Part of Speech: noun
Definition: ardent supporter; fan
Synonyms: addict, fanatic
Obviously, I am completely hooked (pun intended) on fishing. Have been since the age of 3 when I was given one of those plastic fishing rod sets with the string, magnet, and magnetic fish. The Cavekids were each introduced to the sport at the same age. And, while they both have shown interest in joining me on the water on occasion, neither have been fanatical about it … until now. The Caveboy’s interest has reached new heights ever since he got to attend his first ICAST last month. Now, he is eager to accompany me, especially for Summer ninja sessions. The Cavegirl, however, became an insane fishing freak just last night!
It started when we decided to have a “Daddy-Daughter” session on Lake Sherwood yesterday afternoon. We arrived to clear skies, no wind, 80° air temps, and very warm and clear water. She started throwing a Senko, in her hand-picked Watermelon/Red Flake pattern, on her pink and black Ladies Ugly Stik spincast combo. Every time she made an accurate cast (which occurred about 90% of the time), she squealed with delight, “Daddy, did you see that one?!?”.
After about ten minutes of that, she decided that it was time to learn to cast a spinning reel. So, I put a decent Daiwa combo in her hand and spent some time showing her the differences in the two types. Sure enough, her first cast settled perfectly into the water a good 30 yards out, and was immediately sucked down by a hungry Bass. Unfortunately, she didn’t connect on the hookset. Though, that didn’t deter her one bit. She spent the next half an hour working hard to perfect her technique.
We didn’t get any more action at that spot, which compelled us to move about 100 yards down the bank. She decided to go back to her spincaster for the time being, so I started throwing an Ima Skimmer. I had just started my first retrieve when suddenly she was yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! I got one!!”. She fought the beast valiantly, but the fish shook free not far from the dock we were on. She didn’t blink an eye … just reeled in her bait, redressed it, and went back to casting out. On my next cast, I only got two twitches in before this 3.75 pounder inhaled my bait and put on an aerial show that had us both going “WHOA!”.
I had barely gotten the fish back into the water, when she again was screaming that she had hooked up. This time, she battled this three pound battler all the way to the dock and positioned it perfectly for me to lip it for her. You can see the pride on her face! From there on out, she was non-stop casting and retrieving trying to repeat her feat.
Meanwhile, I nailed a couple of Senko fish of my own, and missed on a couple of blow-ups on a new inline buzzbait, made by my fellow fishing fanatic friend Mark “Chief” Torrez, that I have been working with lately. When things seemed to slow down, she suggested we move to another spot that had been lucky for both of us the last time we were there.
As we were making our first casts at the new area of operation, she turned to me and said, “Dad, I love this. Not just catching the fish, but being out here on the water … in nature, with you”. My jaw hit the floor … she’s just 8 years old and she gets it already! Not 10 seconds later, she’s hooked up again – to a monster! The fish made several line peeling runs before she got the 5+ pound pig close to the dock. As I kneeled down to lip the fish, it made one last turn to the depths and snapped her line. Instead of being justifiably bummed, she joyfully said, “That was great! Let’s do that again!!”.
Regrettably, that was her last hook-up of the day. But, she delighted in each of the seven fish I landed from there on out, including this sweet 4+ pounder that annihilated the new buzzbait. All the while, she was making plans for future fishing trips … which involved everything from Bass trips to other local lakes, to overnight Tuna trips out of San Diego, to even fishing in tournaments with her dear old Cavedad. Finally, after more than 5 hours, I made her reluctantly call “last cast”. The whole way home she couldn’t stop talking about her new passion.
Look out fishing world! There’s a new devotee in your midst!!