Sunday, August 15, 2010


First and foremost, this family vacation is oriented around fishing. When I agreed to come along, I made it known that I was not sure if I would do any angling. I wasn't trying to be difficult. I just wanted it to be clear that going out into the middle of a lake and watching a bobber for hours wasn't what I necessarily wanted to do day in and day out.

We didn't go fishing all the time when I was a kid, but it was a common thing for us to do on a Sunday afternoon in the spring through the fall. We didn't go on many family summer vacations, but I can recall two--one to Wisconsin and one to Michigan's Upper Peninsula--that were built around going fishing.

I'm not sure exactly when I chose to stop fishing. I think it was in high school. I remember being bored with it. It probably didn't help that the activity basically consisted of sitting in a lawn chair on the shore and not catching anything. There's also the possibility that I was simply being difficult. Still, it cannot be discounted that I have no desire to touch fish or to have them touch me. (This also explains my great hesitancy to get in natural bodies of water. I don't want fish touching me. Where this came from, I don't know.)

It was the morning of our departure for this trip, and I still hadn't purchased a seven-day Minnesota fishing license. I explained that I didn't know if I would fish or not. Deep down I knew that I likely would, in part to be a good sport, but I put off making it official until the last minute. Not that having the license meant I would have to fish, just that I legally could.

I decided that I would go out on the pontoon boat when everyone made their first venture onto the lake this morning. No one would have been upset if I hadn't gone, but I felt like it was the right thing to do. I stated upfront that I did not want to touch any fish, which is probably the behavior of a jerk, but I'm not joking around. I needed to drill this into them.

I baited wax worms on my own line, but I let others put minnows on. I used to do the latter, but I do find the thought of doing it now somewhat disconcerting. No one seemed to mind, so I was happy to let them take care of it.

The winds were pretty strong all day. Driving through some whitecaps this morning left me drenched and cold. (It was in the 60s, and the low end at that, here.) No one was catching much, just four keepers (two perch, one sunfish, and one walleye) and one throwback (a northern pike). I didn't have as much as a nibble, yet I did go back out for an afternoon in which the wind blew us all over the lake and no one caught anything.

I can't say that I want to go out every single time that the rental boat is fired up this week, but I'll probably go more than I had been planning to. I didn't mind the time on the water, even if all that rocking in the wind-tossed boat had me wiped out early this evening. There should still be plenty of other time for doing what I'd like--reading and knitting--and I imagine I'll seem less aloof to everyone else if I tag along. Is that the maturity that a teenage me didn't possess?

But I'm still not touching any fish.

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At 7:57 AM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

I used to just take my books with me and read while fishing with my dad if we were having a slow day. Sometimes it's just the mere act of being on the boat that makes for good bonding time. I suppose now if we went out I could take my knitting along as well. I am sure your family wouldn't mind if you did. :)


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