I grew up fishing. My first introduction to fishing was with my dad. He took me to many places near where we lived. Even though I was very little I still went with him. I would sit on his lap and he would hold me and the fishing pole at the same time. He’d help me reel in fish and we would spend time together. As I got older we went fishing in fishing derbys in our town and we went fishing in New Hampshire near our summer home. I learned the importance of spending quality time with your kids from my time with my dad.
As I grew older I spent a few weeks each summer with my grandparents on Glen Charlie Pond. Grandpa Rick had a boat and we would go out fishing on the boat. This is where I learned how to troll for fish. On one fishing trip I learned the importance of communication. I was driving the boat by myself for the first time while grandpa was trolling off the back of the boat. He got a hit on his line and yelled out, “Cut it!” I was unaware of what that actually meant so I panicked and put the boat into reverse and nearly threw him off his feet. He recovered and scrambled around the seat to turn off the engine. That is what “Cut It!” meant. We can joke about it now. Luckily he was patient with me and I got to fish more. We did catch many fish together and I was really upset when they sold that house. It was a great place to grow up and be outdoors enjoying the pond.
In 1981 my family bought a guest house on Cape Cod. I’ve spent summers there ever since. At this point I went from freshwater fishing to saltwater fishing. I’d spend my days catching minnows at a little pond and then heading to the beach to fish off the jetty or down to the harbor to fish from the pier. I’d do this every day from the crack of dawn till it was dark at night. I’d hop on my bike with my fishing pole and tackle box and catch up with my group of friends to go fishing. As I got older I cut lawns for neighbors and used my money to buy lures and bait to keep fishing. While fishing each summer I learned the importance of independence.
During those summers I would also attend the Woods Hole Children’s School of Science. One of my courses was Fishes and Fishing. In that class I learned how to make fishing lures, prepare my catch to eat and many other fishing skills. I learned the importance of education.
Fishing continued to be a part of my life and now that I am a dad I was excited to take my own kids fishing. We’ve been out fishing on my kayak, with their Uncle Howard for Kid’s Day at his Sportsman Club and I hope to one day take them on a special fishing trip up in New Hampshire or Maine where we can stay in a cabin and get unplugged for a weekend. They probably won’t have the summers that I had as a kid but I’ll try and make sure that they get exposed to a fair amount of fishing in their lives. I hope that they learn the importance of sharing fishing with those that they love.
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