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Fishing With A Six-Year-Old

July 13, 2010
By Larry Claypool, OV Times Editor
I went fishing the other day. The weather was extremely hot and humid. I packed a couple rods, the tackle box, a couple dozen worms, bug spray, a few sandwiches, bottled water, Gatorade and a six-year-old.

Yes, the excuse to get out of the house and avoid finishing my ‘honey do’ list was taking my six-year-old grandson Nicholas fishing. What a tough job!

When I take kids fishing, I try to make it all about the kids. I, like many of our readers, also use this experience as an outdoor classroom. I like to point out things about our surroundings; animals that happen by, birds that fly over, a woodpecker pounding a nearby tree, bugs that bug us (and the ones that don’t), turtles that pop up in the water and various wildlife sounds around us. And we catch fish.

On this day the fishing was brisk. At least the bluegill were biting, so it was easy to keep a six-year-old focused. And we (he) caught four largemouth bass that were “big fish” to him. We had to use the “biggest” nightcrawler in the tub so we could “catch a really big fish,” Nicholas would say. He would end up landing — or docking — a nice 14-inch bass, the biggest fish of the day. Nicholas was happy, he was able to hold the bass, and toss it back into the lake.

After each ceremonial toss back into the lake (yes, some of the bluegill flopped their way off the dock), Nicholas already had the drill down. “Let’s get another really big worm.” He was really confused when the worm was still attached to the hook. That’s a bonus, I would tell him.

This fishing trip to a small pond of a friend was much different that the first time I had taken my only grandchild fishing. His first fishing experience, at Beaver Creek State Park two years ago (which he probably doesn’t remember) resulted in — zero — fish being caught. We didn’t even get a bite that day. I do remember it was after a rain storm and knew there was a chance of not getting a bite. I also remember Nicholas was more interested in playing in the dirt and tossing rocks into the creek than catching fish. A beaver working up and down the creek across from us didn’t garner his attention either. I guess at that point he really didn’t understand what was taking place. I still tried to explain it to him. He probably doesn’t remember that either.

We didn’t pull in any fish that day but it was a great experience for me. I have a nice photo of he and I sitting on the bank while fishing that hangs in my office. That’s in case I forget what a cute kid he was then.

Hopefully Nicholas will take to fishing like I have and two of my kids have. He lives in Florida so my time is valued with him when he visits. Hopefully he remembers the latest fishing expedition or something about it. I did take his photo with the “big” bass (see attached) in case he forgets.

For me, I won’t forget spending time with my grandson. Especially helping him work his line into position for another bite.

Now back to the ‘honey do’ list, Nicholas has returned to Florida.

Article Photos

The author's grandson with a nice bass.

Fact Box

When I take kids fishing, I try to make it all about the kids. I, like many of our readers, also use this experience as an outdoor classroom.



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