Monday, April 2, 2012

You can catch more than fish...

     The breeze is warm...a little too warm for late March, but I'm not complaining...Green everywhere as Spring has matured early this year. Not to distant, a hen turkey cuts and yelps, immediately a tom thunders a gobble back at her and I can imagine the display he's putting on as he tries to woo her affections and I'm wishing the season was in...The weeds have already grown shin high and I cuss myself for forgetting my boots...no doubt that the ticks and chiggers won't be far behind as we make our way across the field and down to the water's edge...

     The pond's water is dark from autumn's fallen leaves, but clear and cool...the cattails are shooting up and mats of camouflaged moss float to the surface and drift too and fro in the gentle wind...the water ripples and dances in the breeze and glints of diamond in the late afternoon sun. Fish boil away from the shore as we hike to the opposite bank. The sound of spring peepers and songbirds mingle with the turkeys and crows on the hill above us...

     A soft plastic jig, chartreuse and white, silently enters the water at the end of a little flip cast. Rod tip up as the eighth ounce weight sinks towards the bottom. There it is on the fall...The bite is delicate, almost undetectable save for the sudden hesitation of my fishing line and the slightest of pressure on my index finger...a faint tug and the hook is set! The fight is hard as the white and green flash of the crappie on the end of my line cuts through the water. He's quickly brought to the shore and his vibrant colors fluoresce in the sunlight. Into the basket and his fate is sealed...I check the line's knot and then it's right back into the water for a repeat performance, over and over...I'm caught up in my moment and as I glance at my son standing in the sun, he hooks his own slab and I notice how much larger his shadow is than mine and I quickly forget about the here and now and I'm transported back to a time when I was baiting his hook and taking fish off his line and a smile crosses my face and things stand still..."Dad...Dad!!! You have a fish on your line!" and I'm snapped back and am grateful...