Damn Proud

I fell in love with bass fishing as a child.  I remember my dad taking me to the cranberry marshes where we lived in Tomah, Wisconsin where we regularly caught monster bass. We moved to Richland Center, Wisconsin when I was in fourth grade.  Shortly thereafter he upgraded to a nicer boat and made it a yearly tradition to take my friends and I fishing at the end of the summer before school resumed.  These memories started my love for bass fishing.  As a father, this holds strong in my mind.

My daughter is nearly six years old and loves fishing (though she bores easily as I did at that age).  She loves going out on the jon boat at our local lake.  She is great at fishing, though she isn't quite ready to handle the fish.  She still has a love for the sport kindling.

Today we were shopping at Scheels Sporting Goods in Eau Claire Wisconsin.  While waiting for my wife to find some baby clothes for my three-month-old son, I decided to take my daughter to Scheels to pass the time.  We immediately found ourselves in the fishing section.

After a disapproving look from another shopper when asking my daughter if I could sell one of her kidneys to buy a new fish finder (it was a joke intended to highlight the prices of the new units), she asked if she could get some bait.  Naturally, I obliged.  She carefully looked through the various options and chose a black and purple jig.  I approved, as she does not currently have the critical jig in her growing tackle box.

We continued through the isles and came to the frogs.  "Daddy, I want a frog like yours.", she said.  My face must have beamed with pride.  Of course, I was proud and could not deny her this request.  She recognized the Lunkerhunt frogs I prefer and asked me which color I had.  Impressed by her recognition of my highest producing bass lure from last year, I showed her the colors I had.  She chose the smaller version of my favorite color.  I had her grab the popper version for versatility in open water since she is using my childhood Zebco 33 with mono line.

Its moments like this that make it worth it.  I look forward to the summer where we spend time together in our local reservoir on our jon boat.  After a couple hours of fishing, we will pull up to the beach where she will play in the sand while I fish from shore.  We will end the trip by doing donuts while receiving disapproving looks from those landing their boats at the dock.

Teaching my daughter to catch fish, have fun, and not to take life too seriously.  After all, we never get out alive.  Enjoy it while it lasts.