With another year of Good Fishing about to close I recall my years as a youngster fishing with my father at small ponds mostly for Bluegills with a simple cane pole and bobber. Later years,
we would go catfishing with my Grandfather at the rivers that I enjoyed but found the old equipment to be somewhat troublesome and the staying in one area to be frustrating.
During my teens years I was introduced to big lake fishing from a boat with my Uncle. On the drive he would tell me how good Bass fishing is at this lake and after stopping at the bait shop for a couple lures and advice, we headed for the lake. As we pulled up to the ramp my excitement grew as I looked out across this big lake. I remember well that day saying "I caught a fish" with the anticipation while fighting and finally landed the Bass which was the biggest fish other than catfish I had caught. Since I had used mostly live bait in the past, I suddenly felt like a real novice to bass fishing with this pre-rigged worm or other lures and I still remember how great that felt. I caught a couple more that day and the fight from these fish is what I believe hooked me on bass fishing and as I grew in my experience of fishing I could not wait to share this knowledge with others.
Then it was my turn to share with my wife Linda the thrill of not only bass fishing but the entire sport of fishing and the outdoors. Next was our girls who really did not have the same devotion for bass fishing as we did but it was the panfish that were more of a joy for them. Later in the years there was nothing like the rewarding experience of seeing the smiles on our grandkids faces as they caught their own fish.
Since those early days Linda and I have many great memories of fishing trips, memories of our days of tournament fishing together and good memories of introducing others to this great sport of fishing that will always be with us.
An unforgettable trip was when we took our friends bass fishing near their home in Southern, IL and once they both hooked into a nice bass, they too were hooked. We still talk or laugh about John fighting the bass as it jumped out of the water, all while we were telling him how to land it.
Some of the best fish-catching experiences were introducing or exposing someone new to fishing or to fishing for different species of fish. Another memorable trip was taking our friends to Bull Shoals Lake Crappie fishing and it is so great we can all still re-live that trip whenever we get together. A more recent trip was introducing friends to Walleye fishing and getting the chance to say "don't put your finger in its month". And even better when we had the walleye fry that next day and having them tell us that was the best fish they have ever eaten.
Looking back, I think it was as exciting for us as it was for all of them and even though we are multi-species anglers today, bass still have a spot in our hearts. That lake I first fished does not look the same today, with all the development and the murky water but I still have those fishing memories. Fishing is a big part of who we are, we get pleasure from sharing what we have learned about fishing and enjoy watching new anglers getting hooked on fishing.
Next year introduce someone to the fun sport of fishing, a kid, a grandkid, a friend or a parent. One other thing to remember is there are also guides which can make it easy for you to take someone fishing with you. We feel it is our duty to share with others or make sure the next generation learns and experiences the thrill of fishing as well as an appreciation for our great outdoor resources.
The Fishing & Outdoor Shows gets underway in January offering an opportunity to see new tackle and hear the latest fishing technique seminars. A great Expo in area is the Illinois Fish & Feather Expo in Bloomington in late January with the best local anglers sharing knowledge for all or any species of fish along with guest speaker, Crappie Guide Steve Welch. You will not only find tackle and gear but various fishing guides, several resort owners and more. Check the Web Site for more detailed info at www.illinoisfishandfeather.com and Oh yeah; we had a booth for several year there and kind of miss doing that a little now. Or visit us at www.larrysfishinghole.com for more fishing info, tips, reports and a full list of winter show schedules.
Till Next Time - MERRY CHRISTMAS, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING.!