Finders, Keepers

Our thirteen-year-old grandson, Hunter, likes to fish. But with all the baseball he plays and all the time his dad spends coaching and working two jobs, Hunter doesn’t get a lot of fishing done. So, Gramma Randa being the imaginative woman she is and Hunter being over at our place yesterday, she suggested I take Hunter fishing.

In my younger years, I was an avid bass fisherman. There wasn’t a week that went by between April and October that I didn’t go fishing. And there wasn’t a time I went fishing that I didn’t catch something. That changed when I moved to Missouri in the Eighties. What worked in those west Kentucky ponds, reservoirs and lakes didn’t work in northwest Missouri. I went from avid to dejected and pretty much quit fishing.

So, it was not with great optimism that I prepped Hunter for our jaunt last evening. “We’re going to go look at a lake,” I told him. “We’re going to go look at a lake and enjoy the scenery. If we happen to catch a fish, well, that’ll just be extra icing on the cake.”

Hunter grinned and we started collecting the gear. I managed to chase down a grasshopper that made the mistake of fluttering by a guy who was getting ready to go fishing. Gramma made us a thermos of ice water that we loaded into the back of the truck with the rods and tackle boxes. Then, we were on our way.

We stopped in Troy for gas, drinks and chips. It was nearly seven-thirty by the time we got to the Atchison State Fishing Lake.

About perfect timing, really, since the sun was getting close to the tree line on the western side of the forty-acre lake. Surrounded by trees on three sides and with the water still enough for reflection, it was beautiful. A few clouds held high to the north and east but nothing that threatened a storm. “Well,” I mused to Hunter, “At least we got the scenery.”

An hour later, Hunter had donated three grasshoppers to bluegills barely larger than the bait. I suggested that he try a Beetle Spin and that we try over closer to the spillway. It was a good move. With the sun having disappeared and the day moving into dusk, the fish began hitting. Within twenty minutes, he’d caught a bluegill and a small bass. I landed three bass and hooked at least three or four others momentarily.

It’s intriguing to me how much difference a small success makes on our perception of an event. None of the fish we caught were big enough to bother with cleaning but it was fun catching them. And, it was a beautiful summer evening.

On the way home, Hunter thanked me three or four times for taking him fishing. He wasn’t any more appreciative than I was. Even though we weren’t going to be eating fresh fish, the evening was definitely a keeper. When we learn to focus on the good God gives us each day, we gain more than our blessings.

H. Arnett


About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Blair, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-five years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-one grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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