I grew up with no siblings, and my parents started taking me fishing when I was 2 years old. We lived in Maryland and fished in the saltwater of the Chesapeake Bay, lower Potomac River, and the rivers of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They tied me and my fishing rod to the boat, and I would play with the bloodworms, tying them into knots. We had a 19-foot boat that we towed on a trailer behind the car. On our way home, we always stopped for ice cream. Those memories mean so much to me.
Family fishing trips
When I married and had my two daughters, we began taking them with us when they were 6 months old. My youngest daughter couldn’t suck her thumb because she couldn’t reach around her little life jacket. She wasn’t happy about that, but the rocking boat soon put her to sleep. We put the playpen pad on the bottom of the boat for her.
I remember one fishing trip when the girls were teenagers, and we were catching blue fish. When we reeled one in, its mouth was wide open and full of water, making it heavier, in our opinion. So when we got home, my oldest daughter, Susan, and I got out our old baby scales and the garden hose, and we filled the fish with water before weighing our fish! He weighed 17 pounds. We figured if he was hydrated when we brought him on the boat, he should be hydrated when we weighed him.
Family tradition leaves lasting memories
Now my parents are gone, and my husband and I live in the mountains of Tennessee. We love it here, but we have no idea how to fish in freshwater. Our fishing rods were for saltwater so we gave them to friends before we moved. But I kept my dad’s tackle box and wouldn’t give it away for anything.
The time my parents spent with me as a child, as well as the time my husband and I spent with our children, meant the world to me. I had the best parents ever. I was especially lucky that my mom went fishing with us as a family. So many times I hear about dads taking their children fishing while the mom stays home. For us it was a family affair, although we sometimes had to cut our family fishing trips short because Mom got seasick.
I was a very lucky child, and my now-grown children have great memories, too.
Read more reader-submitted fishing stories in Great Fishing Stories and Tales.