Let me just start by posting the best first:
I pulled this mother out of the lake this afternoon. Now....let me post my "fish story"...
I started Gavin fishing for the first time early this season....we had pulled a million bluegills and sunnies out of the lake, along with the occasional catfish and the gift pickerel that we nailed....He's becoming quite the fisherman, even at 4 years old, the kid is learning how to set the hook like a champ....in fact, today...I taught him how to cast an open-face reel....I figured, why bother with these push button junkers...just teach him the real deal...anyway, he nailed it. He's a bit sketchy on the back swing but, he's nailing the release. Very "proud papa" moment there, but nothing like what would come later in the day.
So today, we're on the dock...a pretty standard day of fishing for us....he's pulling in bluegills every 5 minutes or so...usually, a day fishing on out dock turns out like this:
a bucket full of bluegills, fun as anything for a four year old...but after a while, Gavin decided that he wanted to practice casting. I took the hook off his line, showed him a thing or two, and let him rip, bobber only. I, in the meantime, strung up my pole, sent the line low and casted to an area that I I've pulled some impressive catfish out of this season. I'll spare some details here but....suddenly...I got a hit...I mean, a HIT. If you've fished long enough, you learn how certain fish hit. "Kivers" poke and prod and then zig-zag the whole way in. Bigger stuff like Catfish and Bass hit quick and strong and pull strong in one direction. This thing took my bait (just a simple hook and night crawler) and RAN. I said "Gavin...I got a big one"...he immediately knew what his job was...drop his pole and get the net. I reeled this guy in and Gavin was right there with the net in the water. I wasn't sure what I had on the line until it was about 7 feet out from the dock. After I saw that it was a MOTHER of a Bass, I was freaking out. Gavin got the net in the exact right spot in the water. I got down on a knee to start to lift this lunker to the surface and grab onto his bottom jaw with my fingers when.....suddenly....**SNAP** my line broke.
The biggest Bass I've ever pulled out of my lake in my life dropped and fell.....right into Gavin's net. We pulled him up onto the deck and got the hook out. It wasn't until things calmed down that I realized that....the only reason that we landed this fish is because my son...my 4 year old son, knew exactly what to do in the moment and performed marvelously. I realized that, through it all, I didn't give him 1 command or instruction. he just knew what to do. He was trained for this moment, and did exactly the right things. Had he not been at the ready and on point, this would have been just another story of "the one that got away", but...not the case today. I have to say....that was more impressive than the fish we landed (well, almost :^).
We showed the girls, snapped some pics:
and then let him go . I know, I know...here come the comments "why didn't you eat him"..." I can't believe you let that thing go"....well...gutting, cleaning, and filleting will be next years training. This year, we'll just continue to focus on catching them.
I had to thin out our lettuces. I planted way more than we needed....which I guess is a good problem. Anyway, I decided to do a major harvest and give individual bags of lettuces and spinach to the participants of the day program that I run. Both kids helped me harvest. Ivy helped me wash:
then we dried:
I'm sure that the folks at my program will enjoy these garden treats.
It was a very busy, yet very fulfilling weekend for our family. The Lord is using us to serve others in so many neat ways. I'm grateful for the Servant Heart of my wife and kids. That He is using us (and especially the little ones) to bring Him glory through service. I'm specially thankful for the down time that He gives us...and the blessings, like garden greens and this HUGE fish, that He sends our way....