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"Fishing With Jace"

©2006 - 2016 By Bronson Herrmuth

I took my 4 year old Grandson, Jace, fishing the other day. He was on spring break from pre school and his Mom and Grandma were after me to take him fishing. Being in the music business and working for myself, I was free to take the morning off midweek and go pick him up for our first ever official fishing trip. Of course it turned out the day we went it was really windy, the water was down and the fish just weren't biting so we didn't even get a bite, nevertheless catch any fish. We had a big time though talking and enjoying hanging out together. Jace brought me up to date on his huge world of pre school, his friends, his little brother Cain, his favorite TV shows, etc., as we sat on the bank fishing.

Being a little guy, Jace's attention span is pretty short and after a couple of hours and two different spots, we decided to call it a day. We agreed it was time to eat our sandwiches, chips, cookies and juice boxes that Grandma had sent along for our picnic lunch. I could tell he was a little disappointed that he didn't catch a fish, so as we sat and ate I explained to Jace that some days you got lucky and caught fish and other days you didn't. He nodded his head and said he understood and repeated what I had told him with a big sigh. It was Awesome to have that one on one time with him. The Good Lord willing, this trip was only the first of many fishing trips I will take with him and my other young Grandsons, Cain and Dylan.

Meanwhile, now Grandpa had a major case of Crappie fever and here in Tennessee, right now is the time to start catching the big ones as they come shallow to find places to spawn. Saturday morning comes and finds me standing on a dock on Percy Priest Lake casting, and catching, big crappie. I fished from 7:45am to 4:00pm and I had put 20 fish in my basket. Keeping in mind that Tennessee fishing regulations dictate that a Crappie must be at least 10 inches in length to keep, I had one heavy basket of flopping fish and I was in Crappie Heaven. I could already envision cleaning them, cooking them and chowing down on these early cold water spring Filets. I could close my eyes and taste them. The best eating fish on the planet in my book and I had 20 of them. I was pumped. Time to go home and sharpen my filet knife.

I head across the dock to where I had my basket tied and I grab the rope, ready to haul it up like I had to do the last five or six fish I had put in, because it was so heavy. I pull up the rope and the basket comes flying out of the water spraying my face with lake water, light as a feather, hitting me smack in the face ... empty. Completely empty. I couldn't believe it as I looked to see the spring operated lid was pushed down and so the top was wide open. Every one of those Crappie had swam out and I had not one fish. Only one word describes how I felt as the realization of what had happened sank in. Devastated. I drove home totally dejected, immediately bemoaning my tale of woe and despair, only to find a Grandma not at all interested in my "Fishing Story". My son Wil (13) thought it was hilarious, so needless to say, sympathetic ears were not in the picture. I was forced to deal with my despair and immense grief all on my own. 20 Crappie ... fish fry ... fresh Crappie, lbs of it gone because of a faulty spring on a fish basket. Unbelievable.

So the very next night Grandma drives out to babysit Jace and his baby brother Cain, and Jace hears her telling his Mom and Dad the story about Grandpa losing all of his fish. He pipes up immediately saying that when him and his Grandpa went fishing he didn't even catch one fish. His Grandma turned to him and told him, just like I had, that some days you got lucky and caught fish and other days you didn't. That day Grandpa just got lucky. Jace looked at her and without missing a beat replied ... "doesn't sound like he was too lucky to me Grandma, if he lost all of his fish".

When Grandma came home and told me what Jace had said I laughed so hard tears rolled down my cheeks. So amazing how a young mind cuts right to the chase like that. Amazing and no doubt only one of the countless joys of being a very proud Grandpa who got to go fishing with Jace.


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