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What's the Story on the First Fish You Caught?

GarboGarbo Posts: 1,262 Officer
On Sundays my family went to church in the morning and it was very common after church to go to my Grandparents farm for lunch are right after lunch. It was just a little more than an hour drive to their farm which was located just north of Bonifay Florida. Granddaddy had a very large piece of property and I always enjoyed going as I was a child that lived in the city and being able to roam around in the country was heaven compared to having to stay in the yard or a friends yard.

One Sunday at my age of 5, after church we went home and changed clothes and were off to the farm. My father didn't believe that people should fish on Sundays and he had never taken me fishing on a Sunday so I took my Red Rider BB Gun and planned on sneaking up on as many birds around the cow pastures as I could. We got to my Granddaddies house and had lunch. My Grandmother, Momo never had a fancy lunch but there were always several sorts of fresh cooked vegetables, cornbread and one kind of meat, syrup and sweet tea. I can't remember one time eating lunch at Granddaddies house and it not seeming to be the best food I had ever had. After lunch the whole family went outside and sat under a very large Pecan tree in chairs and swings that always sat under the old Pecan tree. The family would sit and visit most of the afternoon there and as the afternoon progressed it was certain to be that several neighbors, the preacher and other friends would stop by and spend a few minutes visiting under the tree.

This Sunday afternoon seemed no different than any other Sunday afternoon but something had to be out of whack. As I was getting my BB gun ready to go on my hunting expedition my Daddy sent me back into the house to get an empty mason jar from Momo's pantry. Of course I did what he told me to do and soon returned with a quart sized, empty Mason jar. He got up from his chair and told me to come with him as he walked to the backyard and toward the barn. As he walked down the side of the barn I remember wondering..Why, Where and What are we doing that we needed an empty Mason jar. Daddy walked around the back of the barn and stopped under an old Catawba worm tree. A Catawba worm tree is most likely a tree with a more proper name but it has very large leaves and during the late spring and summer a certain type of moth lays eggs under the leaves that hatch a very vividly colored larva or worm that eats the leaves of the Catawba Tree. If left alone the Catawba worm will spin itself a cocoon and form into a very large moth which I guess would repeat the cycle. Daddy looked under a low hanging leaf and showed me several of the Yellow, Blue, White and Black assorted colored worms and told me to put them in the jar. I picked the first one off the leaf and it spit a stream of what looked like blood onto my hand and made me somewhat skeptical about getting another one off the leaf. I looked up and Daddy and he told me not to worry that it would wash off and then I was ready to fill the jar with these worms. He let me pick off 30 or so and then made me stop and told me that we needed to leave some for seed. He told me to take one of the leaves off the tree and put it into the jar and we went back to the Pecan Tree.

My uncle had drove up while we were behind the barn picking worms and he had 4 or 5 cane poles in the back of his truck. Daddy and I got into the cab of his truck and we drove away with me holding tight to Mason jar of worms. I little while later we turned off Hwy 2 onto a dirt road and shortly down the dirt road we arrived at Lake Victor. We unloaded the little bit of gear from the back of the truck and walked out onto a levee or **** that bordered the road and the lake. Daddy sat me down in the tall grass and baited my hook with a very very juicy Catawba worm and told me to put it into the water and if the yellow cork goes under to pull it up. I did just like he said and put the worm in the water and he walked a few steps to my right and was baiting the hook on the cane pole he was going to fish with. I watched him throw is worm out into the water landing it well past the distance from the bank that I was fishing so naturally I had to correct mine. I lifted my cork and worm from the water and pulled my cane pole over my right shoulder to do what Daddy had done and as I went to throw my worm back out to the water it was not coming back as it was in the tree behind me well out of my reach. I looked at Daddy and he simply started walking toward me most likely biting his lip or holding back in some other way and got my mess untangled. He then put the cane pole back into my hand and helped me put the worm out farther away from the bank and told me to watch the cork and if it went under to pull it back. I sat back down and I watched him as he walked the few steps away to his pole. When I looked back at the water in front of me I could not find my cork anywhere and I remember searching the waters surface with my eyes and being somewhat afraid that I had not done what I was supposed to as I was supposed to see my cork go under and now I couldn't even find it. I lifted my cane pole from the grass and as I picked it up higher it pulled back and so I pulled back and it pulled back harder and I pulled with all I had and screamed for Daddy. He came to me and told me to pull the fish in and as if it were yesterday I remember thinking it was stronger than me and I was in trouble. I asked him to help and he made me do it myself. As I fought with the fish I backed up the bank and fought as much with my legs as my arms and hands and eventually got the large warmouth bream to the bank and up into the tall grass. It was a very proud day for me as well as my Daddy. Over his desk there is some family pictures and one of them stands out among the rest and it's of Daddy and me with "the Warmouth".

My father never took me fishing again on a Sunday but that memory was a story I heard him tell many many times over. He is now suffering with Alzheimer's disease which has erased his memory of that fishing trip and making it so he will never tell the story again making it an even more memorable to me.

What's the Story on the First Fish You Caught?



  • MasterTanglerMasterTangler Posts: 31 Deckhand
    That is a great story........thanks for sharing. My sympathies to you and your family concerning the difficult struggles you are going through.

    My first fish? I can "bare"-ly remember. It was smallish but what I do remember is my diaper a bit to low and getting a bad sunburn, that and dropping my binky in the water. I'm surprised I stayed with it :rolleyes
    Mess with me and you mess with the whole trailer park........ http://mastertangler.blogspot.com
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,243 Admiral
    Great story, sorry to hear about your pops. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease, and our office raises money each and every year to fight for a cure.

    My story was a lot like yours, cane pole, cricket and bream. I remember jumping up and down shouting when my bobber went under. It wasn't until I sight fished my first Largemouth (on my snoopy rod) by dangling a plastic worm in front of a 1lb bass near the shore that I became HOOKED!
    Heroes On the Water
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  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Enjoyable read & thanks for sharing. Sorry about your situation. Can't really remember the first, but it probably had to do with a Grandfather & an eel.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I was 4 years old, and visiting my grandparents on their farm in rural Massachusetts. I had already seen my dad come back from fishing/drinking trips, to lodges in Maine (brook trout) and facilities in the Florida Everglades (snook) and I wanted to go fishing too. But forget dad taking me...he never fished in those days, except on these outings.

    This was in the early to mid-fifties and a fishing rod back then, was a cheap ($2-$5) 3-piece 9 ft. bamboo fly rod. The reel was akin to a baitcaster, but with no level wind and no drag. Overrun was prevented by tightening a left side bearing, much like today's reels. These reels hung "upside down" on the rod and were essentially used backwards. Line was a black braided linen and then the same in Dacron. We used Eagle Claw snelled hooks and split shots for weight.

    Well, one day, (I was about 4 y.o. at the time) Gramp takes me to the garden and shows me how to dig worms. Then we took our gear across the street to our neighbor's farm. Donny Mott had scoured out a swampy area and made a pond. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he also uncovered about a dozen little springs and these kept the pond full and with cool water, even in Summer. Originally, Donny had the pond stocked with rainbow trout. He also had stocked black bullhead babies, that were easily found around the shoreline at all the "swimming holes" around the area. Via that same method, he also added largemouth bass, after all the trout were gone.

    The trout were supposedly gone on this first day and we would be targeting hornpout, the local name given to the black bullhead. As the sun went down, we began to catch a few of these and Gramp let me take the rod, while he kept the mosquitos off as best he could. The only repellant we had in those days, was some stuff called "6-12." I suppose it helped, but its effectiveness was questionable. I can still remember the smell of that stuff, and could probably identify it, now almost 60 years later.

    We had released several hornpout, when suddenly my rod bent over something fierce. Gramp thought I must have a big one. But it came up out of the water and proved to be a fat 9 inch rainbow trout. OH how pleased and proud Gramp was!!! He cooked it for me, rolled in corn meal and fried in bacon grease, for breakfast the next morning. It was all over for me after that....I was hooked for sure.
  • wpbthwpbth Posts: 443 Officer
    I was about 8 my parents were building a new house and they got a great offer on there old one so we moved to some lake side condos for a summer. It was maybe our second day living there and my dad went out and bought me a new reel (used a cane pole before that). The next day I got up early went out on the dock and put a maggot on the hook and started fishing, about 5 min later my mom called me in for breakfast. I tied the pole to a piling and went and ate, came back and I had a 4 lb blue gill on the line. My dad showed me how to filet it and we ate it for diner that night. Now I am a fishing junky lol.
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Thinking that 4lb blue gill might have been some kind of record.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • GarboGarbo Posts: 1,262 Officer
    Thinking that 4lb blue gill might have been some kind of record.

    That is a very large Bluegill. That would be hard for me to live up to as a first fish.

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