfather, my dad, my brother and I had headed out for a little afternoon pond fishing. I had just seen an intense episode of my then favorite show, Sesame Street where Ernie bests Bert fishing with a very complex method of fishing. Ernie would lean over the side of the boat and sing, "HEEEERREEEE fishy fishy fishy!", and fish would jump into the boat.
On that day fishing with the guys in my life, I followed in my mentor, Ernie's, footsteps. I leaned forward with my tiny pink fishing rod and gave it all my pre-K lungs could manage, "HEEEERRREEEEE fishy fishy fishy!" When we left that day, I was the one carrying 4 small fish in an empty Wonder Bread bag, and my brother had caught zero. For years my dad and my grandfather took great pride in telling the story of the time that Jennifer caught more fish than her brother using a fishing method picked up on Sesame Street.
This past weekend, when I texted my brother a picture of Clayton's fish, his reply was "Did he use your tried and tested Ernie Technique?"
I couldn't help but smile.
Watching Jason with our kids this weekend, laughing and cutting up on the dock, I knew that they were making priceless memories. 'Fishing with dad' is a memory they can catalog and pull up 20 years from now with the same fondness I do. Open the mental Rolodex of memories in your mind. Pull out that fishing memory. You may not remember where you went or all the details, but I bet you will never forget who you were with.
Maybe you or your kids don't have a dad to take them fishing. They don't have to miss out! Fishing with grandpa, uncle, brother, friend, mentor or even ol' mom can be just as special as fishing with dad. Do you know a youngster that is interested in fishing or getting involved in outdoor sports? Check out Cross Trail Outfitters.