Little did I know that when I posted my “gone fishin'” notice, that we would actually go fishing.
There is a fishing pier at the beach where we vacationed. I remember from childhood and early teen years what it was like to go out on a fishing pier and watch the fishermen. I even fished on occasion. My dad had bought me a nice ocean fishing rod and we would go out on Crystal Pier at Wrightsville Beach and fish in the wee early morning. I loved it. And I still have that fishing rod.
When I realized that there was a fishing pier, taking the kids to the pier became the one thing I wanted to do while we were at the beach. Other than playing in the sand and surf with the kids, that is. Pawpaw is a big fisherman. He loves to go out fishing and they even planned to take the kids once they had gone back home. He joined us on the pier and I’m so glad he did. It was so much fun watching the kiddos watch other people fish. They pointed and asked questions. They stuck their heads out through the rails to look down at the moving water.
When we got out to the end of the pier, there was a rope stretched across with a sign that said something like “only mackeral fishing beyond this point,” which was a simple but effective barricade for observers like us. However, there was one man out there fishing that motioned us forward. I think he knew the kids were harmless and extremely curious. As we walked around, there was another young fisherman (I’d say he was about 12 years old, give or take a year. I’m not good at judging kids in that age-range) nearby catching bait fish for fun. He saw Monkey and Little Man and completely took them under his wing.
My kids got to go fishing for the first time that day.
This young fisherman was so good and so energetic about fishing, his attitude was contagious. Not only were we enthralled with him, but other families visiting the pier with their children were drawn to his little corner of the pier. He would toss out his rig to the bait fish swarming below, hook a few, then let Monkey and Little Man take turns reeling them in. He would take the fish off the hook and let them hold the fish, then toss it back in.
They were both timid about holding the fish, at first, but they got over their hesitation quickly. Pretty soon they were tossing fish over the edge regularly. Even those caught by other people. Monkey had one that she wanted to throw over, but Little Man asked to see it. She gave it to him, but told him “don’t throw it over, I want to do that.” As soon as she gave it to him, he ran to the side and tossed the fish. “HEY!” she cried. Then he ran over to the afore mentioned sign hanging across the rope barricade, pointed to it and said, “see this sign? It says only boys throw fish over. Only boys.” He’s a smart one, that kid.
I took a picture of Little Man showing with his hands how big the biggest fish was that he caught. There’s a scant eight inches between his hands – which was pretty accurate, but by the time he came home, he was telling everyone about the “monster fish” he caught. He would stretch one hand as high over his head as he could and the other as low as he could, angling his body just so to make the space between his hands as big as possible to show how large this monster fish was. Neither I, nor Pawpaw told him how to tell fishing tales; it’s instinctive in this kid.
I’m so glad we decided to “go fishin” that night. I can’t wait until next year – I’ll bring my own fishing pole and then we can all catch fish.