If I could save time in a bottle…

Discussion in 'Outdoor Articles' started by SubnetZero, Jul 11, 2006.

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  1. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Sherman IL
    If I could save time in a bottle…

    When you think back to when you first started fishing, there is somebody that comes to mind that got you started. Usually it’s your Dad, Uncle, Grandfather, or maybe even a kindly neighbor. The one that got me “hooked” on catfishing was my Grandfather; William Glen London. Still the best cat fisherman I’ve ever seen. My dad was avid outdoorsman, but was more into hunting than fishing. When we went fishing, he was usually found pitching a bass lure.


    Grandpa owned a decent sized farm in High Hill MO. He had a small to medium sized pond and pretty good size lake he had built out of a clay pit by a brick company when they wanted to buy the clay off of him. It was the family’s refuge to get away. My brother, cousins, and I would spend our summer vacations and Christmas breaks from school at the farm. They would basically turn us loose and let us run amuck around the farm. Fishing all summer and hunting in the winter. It was paradise; we just didn’t know it back then.

    One of his friends/neighbors a few miles away had a river that ran through his property. A couple times a summer, Grandma and Grandpa would load us up and take us over to it for a day of fishing on the river. I remember one particular trip vividly. My grandparents were in their mid to late 70’s by then. My grandpa brought along some old rod and reel I had not seen him use before. It was about 4 ft long and had a baitcaster that looked older than the hills. He had it spooled up with what looked like kite string. He had caught a medium sized blue gill and dug around the rocks until he found the one he wanted. He somehow tied the rock onto the string and baited the blue gill up on it and threw it out and then went back to pan fishing.

    I remember laughing to myself about the rod and reel and how he tied that rock onto his line and how that thing wasn’t going to catch anything. Hours went by and I had forgotten all about the old rod. Next thing I know, my grandpa comes flying down the bank. I mean he was nothing but a streak going by. Reached down, picked up the rod and set the hook all in one motion. All you heard was the baitcaster screaming as line was getting peeled off it. He fought that thing up and down the river. Taking line in to see it get ran back out, until he finally got it close to the bank. Just then I could have swore I heard someone fire off a .22 and I was looking all around for the idiot shooting near us. Next thing I know, Grandpa jumps in the river up to his waist, reaches down and throws the biggest flathead I have ever seen up on the bank. I would have swore I was looking at Moby Dick.

    Well of course all of us kids were more excited than a puppy that found a new fire hydrant. We were all jumping around and hollering “holy cow grandpa, that fish is HUGE!!!” He just looked over at us and coolly said “Yup.. That’s a bigg’un”. I have no idea what it weighed. Grandpa wasn’t into that sort of thing. He fished to eat. He wasn’t interested in weight, length, etc. He just liked to fish if he wanted to eat fish.

    I spent many a day of those summers on the bank of his pond. I’d get up in the morning, go out the shed, pick out a rod to use from the many Grandpa kept out there. Grandpa would grab the pitchfork and help me gather up some worms and I’d head down to the pond. Most days, Grandpa was busy with the cows or something going on in the fields and wouldn’t be able to come along. But, there were those times he would take a break and come fishing with me.

    One particular day, I woke up that morning and he mentioned that Grandma had some shrimp that had gone bad and we should go on down to the pond and catch some fish. I had never used shrimp before and was excited to get out and spend the day fishing with him. We got down there, baited up and waited. As we waited, we talked about how school was going, he prodded me on where I was on liking girls yet or not, things I wanted to do when I go older, etc. He told me stories of when he was kid, stories of when I was baby; basically we just sat and talked about life. As we were talking, I got a really good hit, pole bent down and got ready to set the hook. But there was nothing. It was a hit and run. Being young and impatient, I was ready to reel it in and recast but Grandpa just looked over and said, “Leave that set, he’ll be back, that’s good bait”. The whole time I was anxious to just reel in, check it and recast it back out, but I let it sit like he said. Less than 5 minutes later, the pole doubled over again and this time I hooked him. After reeling in a nice fat channel, I look over at my grandpa and he just gave me that knowing look and a head nod and said “that’s a pretty good’n”…

    My grandfather passed away when I was in my late teens. I sure do miss spending those summer days on the bank with him. Now that I’m older and have kids of my own now, I find myself on the bank with my eldest son. We talk about starting school, I tease him about girls, what he wants to be when he grows up. I tell him stories about when I was a kid, stories about when he was a baby. After a missed bite, I hear myself telling him “Leave that set, he’ll be back, that’s good bait”. I guess in a way every time I go fishing, I’m still a 9 year old boy sitting on the bank fishing with Grandpa.

    Awarded 100 BOC Gold Coins.
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