Mulling things on my morning ramble
with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.
As the first front came through late yesterday afternoon, the 7-year-old and his two buds wanted to go fishing.
I said to wait and see how hard it rains. Well, it just spritzed.
The second front either came through or will later this morning: a cold, damp fog, making me feel like Sherlock Holmes, rolled and darkened the dawn as the meathead and I set out this morning.
So we loaded the van with fishing rods, my camera bag, my wet bag and boxes of red worms, wax worms, night crawlers and a cricket box with three crickets they caught by throwing various items that hide crickets–drain spouts, brick garden work, rocks–around in my yard.
Actually I kind of like that they are boys enough to do that on their own.
Then as we are driving to the town pond, it starts raining as the storm suddenly blows up as it heads into Indiana.
But we went fishing any way.
And it was good.
On the first cast, the youngest hauled in a decent largemouth bass of maybe 8 or 9 inches. It was the biggest fish he caught in his life. I told them they had to release it because it was too small to keep as a bass.
I have a system I learned works for me when I take kids fishing. Kids are on the fishing rods, youngest to oldest, until they catch a fish or want to do something else.
And I have found that two rods are about the right number, both for me to handle and for a small group of up to four kids. With these three, two could be fishing and the other could be throwing rocks in the water or getting tangled in the briars.
Next they reeled off a good redear and a nice bluegill. So all three boys had caught a fish on their first chance. The evening was already a success. Of course they wanted to keep them and I forgot to bring the minnow bucket.
But I had a couple plastic grocery bags stuffed in my back pocket (thank-you Storm–they are emergency pickup bags for his leavings). They filled a bag with water, put the panfish in and set it in a small depression with a small puddle of water.
About that point, the other second-grader looks up and said, “Look, a rainbow.”
I thought that might be coming with the sun poking out as the rain ended. My God, it was a something of a rainbow. It was so thick and vivid that it looked like the sky was inventing colors.
The other second-grader said it was the first rainbow he had seen. I suppose that is possible, but that kind of made me sad and glad.
We tried their crickets, usually the best bait on the town pond, but couldn’t catch a thing. So we stuck with red worms under a bobber.
The two older boys wandered off to explore the back side of the town pond and see if they could find turtles.
It was time.
The younger guy stayed fishing and caught more small bass. We ended with something like five smaller largemouth and five panfish (though one of the bluegill made an escape from the bag).
Back home I had to clean and fry the four panfish up for them. Simply rolled the cleaned fish in a flour and Season-All Seasoned Salt mixture, then fried them. The boys picked the bones clean and even left our 11-year-old daughter eat the fourth one.
Again, an oddly quiet morning: no doves, no squirrels, no Canada geese and only one great blue heron on the corner of the north clay pit.