Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Fish Tale

The things we do for our children...

Since going camping a few weeks ago, Lucas has a new obsession….fishing. Lucas is not at all an outdoorsy child (and never has been), so I really want to encourage this new found interest. The problem with encouraging him is that I know absolutely nothing about fishing. However, I didn’t let that stop me from going out and buying a rod and reel (in a lovely shade of burnt orange) and a little tackle box. I even went online and purchased a fishing license so I can take him fishing at any lake in Minnesota.

So this past weekend, we decided to take him fishing. As luck would have it, it was raining on Saturday morning. Of course, we had promised him, so we would not let a little bit of rain stop us. We pulled into the parking lot of a local nature center with a lake that I knew had two fishing docks. I turned the minivan off. I turned to the children still strapped into their seats in the back and explained that, despite the rain, we were going to go fishing. I went on to extrapolate that none of us are made of sugar and, therefore, none of us would likely melt. I explained that we were going to get out of the van into the drizzling rain and NOT complain about getting wet. Ruanita, taking a different tactic, tried to hype the whole thing as an “adventure.” The kids seemed to buy it, though I was much more dubious. After walking into the woods on a trail that included at least 50 wooden steps down a steep hill…mind you, I was in an air cast in the rain and mud walking down steps…we arrived at the first fishing dock. We ambled out onto the dock and went about the task of readying our fishing lines. I opened the cute little red tackle box I had purchased and stared at the contents dumbfounded. Lures, bobbers, what appeared to be some rope, numerous hooks…an array of colorful items that completed confounded me. Not only did I not know which lure to use….I really wasn’t even sure how to attach the lure to the hook. Of course, I couldn’t let Lucas realize that I was a complete and total moron, so I confidently grabbed a pretty pink lure with a feather on it and stuck it on my hook. Surprisingly, I remembered how to cast from the fishing days of my youth and was able to actually get the hook to land in the lake. At that point, Lucas asked me what kind of fish I thought we’d catch in that lake. Ummmm…..yea….okay. I couldn’t think of the name of a single fish. Finally, I blurted out “smallmouth bass”. I wouldn’t know a smallmouth bass if it jumped out of the lake and kissed me on my lips. But Lucas was none the wiser. As it turned out, the particular lake I had chosen had an overabundance of seaweed and an under abundance of fish. Actually, can it be called seaweed if it is not in the sea? We’ll just call it plant sludge. The lake had an overabundance of plant sludge, which made it very difficult to reel in our lines. We didn’t see a single fish all morning, but managed to catch a great deal of slimy plant life before finally calling it quits. We walked back up the steps (50 wet wooden steps in a cast…again) and back to our awaiting minivan. After that, we took the kids to Chipotle for lunch. We needed sustenance after the morning we had just experienced.

I am afraid I have some learning to do if I am going to successfully encourage Lucas’ interest in fishing. Last night, the kids had fish sticks for dinner. As Lucas was refusing to eat his fish sticks (in typical Lucas fashion), he asked me what type of fish were in the fish sticks. I hopped up, grabbed the box from the freezer, checked the ingredient list, and triumphantly announced “Alaskan pollock!” I may not know a thing about fishing, but fish sticks are right up my alley.


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