I still remember my first catch. I was fishing with my Grandpa Duffy in a body of water behind my Aunt Amy’s and Uncle Frank’s house. They had a small boat tied up to dock that sat just above the water and must have been 20 feet of so in length. It looked dangerous to me so grandpa and I fished from the shore. When my first fish hooked itself on my line, I was excited and started jumping up and down then grandpa put his hand on my head and told me to take care of business first, then I could get excited. He said if I didn’t do this, the fish might get away. This was the first bit of wisdom he passed on to me.
After I reeled in a small Perch, I asked grandpa if we were going to eat it. He said it was too small for that and that we should put it back in the water so it could grow up, then we’d catch it later. Even though this made me a little sad, I loved seeing the little thing swim away, maybe to its mommy.
I remember these events clearly as if they took place yesterday, but I was only five years old, and that was 61 years ago.
Since that time, I have caught, released, eaten, or used for bait thousands of fish, some weighing in excess of 100 pounds and some smaller than my first catch. Regardless of their size, species, or eventual fate, they all had my respect, a respect for nature, just as my grandpa showed me with that first little Perch.
Now that I have retired because society seems to think I am an “old man”, I have taken up the sport again after over a decade away from it.
This blog will tell the tales of my fishing ventures and it will pass along some of my grandfather’s sage advice, advice that is still relevant today, six decades later. Those posts will be called, “Advice From Grandpa”. I will also be posting an occasional fishing memory from times past, these will simply be labeled as “Memories”.