OK, just so you know, I am most assuredly NOT going to regale you with my fishing prowess. This is a fishing story of another kind. This is about "catching" something way better than your everyday catfish, blue fish, drum or shark.
Some background is in order. I grew up, more than anywhere else, in Maryland. Many don't realize it but you can live way...I do mean WAY out in the country in Maryland. It was 12 miles one way to my high school (up hill both ways without shoes into the wind…but I digress). By and large, I loved it there. I was surrounded by a wonderful family and... lots of dirt, air and water. Back in those days, even though dinosaurs were still wandering the planet, we spent a bunch of time exploring the countryside. It was utterly and completely normal to spend entire days gone exploring, wandering, and...yes...fishing! We spent hours on the banks of the Susquehanna River fishing. I couldn't begin to tell you how many hours we spent sitting on the bank, fishing pole in hand, exploring a world we'd never seen. Here's the thing though, we sucked.
We weren't bad. We were awful. If I had to survive on what we caught, I would have turned into a bluegill or sunfish or worse yet, a worm, or a can of corn, because those were the only thing we ever caught. You see, I was never taught to fish. It was just Rob and I sitting on the bank, talking, imagining and fishing. We were MUCH better at talking and imagining than fishing. As I've grown older, I've continued talking and imagining. I've stopped fishing.
Fast forward to 2009, Kyle, my oldest is driving, and, like Dad, he loves the outdoors. (Just because I can't fish doesn't mean I don't love the outdoors.) Unlike Dad, Kyle has managed to learn to fish because of some good friends and this little computer thingy called the internet. Earlier this week, he caught a 40 lb fish down on Bolivar Peninsula just over an hour from our house.
As his skills have continued to improve (along with the value of his tackle box) he's been inviting me to go fishing with him. I love my kids, and I love spending time with them. I try to do the stuff they want to do, and not just what Dad likes to do. The thing is, I'm scarred-NOT scared…SCARRED! Do you have any idea how many hours I spent NOT catching anything? Has to be hundreds of hours - hundreds and hundreds of hours.
UGH what's a man to do??? You already know the answer. It's July 2011...We went fishing. My wife is out of town on a girls trip, so it was just Kyle, Austin and I. So off we went. Three guys, a truck, too many fishing poles, too much tackle, a tent, man food and a kayak. The weather, the drive, the conversation were wonderful. We talked about girls, trucks, cars. We talked about the weather and the tides, the stars and college. Often times we talked about nothing. I sat and watched my boys, I listened to the water crash on the beach. We cooked on the grill and stared at the stars.
I really wish I could tell you about all the fish we caught, but I can't. I can tell you that we spent 24 hours just hanging out and I loved it. Very soon, we'll be starting a new chapter as Kyle heads off to college. I don't know how many more trips we're going to get to take like this one. I don't know how much longer he'll be excited about taking Dad fishing, but I've got a license now, and well, who knows maybe, just maybe I'm finally going to learn to fish.
I couldn't care less about how many or how much fish we caught. I caught 24 hours with my sons and that ladies and gentlemen is very...very cool.