Nobody in my family fished. But in The Hardy Boys, my favorite book series as a young girl, Frank and Joe Hardy and their friend Chet fished, and it sounded like fun. So I decided I had to find a way to go fishing.
I began asking Dad to take me, but since he had never fished, he didn’t have the equipment. And since he farmed and raised hogs, he didn’t have the time. But most of all, he didn’t have the interest.
I was persistent, though, and began pestering both of my parents. Finally, Mom said she would figure out the equipment needed if Dad would take me fishing one time. They assumed I wouldn’t catch any fish and wouldn’t want to go again.
Mom cut long sticks from a tree to use as poles, then formed hooks by bending safety pins and tying them to cotton string, which she tied to the sticks.
Learning how to fish
Dad chose a bridge on a country road that had a creek running under it, saying we wouldn’t be in anyone’s way there. But he actually figured there wouldn’t be any fish in the creek, making our trip unsuccessful, so he could go home.
We baited our hooks and dropped them over the bridge into the creek. Then we waited. It wasn’t long until Dad decided we should eat the lunch Mom had packed. While we ate, we waited for a bite — but nothing. Mom and Dad were right; I was antsy, wishing I would catch a fish.
Then it happened! And the most exciting part was that it was Dad’s line. I couldn’t believe how excited he got when he realized he had a fish on his hook. Getting it out of the creek and up the deep ditch was a different matter, but together we pulled in the fish. Then Dad asked if I was ready to go home now that we’d caught a fish.
I was sure if Dad could catch a fish, then I could too. So we baited his hook again and dropped it back in the creek. A short time later, Dad had another fish — and his excitement began again. This time he didn’t ask if I was ready to go; he baited his hook and dropped it back into the creek.
Dad caught eight fish that day, and we only stopped because we had to get home for night chores.
After Dad cleaned the fish, Mom fried them for supper, and they tasted wonderful. I was happy for Dad catching his fish, but disappointed I hadn’t caught a thing.
Lifelong fishing hobby
The next Saturday, Dad asked if I wanted to go fishing again. I didn’t, but Dad did, so we headed for a new spot. I was glad we did, because we both caught fish.
The following weekend, Mom made another pole and joined us. My parents were hooked, and fishing became their passion.
They began researching rods and reels, and over the years had an increasing number of tackleboxes to hold all their fishing gear. They collected hooks and lures, and Dad invested in special filet knives. They even bought a motor boat, depth finder and a camper for overnight trips.
They took many trips to Lake of the Woods in Minnesota, and one year, Mom won the prize for catching the largest northern pike. She had it mounted to display in the kitchen. And they loved going deep sea fishing in South Padre Island, Texas.
When they became grandparents, they taught their granddaughter to fish.
What started out as Mom and Dad working together to fulfill their young daughter’s dream to go fishing became a lifelong hobby that the two of them ended up sharing and loving.
Read more reader-submitted fishing stories in Great Fishing Stories and Tales.