I’ve been an avid (some would say “fanatical”) fisherman since age 3. Let’s see, minus the two years I spent in the Army, that’s over a half century. That’s plenty long enough to have gone through many of the tough times that can befall some of us “hard core” fishermen. Things like hooks in the fingers, hooks in the feet, hooks in the back of the head, sinking boats, getting caught out in the storms, hits in the head with lead weights, falling out of boats, broken rods, burned-up drags and I could go on and on. Having grown up right on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida, I’ve got so many fishing stories, and some so wild that most people don’t even believe me when I tell them. But that’s okay.
Now let’s fast forward to the present. There usually comes a time in life when things take a drastic turn sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. I’ve had my share of both. One of the worst of times was when I was diagnosed with cancer a little over two years ago and was written off by pretty much everyone except my immediate family and one fantastic Doctor, (Dr. Rivera) over at the Orlando Cancer Center who said he believed he could fix me up. Thanks Doc!
But on the other end of the spectrum, one of the best times was when a little boy who I call “Louie”, came into our lives. My goodness, things have definitely not been the same since. A little over ten years ago God blessed us with this little boy and it didn’t take long for me to realize that he was a lot like me when it came to fishing. I guess when he was a little over two, and kept getting my fishing rods out of the garage and fishing in the pool is what really gave it away. I’ve made it my mission, to teach Louie everything that I possibly can about fishing. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but I, just like many of you do have a lot to offer, and he has come a long, long way in just a few years. Louie has no Dad, so I have stepped in and tried to fill that gigantic void in his life. And at this stage of my life, nothing is more satisfying than watching him grow as an angler and as a person. Learning how to deal with whatever nature has to throw at him, and having that spirit of a fisherman, I believe is helping prepare him for what lies in store later on in life, just like it did for me.
Having said all of this, all of the teaching and sharing my experience paid off for me in a big way this past weekend. Louie’s cousin and buddy Wyatt came down from Clermont Fl., for a visit. He’s eight years old, and has a keen interest in fishing, but doesn’t get to go much at all. I saw how excited he got while looking at Louie’s fishing photos. We keep them in a big album there on the coffee table in the living room. I asked him if he’d ever been bass fishing. He said “yeah, a couple of times with bread, but I’ve never caught one”. Louie and I looked at each other and I said, “let’s take him to Mockingbird Lake right now”! And of course I got no argument from Louie. So we loaded up in the truck and off we went. And folks, this is where it got good.
What a great feeling it was, to just hang back and watch Louie take Wyatt under his wing and tell him just what to do from the lure choice, to the cast and even the retrieve. It actually brought tears to my eyes when I heard him yell “you got one, set the hook, keep your rod tip up & keep that line tight”, for it was just a few years ago that I was yelling this same stuff at him. And thanks at least partly to Louie’s instructions, Wyatt caught the biggest bass of his life, and there’s no doubt in my mind, that he is now hooked, and hereafter will never be the same. And neither will Mr. Louie. Thanks Louie and way to go Wyatt! I know that most of you have heard it said “take a kid fishing” many times, so I won’t say it here. But how can you read this and not come to that conclusion. After all, isn’t this what it’s all about? Thanks for reading.
Awesome. Pure and absolute awesomeness. Look at that beast he caught!!!! Keep up the good work, and Louie too!
Thanks j1231f, I absolutely live for this stuff.