Fishing lessons need to be passed

A s I watched the end of my fishing pole start to dance instead of reacting quickly, I casually picked it up and reeled it in a few yards. I knew even before the pole started to wiggle it wasn’t a fish. It was a youngster’s line.

I like to fish a lot and I’ve been known to get pretty darn serious about fishing, so it might surprise you to know that I spent a recent weekend at the fishing derby at Oasis State Park. I knew there would be lots of hungry stocked trout that day, but probably the hassles of the windy weather and the throngs that would show up would mitigate that factor.

Sure enough, the fishermen had already bought out every scrap of trout bait in town by the time I got around. I bought a can of corn and figured that and the Powerbait left over from last summer would have to do.

When I got to the pond and saw the throngs that completely encircled the 3-acre fishing hole, I nearly turned around. Something told me that it would be worth it just to watch the people.

The first excitement came when a guy from the other side of the pond managed to toss his rig across three guys’ lines on my side. With lots of kids on the lake, most of the swearing was under the breath. The second time the guy did it the threats were to just cut the guy’s line. The third time someone did.

With 20-plus knot wind much of the day it was not a good day for bobber fishing. But where there are kids on the water there will be red and white floats. Bobbers drifting across my line, bobbers drifting under my line, bobbers slapping me in the ear as young casters fling their line in the general direction of water.

Before the day was over I had learned exactly when to duck and I never did get mad at any of the little kids. I was getting a little fed up with some of the bigger kids and the guys on their cell phones talking to people across the lake.

Thanks to the little girl to my left, I also discovered that trout have absolutely no appetite for pepperoni. All these years I’d never tested that theory myself but the 8-year-old gave it a try.

It’s great to have a day when young and old can mix without a television or a meticulously planned vacation being the reason. Dads getting a chance to bond with their kids and kids getting a good example of how to act at the fishing hole from the grumpy looking guy next to them.

Men who took me fishing and taught me patience and even a few tricks have blessed me. I realized while sitting there watching that fishing circus that I probably haven’t paid that blessing forward quite like I should.

So if you’re between the ages of say 8 and 80, have pepperoni to burn and want to learn, let me know when you’re ready to go fishing.