A Fishing Trip on my Sixty-sixth Birthday
I suppose fishing is one of the greatest things in my life, and a sport, which I found at an early age. I have been a fisherman for more than sixty years and never had a trip I didn't love. Sure, there were trips in which I spent several hours with no fish to show for my efforts, but I would take nothing for the time in which I spent out doors, breathing fresh air and seeing beauty in natural things that God gave to us all.
Large Mouth Bass, or Black Bass fishing has been one of the loves of my life. My first big bass broke my rod and from that point at the tender age of twelve, I was hooked for life in pursuit of the biggest fish. My largest was a little more than nine pounds, and I have caught many five pounds and greater, in my out door trips.I always used plastic baits and spinning lures for the most part and that is what I was using on June 24, 1012, which was my sixty-sixth birthday.
The day was hot and little shade was to be found. There was a pavilion, a few yards distant, but I spent most of the day out side and in the sunshine. I'm glad I chose to fish in the spot where I cast my spinning lure. I was using what some called a lead-head jig. It had a tiny silver blade attached to the hook and I added the white jig plastics that made up the enticing morsels for the big fish that I was after. There just happened to be a huge school of Hybrid Bass chasing minnows about twenty yards from where I was standing. I fished off the dock and found that it produced more fish than boat fishing had done in the past. I made sure that I had several jig rigs in my tackle box and kept my camo-stool close by, if I needed to sit down for a little while. The jug of cool water that I kept in the recesses of my seat, were a welcome refreshment out there in that heat on my special day. I lost no time in casting my spinning lure toward the schooling minnows and thrashing big fish. I could see that there were several large Bass in the school and I was soon tied into a nice one. I played the big bass gingerly, and flipped its big silver sided body over the railing of the walkway. I put it into my wire fish basket and tied it firmly on the railing. It would be one fish of more than fifty, that I hooked into that fine day. My companion had immediately sought shelter under the roofed building thirty yards distant and soon began to take notice of my activities, as I landed fish after fish. Other fishermen began to inch closer to my position, but I gave it no care. There were plenty of big ones to go around for every father, son and daughter out there on that dock. Little kids were yelling to their mothers and dads to look at the man who was catching all the big fish. Of course, this gave my ego a needed boost and I was happy to share with two fellow fishermen, a lure or jig head and we were all very busy landing fish on that glorious afternoon.
I was thinking about staying out there on the dock a little longer and catching sixty-six, in honor of my birthday, but decided the reddening skin on my arms and nose might need special consideration. I was quite content to land fifty and release about twenty as I brought in my big haul. In my home state, there was no limit on the size or number to catch and I was making the most of the opportunity. The fish would be greatly appreciated in a fine meal that we were preparing and all would be most assuredly satisfied. I decided to relinquish my coveted spot and allow some adults and kids to take it over. I smiled when I saw a couple of them catch perhaps one of their first fish. It reminded me of my first fish while I used a cane pole out on the old creek. The cool shade of the pavilion was a welcome relief and I sipped cool water and later gator aid that a friend had offered. THe wild ducks and geese were circling the lake and calling their mates and the blue sky and white of the clouds took on a new and poignant meaning to me that day .
I wondered how many more trips I might get to make to a fish pond, some where in the future. I suppose it really did not matter, I was enjoying this trip right then and absorbed it with every pore of my soul. Number sixty-six was a definite winner on that very fine day, and would always be a fond memory held close to me in my heart. When you get older, you have a little artistic privilege and right to express in words that mean a lot, and on a personal note.I hope fathers take their kids out fishing. It can mean a whole lot to them, especially later on in each little life. I loved my dad and that is one of the finest gifts he could have shared with me, there on the creek, when I was six years old and eager to fish.