Wednesday, May 19, 2010
This Saturday our neighborhood is once again hosting the "Bobber Bash". Bass Pro will be bringing bait, prizes, and fun to the children of our area. Across the street from our house and just a short walk down the path is a beautiful little lake fully stocked for fishing enthusiasts. Each year it's a delightful sight watching little children line the edges of the lake and hear them squeal as they pull in their first "whopper".
We've taken two granddaughters fishing in that lake and it is a hoot of a good time.
They'd never experienced anything like it. Honeybuns puts the worm on the hook after much concern and wide-eyed wonder from those pre-schoolers. They wouldn't dare touch one even though he tells them that the only way they'll catch a fish is if they kiss the fishing worm before he threads him on that pointed hook. They screw up their faces in protest and laughter. They love to watch him cast their bobber out into the lake and then they promptly reel it back in. The fish they catch have to grab that hooked worm on the move! And they do! The first time we went Gracie caught 16 fish in a couple of hours on her pink Barbie rod. We clapped hysterically, took a picture of her with each fish and then promptly THREW THEM BACK IN THE WATER. What's that all about??
I grew up on a fishing bank before the phrase "catch and release" was coined. Usually after lunch on a spring or summer day Grandpa would yell out, "anybody want to go fishin'?" We were piled in the car in minutes. Granny grabbed her old straw hat, a long sleeved chambray shirt and two or three old cane poles. We drove out into the country where her favorite pond was located and mashed through the tall grass to park ourselves on an old quilt on the bank. And there we would sit for hours, whether we caught anything or not. It was a familiar sight as we would go fishin' every day or so during those warm days. Sometimes when the uncles were around we'd go night fishing, complete with a little fire on the bank next to the quilt. That was real exciting! Most of the time we came home with a bucket of catfish that Granny would skin and fry up for dinner. They were delicious! Only those 2-3 inches long were tossed back to meet that hook another day.
And now when we go to Colorado to visit our son and his family we watch him "fly fish" in the cold rushing waters of the river that runs through their camp site. Teenagers there at Camp Kivu get all decked out in their waders and learn the correct moves. They catch beautiful and sometimes pretty big rainbow trout. When I see them pull those fish into the bank my mouth starts watering. Nope! After sufficient admiration time the fish get tossed back into that frigid river. I'm positive I can see them smile as they rush by me. I guess cold water vs. hot grease would make one smile!! When I first protested the "release" end of that phrase I was told that the purpose of the day was to have fun, not to eat the fish. A foreign concept!
It's a sign of the times, I suppose. But I personally am not going to spend all that time and energy catching a fish I can't eat.