I was born the daughter of a fisherman. My dad was the pastor of a local church and the manager at various Jefferson County Waste Water Treatment plants, but anyone who knows him, knows he is a fisherman at heart.
He even combined two of his favorite things (God and fishing) and started a ministry called Ain’t God Good Fishing Ministries, which eventually evolved into an India ministry where he and my mom are missionaries.
So it would only seem right that I was raised in a bass boat. I spent many of my early days sitting in the boat, parked in the back yard practicing my casting. My mom promises that if I had kept it up I could have been one of the first famous women fishermen because I was surprisingly accurate for a little girl. At 6 and 7 years old, I could put a spinner bait wherever my dad told me to.
With a history like that, you’d think I would be an avid fisherman. You’d think I would be good at it. But here I sit, as a 30-something-year-old lady and I still use a Zebco 33 reel and a Shakespeare rod, much like the same ones I threw when I was a kid. Oh, when I was a teenager I tried to learn the open face reel, but after more bird nests in the line than I could count and spending most of my fishing days getting knots out of the reel instead of actually casting, I went back to old faithful.
My family has a nice, little house on the Warrior River and I have married a man who seems to love the fishing on that river. He has been bitten by the fishing bug and it won’t let go of him. Our weekends are now spent moving heaven and earth to be out on the water fishing.
I should clarify that although fishing is in my blood, I don’t care to fish when I’m not sure I’m using the right lures, hitting the right spots or going at the right times. Basically, I need my dad there to tell me every single thing to do, then I will fish all day without evening thinking about whispering a complaint. But when my loving husband takes me fishing, I find myself questioning my bait, wondering about our locations and being much more verbal than I would ever dare to be with my father. So, what I’m getting at is that I am no longer a good fishing partner.
I have turned into the woman who has a mean look on her face every time she slaps a bug away from her leg; huffs when we don’t get a bite for 30 minutes and growls when a limb hits me in the back of the head because I’m facing the opposite way and not running the trolling motor.
Yep, no good, self-respecting man would take me out on the river... but my husband, with the patience of Job (most of the time) has gotten me out on the river more the past three weeks than I have been in probably the past two years.
Just seeing how excited he is when we get in the boat and go flying down the river is worth every mosquito bite.
Up until the past few weeks, I had happily outfished him at every outing. If he caught two, I would make sure I caught three. He kept trying to convince me that it wasn’t a competition, but when you’re winning, it’s always a competition. Now that he has really caught on and is ripping some big bass lips, I have decided that he was right from the beginning, it’s not a competition. We should be on each other’s team, not against each other. (That is, until I finally catch more then him again.)
It had been so long since I had done any good boat fishing, that the first trip we took together, I spent more time asking him to troll by the bank so I could get my lures out of trees then I spent actually wetting my line. It was not only embarrassing to me, but I felt as though I was a failure to my whole fishing family. I’ve gotten over it now, and I’ve also discovered that I set the hook on a limb bream much better than I set the hook on a large mouth bass.
All of that aside, I’ve got to tell you, there is nothing I’d rather do then spend time with my man... whether that be laying on the couch watching television, riding in the car or floating down the Warrior River. I feel the same way about spending time with my dad. That’s the only reason I ever fished as a kid. It wasn’t that I liked eating soggy sandwiches and Vienna Sausages in the blistering sun; nope, it was the perfect excuse to get to spend time with my dad.
So whether it be my excuse for spending time with the special men in my life, or if I’m just trying to get better so that I can outfish them, you can probably bet that if we have a free afternoon on the weekends, you’ll be able to located me somewhere down the Warrior River with a fishing rod in hand.
Happy fishing to you.