About 6 months ago, I was forced to find new work since my then present employer decided to close the factory doors. Knowing that the local job market would be packed with potential candidates for any position, I reluctantly took a job working in sales for a local fishing tackle manufacturer. Mind you, the last time I went fishing was with my dad, at about the age of nine, from the shore, fishing for bullhead.
Even after expressing to my new employer the concerns I had about not knowing anything about fishing, he still banked on my resume that I would quickly learn. In light of the recent situation, I felt it was the best option I was going to get, and took the job. After all, how hard could it be, right?
A month or two had passed, and the fishing season was beginning to swing into high gear. This was a perfect opportunity to gather some much needed knowledge on the subject, and began acquiring all kinds of fishing tackle products. I had spoons, jigs, bobbers, you name it, I was ready for anything … Except for the big brown eyes of my oldest daughter, and the vibrant blue eyes of her sister.
The first time I was going out, my kids asked me where I was going. I clearly stated that I was headed out fishing, and would return before supper time. They blankly looked at me with a slight quiver in the lip, and a light scuffle of a foot in the dirt driveway. Obviously, there was a question, and I already knew what it was.
"So … you girls want to go fishing too?"
Not surprised by their response, I simply got them ready for their first fishing trip. Clothes, bug spray, snacks, and another trip to the store to get more fishing tackle. Indeed, my family was ready for an out matched matched by no other.
We later arrived at the local lake, found a spot, tied up some lures, bobbers, practice casts and nestled in quite nicely in a spot where I read was a good location for Bluegill. The time of year was right, the day was perfect. Yes sir, 'ol dad here was going to score some major points with the kids, and connect on a level that every parent steps to do.
However, after about two hours of fishing, with only a few nibbles, and plenty of I'm bored's, things were beginning to look pretty grim. Where could have I gone wrong. I purchased just about every color and shape you can think of. I analyzed the time of year with the species of fish, including climate, water depth, water temperature, and lake clarity. About the only thing I did not throw in there was my lucky pair of socks. Surely it must not have been time. Sometimes give the fish a couple more weeks of warm weather.
Coming back weeks later, I still encounter the same problem. Then we went to another lake two times with similar issues. The fish would nibble, yet I'd get no strikes. I thought to myself – "Maybe you should talk to someone that knows something about fishing." I did not do that the first time 'cause … you know, Im a guy.
The following week, I talked to my boss, and even showed him all the tackle that I either purchased, or had taken out of inventory. He sifted through the pile of fishing lures, jigs, split shots, and spare line.
"There's your problem."
"Uh … I do not see it.
"You sure do. But, you said you were going for Bluegills, right?"
"I read that those made great fish for kids, and changed the game plan so my children could have some fun too."
"Well, you see … you have everything here for all other kinds of species, but it's all too big.
I quickly pictured the Bluegills in my head, and realized that I was trying to force a hook twice the size of the fish's mouth, down it's throat. After getting all excited about going out and landing a monster fish, I completely forgot to gear down the tackle selection for the kids. So he heave me a few points (not to mention the correct tackle), and sent me on my way.
The perfect test – Cabela's was holding their annual kids fishing day at the pond located on their property. Stocked with all species of fish, it's meant to be a day strictly for the kids, and figured that this would be the best time for my kids to make the catch that they've been patiently waiting for all summer. I told them about the tourney, and they reluctantly said they would go.
I re-rigged their poles with a simple bobber, split shot sinker, and size 10 hook (much smaller than the size 1 or 1/0 that I've done earlier). Sure enough, they were catching fish all day long. My two youngsters about 2 fish per hour, a piece. And this time, there were no "I'm bored" 's, and I finally got all those pictures and hugs of gratitude, that I have been waiting for.
So remember to keep a selection of tackle on hand just for your kids, even if you have to buy another tackle box. It can easily give you the memories that you're looking for, and give them the memories they will never forget.