Sunday, September 30, 2007

Activities for the Soul: Fishing and Golf

I've always known that I can rely on a day of fishing or a good round of golf to rejuvenate my soul. I return, once again, to one of the activities that has calmed me since I was a child: fishing.

Waking early. Gathering bait or lures. Thinking of what the day will bring. Having a spot in my mind before I go to sleep the night before and driving to that spot. Getting there. Seeing the sunrise. No one else is there. Peaceful. Casting the first cast. Listening to the sound of the lure as it hits the water. Feeling the smoothness of the well-oiled shimano reel. Watching the ripple in the water as I draw the lure back to me. And cycle again.

Until wham! A bass strikes and I'm able to reel her in slowly, watching her jump on the line. A prize 3 lb female - clearly pregnant. I remove the hook slowly and gently place her back into the water, creating the motion of a fish moving back and forth until she realizes where she is...and swims off assertively.

At this moment, I am grateful that I have a way to find my way. I am grateful to my father (and mother) for teaching me how to fish. And for my brothers who fished with me. And my cousin who never stops adventuring, in search of bigger, better fish.

Fishing will always be part of my soul - part of what makes me who I am - the patience, love of nature, and contentment I find in time alone. Fishing, in its cast and wait rhythm, gives me the opportunity to reflect on what I want in my life and to dream of making that come true for no one but me.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fish Tales

OK, so you've heard it all. When someone goes fishing, they come back with these grandiose stories of what they caught, how big the fish were, etc. ad nauseum. And of course, when they ask for proof (i.e., a picture), well, their hands were just too gooey with fish goop to wreck the $1200.00 Canon EOS.

My cousin Christoper and my father have been known to tell fish stories. I can remember when, as a child, my grandmother would always wait for us to return from our fishing ventures to hear stories of what we caught. Since her mobility was often limited (particularly in her later years), she reveled in the opportunity to hear our stories and to sort of live vicariously through us.

Throughout the years, summers in Maine progressed from dock side mackerel fishing to catching mackerel and using them (whole) for bait for stripers. In Crit's boat. With Dad. And Mom. Sometimes, we ventured up the St. Georges River to go plunking. I am convinced that this is a term my father invented. Truly, there is no other word to describe this feat. You cast as far as you can with this lure that resembles a broken (or wounded) fish into the rocks. With the surf crashing on the rocks, this tasty lure would look like a shoe-in for a quick bite to eat for any trolling striper.

My father - Bunk - likes to plunk! I love it.

Fish stories are truly fun to tell - especially on the days when you don't catch a damn thing. Like the time we took Dad on a tuna charter at 3:00am out of Noank for his 60th birthday. Caught two small Tuna, Katie was sea sick the whole time, and then coming in, one of the twin 275s dies. We had to create fishing stories to survive that day.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fish 'n Chips off the old block

Fishing with children is so exciting! On Saturday, my brother and his wife hosted all of the children (Tanner, Ryder, Callahan, Samantha, Sydney), my parents, and my sister and me at her father's pond/lake in Avon (Lovely Street). Baiting hooks, setting up lines and bobbers, and removing fish from hooks quickly became my vocation for the day.

The smallest, tiniest bass created squeals louder than squealing wheels at NASCAR. These kids were so excited to catch these fish! The weather cooperated, opening up a nice sunny afternoon with a cool breeze. Syd took Tanner in the boat with a trolling motor. It was a blast!

Gives new meaning to the idea of taking a kid fishing. Inspires me to start a program for underprivileged youth. More on this later....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I tripped over my ice auger...

...been away from home for a while...check back in a few weeks for an autumn fishing blog entry...

Thought of the day..."finding that place in your heart where peace and love co-exist can be found when you're fishing...and sleeping..."