Tuesday, March 6, 2012
My daughter Kennedy (9), and my son Grant (5) have been around the world of bass fishing by default. Listening to dads stories, viewing pictures, and coming to weigh in's has exposed them to tournament fishing and to dad's competitive nature. I cautiously view this as a positive, simply because I want them to experience fishing for the simplicity that it is. I remember Kennedy's first really fishing trip to the river, in which she simply couldn't keep her line in the water because the bluegills where bitting so quickly it was only a matter of dropping the line in the water. I was thrilled as a father to watch her smiling face as she kept pulling bluegills out of the water, showing the same suprized expression every time she caught one. To add contrast to this story, I can remember Grants first trip fishing as being a dull waiting game with few bites and no fish. As a parent I was robbed of the joyful expressions I expected to see in Grants face, and was left reassuring him that fishing doesn't always mean you will be catching. Needless to say, I didn't have Grant running to the vehicle the next time I said, "hey lets go fishing".
It's comforting to see all the friends I have in the bass fishing tournament community talking from time to time about taking their children out chasing the little green fish, or fishing in general. I see more and more father and son/daughter teams on the various tournament series and open tournaments around the upper Mississippi river valley. I'm anxious to expose my daughter and son to the bass tournament world, but want to keep in mind why I fell in love with fishing in the first place. If they have that foundation to build on, they can pursue anything they want on the water, as long as it brings them the same joy and satisfaction that I get from our sport every time out.