Reel Adventures - Real Fun
It's 3:30 AM - A REEL Adventure In Getting Up
During the past year my fiancé James has happily dragged me and his 11 year old son Arthur out of our beds at 3:30 am on numerous Saturday mornings on his fishing adventures. Ever since we got a new portable fishing boat – the boat in the living room – he’s determined to get our fishing boat ready, put it on top of our little car, (yes, on TOP of the car!), get the fishing equipment ready and get to the lake. He was crazy like this before we got the boat. And now, he’s simply…. Impossible. reel
Our Portable Boat
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What a ritual! It’s down to a science – first he gets up like he’s been awake the whole night, just waiting for this moment, and is dressed in minutes. Next, he figures out how to get our 14-foot boat to the car around the combination of the living room door corner and a 6-foot hallway to get out the front door in one move. Then down the porch stairs and onto the small Toyota Yaris he’s got temporarily (illegally) perched on the sidewalk at the base of our porch!
Then he wakes us up as he goes for the equipment; 4 boat seats, 4 oars, 2 anchors, 3 life jackets, 2 trolling motors, 1 cooler, 1 net, 1 fish finder, 1 first aid kit, 2 tackle boxes, 9-12 fishing rods and , 2 batteries and more (he’s got a check list)! That’s a lot of stuff stuffed into our small car! He’s ready to go so we better be ready too. There’s no time for laggards. The coffee and drinks come just before he’s kicking our half-asleep bodies out the door. reels
On The Road
So we’re riding in our car on our way to our fishing spot, it’s still dark outside, there’s no one else on the roads except 1 or 2 cars, (why can’t the roads be like this all the time). James is forever chasing the night before dawn touches it. He’ll say “Do you see dawn in the horizon over there”, pointing in one direction or another. “Let’s hurry so we can beat it”, or “Can you see the quantum change in light – it’s gonna be dawn soon – we’re late”. “Quantum what”? And as we pass other ponds and lakes along the way James will yell out “do you see the mist on the water. That means we’re still on time”? The only mist I see is the misty realm of being half asleep. That’s where Arthur and I are.
Nice One, Huh!
At Our Fishing Spot
We take our fishing boat off the roof and set it up. It’s 14 feet long and weighs 150 lbs! I don’t know how he does it. Then we have to load up our boat with everything we’d packed in the car: fishing rods and reels, net, bait, tackle boxes, fish finder, etc., (you get the short story here). This takes 35 minutes, all this before sunrise, with him rushing us all the way. And No, I’m not bitchy!
The Ghostly Mist
And we had better be on water before sunrise while the mist is still on the water!! (James likes to see the mist on the water before the morning sun evaporates it.) He says it’s imperative that we get to the fish at their breakfast time, not when it’s convenient for us. To him the mist is some kind of fish breakfast signal. But to me the mist kind of gives the lake a ghost like feeling.
Ain't That A Catch?
On The Water
At last we're in our boat and on the water just before the sun starts to rise; I have my coffee so I’m finally waking up, and good to go. It’s so beautiful on the early morning water, the sky and trees reflecting off the glassy surface as the scattering mist yields to the rising sun and we enjoy soft waves and cool breeze.
We start to see signs of fish, a ripple here, a ripple there, and then all of a sudden a fish will jump out of the water and make a splash.
That’s my magic moment, when the sun hits the water, the mist evaporates and the fish start jumping, and I think to myself “Gee, this is really peaceful” then James breaks my reverie by yelling “Grab your rods and let’s get to fishing”.
Just For Starters
We catch all types of fresh water fish: yellow and white perch, trout, crappie, sunfish, pickerel, blue gill, the occasional turtle, but mostly we love to catch bass, that’s our favorite. It’s hard to describe the feeling of actually “fighting the fish”, but it’s so different it’s not a feeling you’re likely to forget. When you actually land a fish, or for us “BRING IT INTO THE BOAT”, (the fish doesn’t count if you can’t touch it), you feel like you’ve accomplished a major feat. It’s very satisfying, especially when everyone else is catching and you’re not.
Oh Yes! Sometimes we keep our best catch in the cooler (livewell), so we can see how many we caught as we try to keep count. And we use at least 2 aerators to keep them alive because, by the way, we’re STRICTLY CATCH AND RELEASE!! We like the idea of there actually being fish to catch – or of catching the same fish again and again. And CAN WE FISH! There might be a problem if we kept what we caught. We’ve got hundreds of pictures!
Like all fishermen, some days we catch next to nothing, and other days we catch well over 30 plus and boy are we exhausted but we always have a wonderful time. We clearly have far more good days than bad. There’s nothing like it: you’re on the water, catching fish, surrounded by swans, ducks and sometimes, singing birds. The sun’s shining, there’s an island over there and here, you’re with the one’s you love. You actually feel like you’re one with nature. And speaking of nature, it’s so easy for you guys, but for us girls we have to get creative and those islands certainly do come in handy. Oops, wrong Nature’s calling, again!
After a Great Day of Fishing
It’s time to dismantle our fishing boat. When people see our boat they can’t believe the ingenious contraption folds flat and sits on top of our car. At 14 feet it’s longer than our car, and though it can hold up to 4 people, with all our gear 3 are perfect. We take the boat apart, load up the car, take pictures of the fish from the cooler (livewell), and gently place them back in the water and thank them. Most of ‘em seem grumpy or moody from being held captive, and it’s amazing… you can actually tell. The bigger ones just swim away slowly and majestically.
On the ride home we talk about the reel great day we had and when we’re going fishing again. James is ready to go tomorrow or as soon as the batteries recharge. We laugh and smile all the way home. Happy fishing!
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