In the summer months, “I’m going fishing” is frequently said in my household. My family does a great deal of fishing on the river close to our home in Reading, Kansas, as well as at our farm ponds and other ponds nearby.
For my husband, J.T., and me, finding the time is fairly easy in the summer because we are both schoolteachers, which means we enjoy a nice long summer vacation.
For me, fishing as a child meant a cane pole and my dad patiently showing my sister and me how to use it. Luckily we fished ponds that were stocked with plenty of bullheads, so almost every cast brought in a fish. Looking back, I understand why Dad always chose the same pond.
J.T.’s childhood fishing trips included summer nights and early mornings setting and checking lines on the Kansas River with his dad. He also spent many days waist-deep in creeks netting crawdads and other small fish to use as bait, hoping to catch “the big one.”
A little friendly fishing competition
J.T. still loves to fish, and now he is carrying on the father-son fishing tradition with our son, Reid. The boys enjoy setting lines on the river throughout the summer months, and I, along with our daughters, Claire and Greta, help out by catching baitfish in our ponds.
I have never known Reid to get up at the crack of dawn for anything other than fishing! He has become quite knowledgeable about the “ways of the river,” and over the past few years, “The Catfish Mafia,” as they call themselves, has been successful in bringing in some trophy winners.
J.T. has developed a friendly fishing competition with local anglers on the river, and a traveling trophy is passed around from year to year to the fisherman who brings in the biggest catch.
Last summer, The Catfish Mafia won the trophy with a 62-pound channel catfish.
With all the fish that gets caught, we have summer fish fries at our home with family and friends.
J.T. even treats the teachers to a fish fry on their first day back to school after summer break. He has mastered the art of frying fish, and many have mastered the art of eating it!
With summer here, the boys are happy to once again be back on the water. Hooks have been sharpened, boat and motor have been serviced and prepped, poles have been restrung, nets have been mended, and fish tales have been told – and are still being told. Another summer will bring numerous family fishing adventures.
When it’s all over though, it will be the memories that will be the biggest catch of all. Fish on!
Read more reader-submitted fishing stories in Great Fishing Stories and Tales.