The Mystery of Fishing
Children Should Explore Fishing!
I can remember as a child, when I was only four years old that my dad took me out on the flats of St. Marks, Florida. We were in a wooden boat, and headed to the oyster beds. He put a fishing pole in my hand at four years old, and while he was getting oysters off the bars there, then I was catching some terrible thing like a stingray. Of course, you knew the line had to be cut, but it did not make any difference, because I had done the unthinkable thing. Who wanted a stingray in their boat. Back in those days, I remember my dad cracking open an oyster and serving it up on a cracker with some Tabasco sauce. I never knew that raw oysters might not be healthy for you. Being a fisherman meant being tough and doing things that were adventurous. For a young child, you grow to look for the mystery in fishing.
My life at five was one of following my dad everywhere in the outdoors like up the side of a hill near the river. I would hold on by a thread almost to the long grass and weeds. My dad was not even aware that I followed him in his footsteps. He would go anywhere to fish on the rivers or oceans. It was his past time in life. Little did he know how important all this was to me. I had a dad, and I was really proud to be his little girl. Following in his footsteps was important to me as I went forth in life.
As I grew up, then I realized in the ocean you never knew what was out there under that water waiting to bite your hook. I fished for many things, but some took my bait and chewed my line off like it was a sharp knife blade. I could just imagine what mysterious creature took that bait and left me with nothing. Was it a shark, a whale, possibly a barracuda fish? Many times I had been thirteen miles offshore and watched barracuda surround my boat. They all were a good 8 feet or larger. Then, looking down under the crystal water and seeing huge monstrous looking fish, and not knowing what they were. Just think what if one of them had bitten my bait. Could I have landed them or would they have turned my boat over? Makes a fisherman wonder!
The day finally came, when this little girl grew up and became a mother. What was important was to teach my children the fun of fishing, and what mystery lies beneath the waters. When life got tough for them sometimes, then fishing became an escape into a world where troubles are left behind and monsters and the unknown can creep up before you know it. Fishing is a mystery of life, but it is there for their enjoyment. It does not matter what you fish with, or what bait you use. The most important thing is to get out and enjoy the mystery. However, I must reflect on the time I thought butterflies were good to catch the big goldfish in my grandmother's goldfish bathtubs embedded in the ground outside. Little did I know that a chicken would become the fish, and by the time my grandfather told me that grandma was not going to be a happy camper about that event, because she would have to get that hook out of the chicken's mouth. My question in my mind that put fear inside of me was that the chicken might not survive the ordeal. This was the time as a child that I hide behind the fruit tree until she took the hook out of the chicken's mouth, or should I say made it all right. My walking off from my fishing pole with a butterfly flying around on the line never crossed my mind that a chicken was going to eat the butterfly. The butterfly would never go into the water like it was supposed to, and as a person fishing, then I would not attempt that one again. Later in time, my grandmother took me to her crawdad hole, and let me catch crawdads to fish within her big lake on the back of her farm.
I was always thinking of fishing even as a child, and teaching my children about fishing was a good past time. It was not so much about eating the fish, but it was more about having fun catching the unknown, and fish tales can grow and grow over time. That twelve-inch bass could become a fifty-pound fish before the tale was over. Then there was all the fish that got away that was so monstrous that I could not pull them in. Honestly, I remember having to drag the line to actually catch some twenty-pound catfish. Then there was the event of my lifetime, when my dad let me know we had broken down off an island near Homestead, Florida that was called Jewfish Creek. He told me after we were rescued that an approximately 14-foot shark was lying under our speedboat at the time we broke down. He never told me until we were safe. I might think twice about fishing in the ocean as compared to fishing in a fresh-water lake. Then there is another issue in those lakes to contend with called Moccasin Snakes. If they see you on the other side of the lake, then they might just come after you. There is the danger, but safety is always honored on a fishing trip. I must thank my grandmother Ruth for teaching me about snakes and where they are in the winter times imbedded near the trunks of trees near her fishing lake. She also had a few lunkers in that lake to catch, if you can catch them with a little luck. Then you live to spread the word of your great fishing trophy, or the fish that got away after breaking your line.
A fishing tale, a lunker bass, a monster fish, a mystery to be explored is the reasons why fishing can make your life have a positive outcome. We live to relax, explore and enjoy our lives. Work can bring us great stress, but fishing can bring us to that relaxing point in our life. We all need to feel that getting together with our families, and friends. It makes living our lives more meaningful.
We often get a big surprise, when on the other end of our fishing line
we find a crab that tries to run away with our bait. What wonder lies
beneath our oceans?