I Don't Do Worms!

Me teaching my 8-year-old son, Kenny, to fish at a nearby lake.
Me teaching my 8-year-old son, Kenny, to fish at a nearby lake. | Source

Worms--Ughh!

I never have been fond of worms. They say that childhood phobias sometimes carry over into adulthood. Thus, was my case. When I was a child, I knocked over a bucket of bloodworms that spewed down a hill side. My father, trying to teach me to be "tough," made me pick up each and every worm and put them back in the bucket. By the time I was done, I had more tears in the bucket than worms!

So, you can see my dilemma when my son, who was eight at the time, asked me to take him fishing. We had got our hopes up after visiting a nearby lake, which was loaded with big carp, bluegills, sunnies and some pretty good-sized striped bass that lurked at the water's edge.

That same evening, I rushed out and got my fishing license at Wal-Mart--even threw in a trout stamp to be more impressive. I figured, what the hey, never fished for trout before, but I can wear a pair of "waders" as well as anyone.

As a single parent, I had to wear many hats, including fisherman. There's just one problem--I don't do worms. Don't even remotely like the idea of "worm breath" in my refrigerator. That plastic bloodworm container sitting on the shelf makes me feel like all the food in the frig has been contaminated.

It's the little holes punched out in the side; They look like an escape route. I know it's a psychological thing. The solution: Insert two coins into a soda machine and out pops a container of nightcrawlers. Now what's that all about?

I didn't want to come across as the stereotypical "squeamis mom." After all, I will pick up slithery snakes, ugly opossums, and the like--just not those slimy little invertebrates called "worms." Besides, how do you know which end is up? And if you think I've got problems--worms are "hermaphroditic." That means that each worm is both male and female. There's something definitely wrong with this picture.


My son, Kenny, and I getting some good quality fishing time in together.
My son, Kenny, and I getting some good quality fishing time in together. | Source

Off to the Lake!

OK, so much for worms. After some coaxing, I finally convinced my son that corn, cheese, bread, bacon or whatever else we could find in the frig made excellent bait. He had utmost confidence in my abilities, at least for the moment. Give him another year or two.

The next challenge came when I attempted to put the rods in my compact car, only to find that they were longer than the back seat or in the way of the gear shift. Ended up rolling down the window and just letting them hang out.

At the lake, we discovered the hook had snagged something about five miles back. Never did find the end of the line.

Please understand that my son was determined to catch a fish. He had lugged four tackle boxes filled with lures; two in his backpack, one underneath his armpit, one in his left hand, all the while attempting to juggle the rod with the right.

We set up camp for the day, lawn chairs and all, and had lures and tackle boxes spread from the north end of the bank to the south end of the shore. Before leaving the house, I had envisioned a little R & R, but it seemed that every five minutes I was changing lures, baiting hooks or untangling lines.

In between, I was trying to figure out exactly where to tie off the sinker, or how high I should place the bobber. I must have tried every possible combination. Threw in a couple of Girl Scout knots, and of course, the old slip knot.

The bluegills bit pretty good on the corn, the cheese and the bread got soggy and fell off the hook. Got one bite on the bacon. I don't know what went for it. Maybe a crayfish, for all I know.

Growing up on the Chesapeake, I was experienced at catching saltwater fish. Caught my first bluefish off the back of a sailboat. But these freshwater fish were a different breed. They were sneaky. Showed themselves one day, then disappeared the next. Must have been spoked by the wind as it rippled across the water. I figured they were probably camped out under some nearby log.

After several hours of frustration, we packed it up and headed home. (Found out later that you're not supposed to bait lures).

Hope you weren't watching Izaak Walton.

First published in the Gettysburg Times in 2001.

My son, Kenny, waist deep in the Potomac River, mastering his fishing techniques.
My son, Kenny, waist deep in the Potomac River, mastering his fishing techniques. | Source

More by this Author


Comments 9 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

That's a good story. My brother and I were just slightly older when my Mum was left on her own and used to take us fishing. The difference was, my Dad had taught us well already and she only had to be the safety warden - or whatever you choose to call it - but it still represented a relatively new experience for her. I hope your son soon caught his fish!


Debra Charney profile image

Debra Charney 5 years ago from United States Author

It's a great bonding experience. My son and I enjoy many things together. He has grown up to be quite a good fisherman! Glad you enjoyed the story, and that it brought back some good memories for you as well.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

My father-in-law is an avid fisherman, I am not. He has drawn in my son and I'm good with that. It is terrific that you do what you have done for your son.


Debra Charney profile image

Debra Charney 5 years ago from United States Author

Phil Plasma:

Glad your son took up fishing. It was good that he had someone to teach him as well. Thanks, for stopping by.


MacPurrs 5 years ago

I love to fish, I dont like the worms either, I'd rather fish off a boat. Live near the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, so get lots of chances to fish. Great stories!!


Debra Charney profile image

Debra Charney 5 years ago from United States Author

MacPurrs:

Glad to hear somebody else doesn't do worms! I, too, grew up on the Chesapeake Bay. Caught my first blue fish off the back off a sailboat! Love to fish, crab, etc. Just can't do worms! lol. Welcome to HubPages!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Very good story, I really enjoyed it! I love to fish, and I will do worms. Used to go fishing with my dad all the time when I was very young. (He wanted a boy.) LOL Fishing is a great sport for kids. I'm glad you had such a great time! Voted up, awesome and following back! :)


Debra Charney profile image

Debra Charney 4 years ago from United States Author

sgbrown:

I love to fish. Grew up near Annapolis, Md. I'll put anything on a hook--except worms! lol. My father was an avid outdoorsman as well. Did a little hunting as a child,too. That was before I decided to save the world! Then, I started taking in all the orphaned baby birds, opossums and squirrels. Dad lost his hunting partner. Thanks, for voting up and awesome. You have some very nice topics that you write about as well. Can't wait to read some of them!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Why thank you Debra! I used to take in all the stray and injured animals, now my hubby has to "keep me in check". I would have a zoo here! Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate that very much! :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working