It’s been at least 2-1/2 years since I’ve been fishing. I simply can’t manage to tie a hook on, thanks mostly to Mr. Parkinson and some other neurological issues, and I’m too stubborn to ask for help.
Actually, I doubt that I could crank a reel handle or take a fish off the hook if I lucked up and caught one. The last few times we went, my brother, Andy, had to clean and fry our catch and he seemed to enjoy the ones I caught even more than I did. In fact, I believe he had more fun watching me than he did with his own catch.
Add to that, the fact that I haven’t driven in nearly a year and don’t foresee doing so anytime soon unless I experience a major medical miracle. That actually happened in 2011 after I’d gone nearly two years unable to drive so I’m not entirely without hope. Loretta would gladly take me fishing but I can’t see her tying on hooks or taking fish off them any better than I can.
My frustration stems from the fact that it’s possible to catch a good mess of fish year round in central Kentucky within 15 miles or less from our house. I just finger counted over 20 places I used to fish at least a few times every year and I almost never came home emptyhanded. If they weren’t biting in one hole within 10 minutes, I’d move on up or down the road a mile or 10 and eventually find some cooperation.
For many years, I had access to a couple of farm ponds within easy walking distance of the house. On numerous occasions, I have left home before daylight and spent 8 or 10 hours hitting several fishing holes without coming home with anything to stink up the skillet. I would park my truck in the driveway, take a short hike to a neighbor’s pond and have a nice mess of fat bluegill within an hour.
Loretta would ask why I didn’t just go there in the first place instead of driving through three or four counties and I would tell her that I didn’t want to wear out the honey holes. Most of the time I didn’t have to and the local ponds were mostly reserved for late afternoons, after work, when there really wasn’t time enough to get packed up and drive several miles.
Fresh caught fish is easily my favorite meal and it used to be that I would go to great lengths to satisfy my craving. I could eat fish three meals a day, seven days a week and never get tired of it. Not to mention that catching fish is the most fun I’ve ever had.
I get a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction out of gardening but, in the final analysis, gardening amounts to a lot of hard work. The only things related to fishing that I consider work are catching bait and maintaining tackle. I used to enjoy those chores but I am completely unable to perform them now. I’m afraid that if I bent over to catch a nightcrawler, I would never be able to straighten back up.
Still, I’m expecting Andy to visit within the next couple of weeks to clean off the garden. I’m hoping to talk him into respooling line on a couple of spinning reels while he’s resting. I’m afraid they have been out of use for so long the existing line has dry-rotted.
Of course that presumes that we are actually going to go fishing sometime soon. While that is certainly not a sure thing, I’m sitting at my keyboard, drooling because I’m craving fresh fish so badly and nothing store-bought is going to fit the bill.