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8/19/02 Fishing with the Family -- work or play?

I am the proud father of two little girls that love to hunt and fish with daddy.  They are still young, but they do a great job reeling in their own fish.  They love being on the boat, and most of all they really love to catch fish.  I have always enjoyed taking them perch fishing and sometimes they would catch an occasional bass of some size.  When my oldest daughter was 4, she landed a 16" largemouth while perch fishing.  She was so excited...  Oops, I was getting of track.  Well as I was saying.... I always had a blast taking them fishing until this early summer -- it was still fun.  I never realized what the life of a fishing guide was really like, but I got a grand taste of it that night.

We headed off to a nearby lake where we could do some early summer night time crappie/sandbass fishing.  This is a different ball game compared to those pesky little bream we usually go fishing for.  The night started out just fine with my wife catching a fish, then I caught one, then each daughter caught one.  We were all very happy in the cool nighttime with a slight breeze to keep the bugs down.  Well, then it all went south.  The sandbass moved in and my real work began.  "Daddy... Daddy... I got one!"  "I got one too!"  "Hun... can you take mine off too?"  The next thing I knew, as soon as I could get one hook baited one of the other lines were dangling in front of my face with a fish on.  I finally reached a point where I could not even keep my line in the water because I could not properly tend to it.  I spent the next 3 hours baiting hooks, tying hooks, removing fish, measuring fish, and of course, letting them pet each and every one of their fish -- except the wife.  Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun for my family and I really had a good time also.  Everyone was happy and we were catching fish -- not all keepers though.  The time did come though when they finally stopped biting and I was relieved.  It was 12:00am and I was completely wore out.  

Well, needless to say, that night was one that my little girls will never forget.  It was something that helped fuel their love for the sport of fishing.  We have been fishing several times since then and I just leave my pole out of the water.  When they get tired, then I fish.  I hope that the good Lord continues to bless me with the opportunity to take my children fishing.  We are continuously creating memories that will last a lifetime.  So if you get a chance, take a kid fishing.  Just be careful on how many you take and how good the spot is where you take them.  You just might end up with sore thumbs and never take one off your own hook. 

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