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Fit in a Fun Friday – Fishing

I learned how to fish when I was 4 years old.  My grandparents have owned two catfish ponds for as long as I’ve been alive, so that’s what I know how to fish.  I love fishing the ponds since they are surrounded by pine trees and it is so relaxing just to cast a hook into the water and wait.

My grandpa, aunts, and uncles all had a hand in teaching me.  They successfully taught me to bait a hook and cast it.  I even quickly learned how to properly reel in a fish once it took the bait.  Then they hit my stubborn streak.

I refused to learn how to take a fish off a hook.  I was even more against cleaning them so they could be eaten.

I think I was 10 years old before I realized why I hated to take the fish off the hooks.  I saw all my family get “hit” by the catfish fins more than once and thought that it was silly to get yourself hurt for food that you didn’t really need.  Once I realized why I was so wary, I decided that my grandpa’s thick gardening gloves protected my hands enough that I started handling that task myself.

I have yet to gut a fish.  I enjoy eating fried catfish and will keep people company if they are cleaning them to be our dinner, but if I am on my own, I am a catch and release fisherman.  Killing and skinning and gutting just seem like too much trouble to me when we have perfectly good food in the house anyway.

I thought about cleaning a fish one time.  We went on an 8 hour deep sea fishing trip out of Galveston when I was about 19 years old.  I caught a big fish about an hour and a half into the trip, and then sea sickness hit me for the next 6 hours.  It had to be the worst trip ever for me, but I refused to throw back the one and only fish I caught since it signified the only fun part of the whole day.  I resolved to keep it, clean it, and eat it…but thankfully there were guys back at the dock that would clean and fillet our catch for $1 per fish.  I quickly paid to have it done and ate the fillets with my husband-to-be the next day.  So my stubborn streak continues.

So there you have it.  I like the process of fishing but I don’t usually revel in the work involved after the catch.  I keep count though.  The most catfish and perch that I’ve caught in one day – 23!  It took 4 1/2 hours and I could have caught more if I hadn’t gotten bored.  They must have been starving or something because my little sister even caught one that day – her first caught fish ever – on an UNBAITED hook dangling off the pier…she was so proud.  :-)

Have you ever been fishing?  What do you enjoy about it?

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14 comments to Fit in a Fun Friday – Fishing

  • We went fishing twice last weekend. It was our granddaughter’s first time and she caught a tiny little bluegill, but was very proud of herself. My husband caught one, too, only a little larger, so back into the pond they went. We know of another (stocked) pond where we can fish, so we’ll probably go there soon.

    I grew up near a large sportsman’s lake, but my parents weren’t “water people” and didn’t fish, so I have done very little fishing in my life.

  • I grew up fishing all the time, and I loved it

    I never had a problem baiting a hook, or taking the fish off the hook, unless they swallowed the hook, or it was a catfish. I hated catching catfish, so when I did, it was my brother’s or dad’s job to take it off the hook. I cannot even imagine skinning a catfish. I saw my dad do it once and I ran in the house crying.

  • I’m more of a lying in the hammock in the shade with a good novel (and plenty of bug spray) kind of person. DH likes fishing but it makes me antsy. Cleaning fish isn’t so bad though. Not my favorite activity, but I can handle it. I don’t like the way it’s so hard to get sticky scales off my hands though.

  • These post takes me back to those very early years with my Grandpa Ike and fishing in Iowa. Good memories.

    Since then, I enjoy fishing, just wish I could catch more of them, and have time to do it (too). I enjoy saltwater because the fish or (usually) bigger. But .. fishing is fishing.

    Thanks Ms. BFS. Makes me homesick for a more simple time of life. And a Grandpa I will always miss.

    :)

  • BFS

    @Annie, yay for your granddaughter! I know how happy my little sister was with her first tiny perch! :-)

    @Everyday Tips, yeah, catfish can be evil. I have no idea how many times those sharp fins got my uncles and grandpa…

    @Nicole, ahhh, a hammock sounds nice. How about an audio book and a fishing pole? :-)

    @ODWO, I bet you are looking forward to next month then! I’m glad I brought back some good memories. I am sorry about your grandpa. Mr. BFS and I have a rough decade coming up since all of our remaining grandparents are in their 80s now…

  • I fished a bit, when I was younger (but not enough…)

    My kids had the same problem as you did with taking the fish off of the hook. I bought thick rubber gloves for my son, and he then started to do it (although he was still afraid of hurting the fish)… The beauty of thick rubber gloves is that you don’t take off the protective layer of oil that is on the fish, so it’s heathier for them, and good for you… a classic win-win.

    Oh, both of my kids use the gloves to bait the hook too. It’s funny watching them fumble around trying to do this with thick rubber gloves on (lol).

  • Jenna

    I don’t go fishing very often but when I do, the thing I like most about it is spending time with whomever I with, friends and family. Your post reminded be about catching lobsters when I was younger and why I don’t like cooking them (same as your gutting comment). I wrote my college entrance paper on it actually!

  • BFS

    @Money Reasons, I’m giggling at the picture of baiting a hook with gloves…hehehe. Some friends and I are going out to the country next month and fishing will be available. I’ll buy some thick rubber gloves, so thanks!

    @Jenna, that would have been a very original college entrance paper! I know people will wonder how nuts I am when I say this, but I don’t like the taste of lobster…I can eat it if it’s around, but I much prefer steak or even chicken… :-)

  • Here’s my experience: I went fishing a two or three times as a little kid, didn’t catch anything, and never fished again.

    While fishing clearly isn’t my thing, I can see why it can be enjoyable. Being outdoors, spending quality time with someone you care about…those are good things. And the challenge of catching a big fish, or a lot of them.

    By the way, $1 seems like a pretty good deal to clean and filet fish.

  • I’m not much of a fish eater, so fishing sounds relaxing, I’m just not sure what I’d do with them once I caught them. When you catch and release, does the hook hurt them? Or do you use another type of bait? I’m just curious since that’s what I’d do if I ever did “go fishing.”

  • BFS

    @Squirrelers, yeah, fishing would be boring if you never catch anything. $1 was AWESOME. :-)

    @Little House, yes, the hook probably hurts when it goes through their cheek and it will pretty much kill them if they swallow it completely (hard to remove without killing them). My grandparents live in the middle of 300 acres of forest, so I figure if a fish doesn’t survive, a turtle or raccoon would be pretty happy…

  • [...] Budgeting in the Fun Stuff suggests going fishing for a fun way to spend a Friday. It brought back all kinds of memories I spent as a kid fishing with my family. I miss those days! [...]

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