Friday, August 21, 2009

The Bassmaster

We've taken Jackson and Alex fishing a few times, but up until this summer they had never even got so much as a nibble. I've already posted about our Maine trip, but I felt the fishing experience deserved a separate post.

At times, and like many 6-year old boys I'd imagine, Jackson can have grandiose expectations but lacks the patience or willingness to put forth the effort to achieve something. We headed out to the docks the first morning after we arrived in Maine, bathed liberally in mosquito repellent but thankful for the slight breeze which kept the swarms at bay. Jackson had no interest in having me actually show him how to use this particular rod, and thus was having a difficult time. About 37 seconds into the experience, he decided he was done and ran off to watch his older cousin Dylan fish and hear stories about catching a 'big bass'. Alex patiently casted and sat happily, daydreaming. He is an accomplished daydreamer and can turn on a daydream at a moment's notice, usually a moment after I have asked him to put on his shoes, or get undressed for a bath, or wash his hands for dinner, or clean up an activity, or....I digress. Back to the docks--Alex promptly caught a couple of sunfish and had a ball doing it.

The following day, Jackson had a larger capacity for patience and he had a near miss with something big--the line snapped as he was reeling a fish in, but that was enough to get him hooked. Later, Jackson went back to the docks with Sam, Uncle Bodi, and his cousin Holden, where the following ensued...

The week turned into one of those programs that you see on a B-grade sports channel on Sunday afternoons--fishing, fishing, and more fishing. We all had a blast, though, and kept our eye out for one of a few massive snapping turtles that hang around the docks. Alex had his own patented method for snapping turtle repellent:

There was a fishing derby that weekend for kids aged 5-13. Jackson ended up rallying against the older kids and won third prize for biggest fish! His prize was a new lure, and his grin was fantastic.

The last night in Maine, Jackson and I headed to the docks for one last dose of fishing for the summer, this time with his newly-won lure. With three children, it is always a special treat to spend one-on-one time with any of them, and as I watched Jackson that night I tried to etch that image in my mind, of his 6-year old self. He caught another good-sized fish, which we took home with us. Papa cleaned it, and Nana cooked it the next day and put it in a fish sandwich for lunch. I have never seen Jackson so excited to eat a fish sandwich.

Alex will be old enough for the fishing derby next year, so Jackson will have some stiff competition...

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