#BlogBattle: Worm – Week 44 – To Catch a Fish

🙂 Tuesday = #Blogbattle

I haven’t joined in for a couple of weeks, but excited to be back at it!!

#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration.  Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey.  Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.

This week’s word:  Worm

Genre:  Non-Fiction

fishing bobber

To Catch a Fish

This is a story about a little girl, a little girl who just wanted to catch a fish. This is my story, that little girl was me.

Growing up in a small town that rests on the edge of Lake Michigan, along with several other smaller lakes within its borders, one was sure to find the perfect fishing spot. My dad was an avid fisherman, and taught us all how to fish. My childhood memories are ones of warm evenings spent with my whole family, fishing at the channel, which at one time connected the smaller Wolf Lake to Lake Michigan.

I’m not sure if my sister and mom actually fished when we went, but they were there nonetheless, probably reading a book or a magazine. Being the youngest after my two brothers, I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, getting caught up playing the things that they enjoyed. So when it came time to fish with my dad and brothers, I was all in. Well, as in as I could be at the age of six. I watched in awe as my brothers cast out their lines with those fancy rods and reels of theirs. It was a true art form, and took practice, with just the right movements to send that bobber out into the lake at the perfect spot. It was all in the timing, as you pulled back, pressed the button to release the line with a flick of the wrist, as you heard the whizzing sound of the line as it would sail through the air. You knew it was a perfect cast, when you heard the ever so slight plop of the bobber as it breached the surface of the glass-like lake, with only a few ripples; your worm on its hook settling in the murky water to wait. Then there was my experience, with my cane pole, and red and white bobber. No skill really needed, I just flung it out into the drink and hoped for the best. My dad always taught us about safety, showing me the hook, and how sharp and pointy it was, and that you needed to be careful as you cast your line out, so that the hook wouldn’t snag you in the back of the head. Even though I was a tomboy, I was still a little girl, and putting a worm on a hook, was not for me. That was my dad’s job, and I was fine with that, and it was key in this little charade he called fishing.

So there I sat, with my cane pole and my red and white bobber just sitting there. We didn’t talk much, if we did it was quiet conversation, as to “not wake the fish.” Even when one of us got a hit, we didn’t get overly excited. It was a simple, “I got one.” As we manned our poles, yet watched the dance between the fish and the fisherman as it was brought to shore. Sure enough as I heard the ‘got one’ on my left, there was two more on my right. Holding on to my trusty pole, just knowing I had to be next, needing to be ready, yet I couldn’t help but turn my attention to my brothers reeling in their catch. Once the excitement wore off, we sat. Then sat some more…waiting. As the sun set and the breeze began to cool, you could hear the gentle lapping of the lake on the shore, and a small voice innocently question, “Hey Dad…why haven’t I caught a fish yet.” Which was always answered with some wise fish tale, that only a six-year old could believe.

Then there was the one evening, as I was growing bored with the whole not catching a fish thing, I started looking through my dad’s tackle box. I found a round tin, with the letters SKOAL on it, not sure what it was, I was bent on finding out. It was a struggle for my small hands, but I figured out that I had to push the top and bottom together real hard and twist to open it. With my fierce determination, I got it opened and the contents of the tin burst out and covered my entire chest. As I looked down, I was coated in what looked like saw dust, and little, tiny, squirmy, white…WORMS!! I’m not sure if anyone else heard the scream like I did in my head. Maybe I actually held it in, as to not wake the fish, but I was totally freaking out. Just as quickly as it happened, it was over as my dad rushed over, brushed everything off of me and saved me from the Bee Moths or saved the Bee Moths from me. With those wormy-like things back in their little home, I went back to my cane pole, and sat…waiting…and sat some more. So much better then being mauled by Bee Moth Larvae, or was it? Unbeknownst to me, there was never a worm on my hook…wait…was there even a hook?

Then one day it happened. My dad, knowing he couldn’t keep up this ruse forever, decided that just him and I would go fishing, early one morning. We got out to the channel just as the sun was rising over the horizon. My dad grabbed two rods and reels from the trunk, and his tackle box. With my eyes wide, I realized the cane pole stayed behind. Is it possible? I got a quick lesson on how to cast out. My first few tries landed my bobber with a ker-plunk in the water not 3 feet from where I was standing. Try again. With my dad’s help, I was able to cast out. Proudly holding on to my precious rod and reel, I sat, waiting…this time with a smile on my face. It’s going to happen today!! Sure enough, I felt that little tug, and then “Dad…I got one!” We both stood, and he coached me as the fish tried to run with the bait in his mouth, “Let him go for a little bit, then reel him in.” I did that a few times, excitement pounding in my ears, mixed in with the whirling sound of the reel as I brought my catch to shore. My dad grabbed the line, and pulled it out of the water. There on the end, frantically flipping, was my first catch, a nice little Perch. I finally did it!!

© Carrie Ann (dated 1974)

OK…so I totally exercised my artistic license on that last paragraph. I really don’t remember actually fishing that day, but I do remember taking this picture, and I’m sure I actually caught this particular fish. I am smiling so broadly not because I was proud of my catch, but those things are slippery little suckers, and it was hard to hold on to.

As we got older, my brothers moved on, and lost interest in fishing. I totally lost interest, and set my sights on gaining some fashion sense, thank God. (Either my dad dressed me that morning, or these were hopefully my ‘fishin’ clothes.’) My dad went on to bigger and better fishing opportunities. Fishing with his buddies on their boats, or going out alone and fishing off the shore of Lake Michigan, which earned him the Indiana State Record in 1983 by catching the largest Brown Trout weighing in at 22 lbs. 8 oz.  A title he held on to for several years.

Today, you probably couldn’t pay me to go fishing. I’ve put my time in, thank you very much. But I’m grateful for the time spent with my family and the memories I have. However, just like any good fish story, the details are subject to over-exaggeration with each telling.

© Carrie Ann

17 thoughts on “#BlogBattle: Worm – Week 44 – To Catch a Fish

  1. This is an adorable and special tale, Carrie! I love that it’s real, even if fish tales are sometimes “altered”. 😉 That photo is precious and super pink. 🙂
    I used to try fishing when I was little: my parents and me would go canoeing in the bayou a lot, and while I sat in the middle of the canoe I held a fishing pole in the water. Of course I never caught anything since the boat was moving, but I liked to pretend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a heart-warming tale. It’s memories like these that we cherish so much. Fishing wasn’t something I ever did with my dad, but there are lots of other things I remember us doing together, and that makes me smile when I think of him now. Thank you for making me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 I’m glad it made you smile Phoenix!! Yes, we do cherish memories like this now. I’m so glad I have many more with my dad, and that now sometimes one will pop up out of the blue…and makes them extra special.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m almost jealous. No one ever taught me how to fish. I always thought one would cast out, and the fish would chomp down.
    When my Son hit 10, he expressed a desire to learn how. I went and bought rigging for both of us, and we proceeded to the water’s edge.
    I found that fishing needed to be taught, and I had never learned. How could I teach that which I hadn’t been taught?
    My Bro-in-law had a boat. He is, though no longer an in-law, one of those people who is good at whatever he tried. Mostly. Except being married.
    I asked him to take my boy to teach him what I couldn’t. It didn’t fit in with what he wanted to do, and it would not profit him to make special arrangements. And my Son was not his. So, needless to say, the child lost interest rather quickly.
    Thanks for this trip into one of your memories!
    #WriteOn!
    — John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Times have changed since I was little, and now you have to have a license to fish. We didn’t need that growing up. My dad didn’t maintain a license, so my kids missed out on fishing with him, but they have many other memories with him just spending time at the lake. Glad you enjoyed the story!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh goodness Girl – this made me smile so big!! What a great story and what a sweet idea to base it off some real life experiences. That photo of you is BEYOND adorable – clothing and all!! Lol 😉

    It also reminded me SO much of fishing with my Grandpa. He taught me to put a hook on a worm and helped me catch my first fish. However, I was probably more like 7 or 8 so he did have me do the worm myself and to make sure I knew how to do it right! Lol

    I hadn’t fished since I was that age, until this past summer we had a family reunion at my grandparents old home on the lake (they both passed away), and my Uncle got me to do some fishing off the dock and I taught my Annie how to worm a hook and she caught her first fish!

    thanks for reminding me of sun fun memories. Love it!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL…glad you liked my outfit. Such great memories, how fun you got to fish with Annie. I’m sure she’ll remember it too. My kids didn’t get the opportunity to fish with my dad, they wanted to, but now you have to have a license to fish, and my dad eventually stopped fishing as well, and went on to other things like bike riding and walking. My kids have those memories with my dad, walking around the lake or taking a bike ride, so I am grateful for that.

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