Search and Destroy received fishing rods for their birthday. So this past weekend, we headed to a local pond where a friend had assured us fish were practically leaping out of the water to eat bait.
“That was the thing about nature: make one lousy rule to describe it and it’ll contradict you even if it has to transmogrify and metamorphosize and bust its ass to do it.”
– The River Why, David James Duncan
Jon made a special trip across town to procure the desired “SureCatch” live bait. Morning came. Beneath the beaming sun’s rays, Jon loaded up two tiny rods, wriggling worms and his fishing kit comprising real fishermen type tools such as scissors, brightly colored feathers, and sharp pokey hooks. (I’m told they have other names.)
I wrangled muppets – highly energetic 4-year-olds with precisely zero interest in listening to adults and an equal amount of care for their own personal safety. (Because they think they’re indestructible.)
Jon had high hopes. The fishing spot was only 5 minutes from our house. A woman futzing in her yard called out to us, “There are a bunch of big ones out there just waiting for you!”
We arrived at the aqueduct and skittered down the steep slope to the shore’s edge. To clarify – Jon skittered, Destroy slip-n-slided alongside Dad, I cajoled Search to join our adventure, and Search (my very risk-aware son) considered all the things that could possibly go wrong and decided this was a terrible idea.
We were off to a great start!
Destroy: Can I throw rocks now?
Jon: Not yet. Let me bait and hook your rods. If you throw rocks, you’ll scare the fish. Don’t you want to catch any?
Search: Can I say hi to the worm?
Me: Ew, that’s trash someone left. Don’t touch that.
Jon: Watch out, I’m gonna cast. Now what do we watch for to see if we’ve caught a fish?
Destroy: A fish.
Jon: Watch your bobber. If it goes under, that means a fish is eating your worm.
Jon: Keep your rod pointed straight. Don’t cross rods. Someone could get hurt.
Jon: You’re going to scare the fish.
Search: I’m going to see if I caught a fish.
Me: You probably didn’t. I’m pretty sure I’m a curse. There are never any fish when I’m here.
Jon: Stop reeling! Stop reeling!
Me: Drop that! Icky, that’s broken glass. Careful, that could cut you.
Jon: Rod straight, guys! That hook could hurt someone.
Search: Can I throw the hook into the water?
Destroy: I want to throw rocks now.
Jon: <sets up to cast> Ok, Search, let me show you how to cast out to the center of the water.
Me: We’re never going to catch a fish.
Jon: Look! Did you see that?! Guys, are you watching?! We got a bite!
Search: Why do worms live in the dirt.
Jon: You guys missed it because you weren’t paying attention.
Me: I don’t see a fish.
Jon: We didn’t land it. I think it was a Bluegill; I saw a school and Bass don’t swim in schools. So our hook’s probably too big. <reels> See – it ate half our worm.
Destroy: Mommy? I spilled.
Me: The worms are escaping!
Search: Here Mommy, I picked some up.
Me: Ack! I’m covered in worms! They’re so wriggly!
Jon: Do you see the fish right there? Guys, be still. Let’s see if he’ll take the worm.
Jon: This is going to be a short-lived experiment isn’t it?
Me: Fishing requires a lot of patience. Patience is not something your family possesses in mass abundance.
“Fisherman should be the easiest of men to convince to commence the search for the soul, because fishing is nothing but the pursuit of the elusive.”
– The River Why, David James Duncan
Overall, I’m going to consider the outing a success. No one fell in the lake.