Once, I Caught a Fish THIS BIG

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The other day, I saw these cute Barbie fishing poles and couldn't resist buying them. I stashed them in the garage, thinking that we could use them later this spring or summer. Of course, eagle-eyed Louie spied them as soon as we pulled in from school, and insisted we HAD to go fishing TODAY.

I am clearly NOT a fisherman, though I always wanted to learn. My Grandpa McBride used to go weekly but, even when I was in high school and living with him, he refused to take me along. His excuse? "The fish would get distracted by looking at such a cute girl and ignore the bait." Whatever. I guess he wanted to guard his "guy time" with his favorite fishing buddy.

As a result, I didn't have much of a clue what to do. My sole experiences fishing were two different times at stocked trout ponds where you pay by the pound for what you catch and the staff baits your hook and cleans your catch for you.

It turned out that fishing with three little cuties was both easier and harder than I thought it would be. The fishing poles already came with lightweight fishing line round onto the reel. I remembered using a bobber, and we obviously needed hooks, so I just adapted my Young Women Camp knots and tied them on at what appeared to be good lengths. We used thawed corn for bait. Our casts were terrible, but the fish didn't laugh too hard at us--in fact, they even liked the corn. I did have lots of tangled fishing lines to fix with little girls eager for me to hurry up so they could cast out again.

Doodle was the best fisher among us. She was very deliberate with her casts, and patient. She caught seven bluegill and one catfish, and hooked probably about that many more who managed to get away before we reeled them in. In this case, that's a good thing--less fish I had to handle and unhook to toss back.

CeCee was our most glamorous fisher. She took it personal when she was the last to catch a fish--tried to understand what the fish were thinking when they saw the corn floating in the water, and was satisfied with her one catch. After that, she was done with fishing.

Louie was the most animated fisher. She sang to the fish, and called for them to "come and eat some yummy corn." She even did a victory dance as we reeled in each of her 3 catches.

Despite our not-at-all careful fishing, we did manage to hook one of our catfish. Doodle said, "I think this one is a catfish--it's hard to bring in." I ended up pulling in the line by hand (which gave me a pile of tangled line to clean up--did I mention I'm not good at this fishing thing?), only to find the monster thrashing around on the line. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for releasing a catfish. They have sharp spines on their fins and I didn't bring any gloves out to the pond. Also, the line was too thin to handle pulling one of these suckers up. I dragged it to the side of the pond and it was so mad, it pulled itself free of the hook (ouch)! Before I could find something to help push it back into the pond (I really didn't want to touch it), it wiggled and squirmed itself back into the water.


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