By Holly Overman
Fishing… What a great activity to do either alone, with friends, or with loved ones. You can do it as a hobby or even professionally. However one fishes, it all got started somewhere. For me, my grandpa started teaching me how to fish as a child on the bank of our pond.
He took me to the pond many times to throw feed out for the fish. He’d say you care for them regularly so they thrive before you start fishing for them. It was funny to watch them attack the feed on the surface with their big mouths open.
Before taking my fishing, we first had to dig up the bait. Going to the store just for bait was out of the picture when free bait was in the dirt. Once we gathered enough in a can, it was time to load up and head to the pond. As a kid, you can imagine my excitement.
The learning begins…
Here we are at the pond unloading everything. It was such a great afternoon for casting lines. I don’t remember my age but I was definitely young. After getting everything ready, he handed me a small rod just my size. I watched him bait my hook then he taught me how to cast. He’d say, “Always remember to never let go of the rod.”
The next thing he had to teach me was patience. For a child, that’s not an easy thing to do but one must learn sometimes. Thankfully he was patient with me as I learned patience. You had to be while waiting for the bobber to fully drop and know when to pull to set the hook. He was right there saying, “Not yet, Not yet… NOW!” Time to reel it in.
The feeling of reeling in my first catfish was exciting. My grandpa was so proud he gave me a big hug. After removing the fish and putting it in the bucket, he then taught me how to bait my hook.
I was creeped out at first holding a worm but I got over it. He showed me how to guide it on the hook but to leave some hanging off the end for movement. He continued removing the fish for me because he didn’t want me cut or bit.
Another thing he showed me was the best spots to cast. There was a huge limb in the pond for habitat purposes that they liked to hang out at but preferred the deep end on warmer days. It was always a thrill each time I watched the bobber do down. I’m sure I made many mistakes but I learned from them all.
So what did we do with the fish that we caught? We’d take them home and my grandpa would filet them up for dinner. My grandmother would fry them up with some hush puppies and they were so good. It was great to have everyone come together and eat fresh catfish that we caught. Learning how you can catch or harvest something that feeds the family is a great thing.
Time well spent…
The view by the pond was beautiful. When the water was calm, you could see the sky’s reflection on the water. It looked like there were two skies on top of each other. We’d sit under a big tree that gave us great shade on those warm afternoons.
I always loved being with my grandpa no matter what we did, but fishing was my favorite. Just sitting out there with him, whether we caught anything or not, was time well spent. I miss those moments so much but now I have boys of my own I can share it with. To this day when I’m fishing, I can almost feel him close by.