When I was a boy, I had to be forced into the boat under threat of a beating. I bet you are surprised to hear that! Those were the days before parents knew about political correctness, and they were supposed to “love” their kids into the boat. “Get into the boat!” Dad would scream, lovingly. Then we would head out onto the lake into the hot sun with no shade, eating under-cooked bacon sandwiches for lunch, while the adults told how they didn’t have it THIS good as kids, and that we should appreciate the, “good life” they were providing, because there is no telling when the good times could end.
If I could have, I would have rolled my eyes, but parents back then implemented something called the “back-hand” which would send our eyes rolling for several minutes. So I stared blankly, and grimaced deep in my soul as I threaded skinny worms onto fish hooks, and sat for hours waiting for the rod to twitch so I could let out the pent-up tension built up over several hours of impatient waiting by jerking the line, bait, and unsuspecting fish out of the water like the spring of a mouse trap snapping down on the twelve year-olds fingers who was trying to see if he was faster than the trap. I couldn’t wait to teach my own son to fish!
Inevitably, when I got old enough to strike out on my own I turned my old torment into my hobby by fly fishing instead of meat fishing. There were two reasons for this. First; fly fishing was more like stalking, and not waiting. Second; I could hide behind the mask of being a conservationist, but in reality, I just didn’t want to clean fish when I could buy a burger instead. So fishing for me was sport rather than by gathering sustenance. Or what I referred to as, “practice for when times got tough.”
That day came sooner than I suspected when I had a hankering for yellow perch that I haven’t had since I was a kid. However, when I went to the fish store to buy a few perch, I found they cost as much as an everything pizza, WITH the sardines, and the bread sticks. Suddenly I discovered a need to economically acquire some fish. A quick trip to the bait shop, and a few minutes later.