I don't do fish. I mean, I'll eat 'em. But I'm not baiting hooks—ew, worms!—and I'm definitely not pulling those suckers out of the water and watching them flap around in a bucket and then taking them back home to be beheaded, scaled, and filleted. Uh uh, no ma'am—not me. (Honestly, I don't know how I would have survived the olden days on the farm—shout-out to Ms. Sharon in the fish department at my local Kroger for making it so all I have to do is rinse, season, and toss the tilapia in the pan. I'm just sayin'.)
Anyway, I don't have a problem standing around and watching other people fish, especially if it involves watching kids who've never been. On a recent weekend visit to my mother-in-law's brother's house, Nick's Uncle Marvin took the entire family on a fishing trip to a fish farm, where the bass and trout were hoppin. Here, a recap of our Sunday morning fishing jaunt:
The fish farm, in the suburbs of the city of LaGrange, GA, was so beautiful and peaceful and serene. Though there were 11 of us there, Uncle Marvin had only two fishing poles, so he borrowed some bamboo sticks from the fish farm owner and MacGyvered them into working fishing poles. My brother-in-law James, Angelou's husband, also purchased $2 worth of worms and let the kids make quick work of ripping them in half (to make them last longer) and skewering them onto their fishing hooks. Of course, no fishing trip is complete without a friendly wager: Everyone put $1 in the pot; whoever caught the biggest fish would get all the fish and the loot. Game on!
The kids were amazingly patient—who knew they could stand quietly and perfectly still for so long? Of course, neither Mari, Lila, Miles nor Cole were fast enough for the little buggers, which kept eating the kids' worms and getting away before they could tug them out of the water. James even replaced the wiggly worms with a tub of slimy liver—supposedly harder for the fish to grab—but it was of no use: the kids had no luck. My mother-in-law, Helen, on the other hand, is a fishing pro. She caught three fish—boom, boom, boom, just like that. Wherever her bamboo poll was, the fish seemed to hop on—so much so, that even Uncle Marvin abandoned his favored spot for Grandma Helen's much hotter one. Yeah—didn't work. Alas, Grandma Helen was the one who took home all the fish and the pot of cash. (BTW: We're not really clear why, but the fish farm housed a small fence full of Emu. Strange. Very, very strange.)
When it was all said and done, everyone seemed to have a fantastic time—including me and my father-in-law, who sat back, watched the action and proudly proclaimed our "city roots" a little too, um, delicate for the country life. (Frankly, I'm still a little traumatized by our camping trip with Angelou's Greening Youth crew.) But Papa Walter was going to be privy to some good eating, courtesy of his country girl wife—the Fisher Queen.
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