Several weeks ago, Justin asked me if I had gone fishing when I was a little boy. I told him that I had been many times and that I loved it. But……….I may have embellished my experiences a little. For his benefit, I made the stories sound “homespun,” like they came from the pages of “Huckleberry Finn.” To him, it probably sounded like I had wistful afternoons, lazily sitting on a dock in my overalls, with a fishing pole in one hand and a piece of straw hanging out of my mouth.
The reality was far different. I remember standing on the edge of the main lake at Camp Barney Medintz (about 100 yards away from Poo Pond – it is what you think it is) every year and sweating from the Summer humidity in rural Georgia. I spent more time trying not to pass out from dehydration, avoiding getting stung by bees, and/or hooking myself in the ear with my own fishing hook like my Cousin Scott – than fishing! I remember catching nothing – ever, and being pissed about it. Maybe it was a good thing I never caught anything. Once again, Poo Pond was close by. With my luck, the only thing I would have caught was dysentery!
I guess I made it sound good because Justin liked what he heard and asked if I would take him. I agreed to take him when we had a free day. Yesterday was that day.
Justin, Garrett, and GWE jumped into the car and we drove to a small fishing hole 18 minutes away from the house. Buried in the Santa Monica mountains, we located Troutdale. For $7 a person, we were given parking, bamboo poles with a hooks, a bucket, and corn for bait. (Yes, corn. Justin looked at the corn and astutely asked, “Are we fishing for chicken?”)
The four of us located our “spot” and immediately put our lines in the water. It only took about 15 seconds for Garrett to get antsy. We encouraged him to stick with it for a few more minutes. Just as he began to give up, he handed me his pole…which started to tug back! Garrett caught the first fish. Here is the video:
Determined to do better than his brother, Justin found a new spot and patiently waited for the fish to bite. Nothing happened. 5 minutes passed. 10 minutes passed. Finally, he felt a nibble. As he pulled his hook up to check the bait – it was gone. Fish 1, Justin 0.
Justin must have gotten lonely because he came back and sat next to me. Just as he put his head on my shoulder, there was another nibble. He pulled his hook up once again and the bait was gone again. Fish 2, Justin 0.
Having been outwitted by the trout and feeling frustrated that his three year old brother had accomplished what he could not, Justin began to give up. He was about to hand me his pole when all of a sudden he felt a hard tug. At last, Justin would have his revenge!! Here is that video:
Together, Justin and Garrett took their bounty to the main shack so they could watch their fish be measured, weighed, and filleted. With the excitement and glee that only boys exude when watching something “gross,” they were giddy while watching her fish get dismembered. Justin (in what I hope was scientific curiously and not signs of a “future serial killer”) asked to see the heart. His wish was granted.
Last night, we grilled and ate the fish. I think yesterday was a great learning experience and a success for all those involved…except for the fish. Their day sucked.
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