Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tangled Lines 4.02.08 Kids Fishing Trip

Growing up with a grandmother that loved to eat fish was a plus. Growing up with a grandmother that loved to catch fish was even better. I can close my eyes and picture my grandmother, affectionally known as "Granny," sitting in a lawn chair on the banks of the lake, under the shade of a battered straw hat, worn but adequate cane pole in hand , smiling as she pulled in bream, bass and catfish.
Granny was full of angling wisdom and would occasionally cast her pearls among swine and I, being her ever-present fishing buddy, was there to soak up the knowledge. One thing she always said was, “Fish bite better when it’s raining.” I’m not sure if her statement was based upon experience or if it was merely a ploy to keep her fishing buddy optimistic when foul weather loomed. I will say this, we caught some of our best stringers during spring showers .
Granny also said, "Never fish with dead bait." Being a consumate worm dipper, cricket sinker and minnow dunker, she was always sure to offer fresh bait on the hook. My mischievous side greatly relished her wrinkle-nosed response anytime I could convince a fish to partake of the bloated cadaver of a well overused nightcrawler.
Another of Granny’s precious nuggets was, “When the dogwoods bloom it’s time to go crappie fishing.” With this phrase in mind my friend, Greg and I mapped out a little fishing trip with my youngest boy, Zane, and his little buddy, Jacob. I would pick the boys up from school at lunch (yes, it is acceptable to get your son out of school to go fishing with their daddy) and Greg would hook up his boat and meet us at the Walmart parking lot.
We hit the water, ahead of schedule, and were blasting down the lake in Greg’s Ranger. Zane and Jacob lay on their bellies on the front deck and howled with delight as we sped along. (There are few things in this world better than the laughter of little boys.)
In minutes we were at our first spot, a beautiful rocky point off the main channel where someone had begun constructing a new pier. The sun warmed riprap and the protective structure of pier pilings made this an ideal location for prespawn crappies. We had Zebcos rigged with bobbers and mini jigs of varying colors at the ready and before the prop had stopped spinning, Greg had one on the hook. He handed the rod to Jacob who reeled in a nice, little fish, a nice start to the afternoon.
When the bite slowed we headed to another area and fished there a while.
The sun hid behind clouds and the wind picked up making our bobbers dance and jigs dance seductively beneath the waters surface but the fish could not be enticed. Apparently it was nap time for crappies. That meant snack time for crappy fisherman and we were amply stocked with all kinds of goodies (thanks to Zane's sweet mama): Lance peanut butter crackers, fruit rollups, Little Debbie Oatmeal cookies, and some leftover Easter candy to name a few. After snacks we decided to return to our original spot.
We caught a half dozen more, finishing the day exactly where we had started. Although we didn't catch enough to supply a fish fry it was a great day of fishing. I sure wish Granny could have been there!

No comments: