My Fishing Partner
My daughter Jalyn is three years old, and she loves fishing almost as much as I do, she even asks to watch Fishing with Nordbye. A fishing show on Youtube hosted by Andrew Nordbye, a FlW tournament fisherman out of Guntersville Alabama. Jalyn also asks to practice her casting whenever I am out practicing pitching. So far, she has caught multiple 12 inch blue gill, a few crappie, and 1 bass. She has also informed me that we need a big boat to go fishing so Skye (her puppy) can go on the boat, like Scout does on Fishing with Nordbye.
“Dad, lets go already!”
For the entirety of our Christmas break my three year old daughter Jalyn had been asking me to take her out on our little jon boat so that we could go fishing. I am a high school history teacher at the local Christian school, so I had a couple weeks off for Christmas. On the final day of break we finally had a chance to go fishing. We hooked up to the boat, got some minnows from the store, and set off for the lake.
Upon arrival at the lake, there was a boat load of boats. Generally when we head to this portion of the lake there might be five other boat trailers in the parking lot. There were at least ten in the lower parking lot and I didn’t even look at the upper lot! Most of the boats were by the bridge we were going to fish next to. With our boat we have it loaded on a flat bed utility trailer so to launch it I push it off and hold on to a handle while the rope unwinds. Then I pull the boat over to the dock and tie it off to park the truck and trailer. I generally let Jalyn ride on the boat by herself when I launch it, which always makes her stand a little taller as we walk back to the truck on the dock.
Kids Will Be Kids
Once I had returned from parking the truck she asked if she could get me the little fishies while I got the rods rigged up. I ask her to wait until we get to our spot which she does. Upon arriving at a slight drop off where I am hoping to find some crappie, I ask her to get me a minnow out of the minnow bucket. She gets it out and hands it to me and I cast out her line, and begin rigging my line. She asks if she can get the minnows out and look at them and I say yes not thinking anything of it (keep in mind it is a 50ish degree day in the beginning of January) when I look up and ask for a minnow for my line her whole left leg is soaking wet from her scooping minnows out and holding the minnow net over her leg as she looks at the minnow. Thankfully for me I had her wear thermal jeans so only the outer layer was wet.
We fished that spot for a few minutes, then moved back through the maze of boats under the bridge to a spot where we had caught some yellow perch in the fall, hoping that we might find one. Unfortunately for us, it was getting late, and about time to get off the water. Now we still had probably a dozen minnows left, and I asked her if she wanted to try and fish until dark, or just go for a ride. She said “go for a ride”, so I asked if she wanted to give the minnows to someone else, and she goes “no I want to put them in the water.” So while I got the lines in and put the rods away. She was throwing the minnows into the water. I am assuming one or two bass, crappie, or yellow perch were thankful.
More than Just Fishing
On my daughter’s birthday we went down to the beach, with my bosses wife, and my daughter got to experience what it is like to go out on a boat with an outboard engine, and ever since has asked me to go fast! My jon boat with a 30 lb thrust trolling motor doesn’t go fast, but it does turn tight circles, so when she asks to go for a ride she wants to spin in circles, I can’t begin to imagine what the boats over by the bridge were thinking, but I could care less because of the giggles coming from my little girl.
After taking her for her circle spinning boat ride, we arrived back at the dock and tied the boat off. While we were walking back to the boat, I tell Jalyn that I am sorry that we couldn’t catch any fish today, I want nothing more then to take her out fishing and have her catch a bunch of fish She then looks up at me and says “it’s okay we didn’t catch any fishies Daddy I still had fun”
The wisdom of a three year old reminded me that it isn’t always about the number or size of the fish caught. It is about making memories fishing and enjoying God’s creation with the ones you love. While we drove back to the ramp I thanked God for this precious little girl of mine.