I’ve never gone fishing often, though the times I’ve been are memorable. I reckon if I had enjoyed it more I would have gone more. I think it’s a patience thing. Bait, wait, drowned worm. Maybe it’s a technique thing. Bait, wait, wiggle worm, get a nibble, wiggle more. Swat mosquitoes, scratch the itch, wiggle worm. No response, wiggle more, worms gone. I’ve gone through a whole cup of wigglers before lunch. They all died trying.
I remember a few trips with Dad. He enjoyed fishing. Mom said he never went as often as he wanted to. It may have been a patience thing with him as well. I’ve tried fishing with my seven year old. The worms got off lucky. My favorite trip with Dad was at Aunt Cosby’s pond. A cell phone tower is on that site today. He hooked a big mouth bass. It swam under some brush and got all tangled up. Dad knew he had hooked a nice one and he wasn’t going to be denied. From across the pond I saw him strip off and wade into the water. Dad would always find a good fishing spot across the pond. Go figure. Anyway I thought it was time for a swim. He had a bead on his bass but the splash must have distracted him. It was a split second decision. I heard him scream something and then go under. Musta been about an eight pounder. Nice one. I never went swimming on another fishing trip. He didn’t have it mounted. He wasn’t much on trophies. Ya kill it, ya eat it. I do vaguely recall that fresh fried bass should never be eaten.
Then there was the time we went with one of Dad’s work friends. Red had a small three man fishing boat. I was so excited, didn’t sleep a bit the night before. At 4:30 AM I jumped out of bed, choked down a bowl of cherrios, yes there were cherrios in those days, and off to the lake we went. About all I recall is being very tired and suffering with severe stomach discomfort. Of course I was with Dad and Red on the lake and Red had a box full of really neat fishing stuff. Just look, don’t touch. It was years later when folks started talking about lactose intolerance. All Red knew was I’d just barfed in his tackle box. Bet it was weeks before he got all the Cherrios out. The smell of fishing was just never the same. As far as I know Red and Dad never fished together again. Maybe I just didn’t get invited. Anyway It was back to the banks, red wigglers and cane poles for me. Poor worms.
The next time Dad fished on the same side of the lake with me was years later. It was the fourth of July. Disney mom, new baby girl and I were home for a visit. We had a great time at Uncle Grady’s lake. Cook out, fishing, family reunion. It was great. I had sworn off worm killing but Dad did stay on my side of the lake. All he caught was a three inch brim. I caught a memory of his smile as big as an eight pound bass. July 1979, Disney mom and I were living in Casper Wyoming. I got in a few good trout fishing days. The taste of fresh grilled rainbow trout far exceeds fresh fried bass. We didn’t get home much so I never saw Dad again after that fourth of July. In March 1982 Dad met up with some other fishermen. He’s still on the lake. The fishing must be great and, I hear the worms never die.