Another edition to “Story Time”, this time around we are going way back to 2005.
That summer my new girlfriend, her daughter and a friend headed to a small lake in Haliburton to spend a week at my brothers’ cottage.
While I had been at the cottage many times heading there with a girl was a whole new ball game, let alone going with her and 2 kids. At this point most of the time I spent at the cottage involved hanging out with the guys, drinking, playing cards and fishing.
We lucked out and had a mainly hot and sunny week. We spent lots of time swimming, hanging on the dock and making the odd run for ice cream in Haliburton. Being who I am I also wanted to go fishing. My girlfriend thought the girls might come out so I had packed a few extra rods and picked up some worms. I had mainly fished this lake for musky and the only set up that I had consistently caught bass with was a worm and bobber.
One morning I was getting ready to head out for a quick fish and the girls asked if the could come. Sweet. I didn’t have much or really any experience fishing with kids but I figured catching fish was a must. We headed to a large weed bed, dropped anchor and threw out the worm and bobbers. I mainly acted as the guide, changing worms, untangling tangles and taking off panfish. The girls were having a blast. At one point both girls caught perch at the same time and without warning two fish came flying at my head! I caught one, let the other bounce off my thigh and asked Sophia to put her fish over the side while I could take off the other one. Harmless. Boring.
As I was throwing perch 1 back Sophia started to shriek “Oh my, Oh my, something has my perch”. As I turned to look at her a 3 lb smallmouth launched itself in the air and her rod doubled over. Yelling instructions, she wrestled with the bass as it tore away from the boat and then proceeded to put on an aerial display worthy of an Olympics routine. Just as Sophia was about to give up and hand the rod back to me the fish took one more run towards the boat , jumped in the air and proceeded to land in the boat by the gas can. Fish caught! After a few pictures and a release, the girls wanted to head back to the cottage tell Mom about the fish and eat some lunch.
I really thought that was the end of my guiding days and how wrong I was. For the rest of the week anytime the girls or my wife noticed that I was thinking of a fish they wanted in. It was awesome. We found one spot that was on fire at dusk. 4 of us in the 14 Lund just casting worms rigged deep on a bobber. We actually kept a few smaller bass that week and did a fish fry one night – at the girls request!
Life (and memory) is funny – I have always remembered that week but seeing a recent picture of Sofia and I with the big smallmouth that grabbed the perch scroll by on our google home hub brought it all back.