By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal
“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.”
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”
“If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world.”
Clearly, spring has been tormenting us all with a wicked game of hide and seek.
One day it’s sunny and in the 70s, the next it’s rainy and cold.
I’ve had just enough glimpses of what spring ought to be to catch fishing fever. Symptoms include staring longingly at my rod and reel, cobweb-covered in the garage; making a list of the different friends who’ve offered a place to wet hook of said rod and reel; and reviving many memories made in years past fishing with my father, my grandparents, my niece, various friends or by myself.
When I was a little girl, barely big enough to pretend patience, my paternal grandfather, a fool for fishing, put me in the back of his boat, slowly left the docks behind and headed into the wide open waters of Grenada Lake, in search of some of the secret spots he’d selected over the years.
Of course, my grandmother, who also enjoyed fishing, came along mostly to make sure Granddaddy did not toss me into the muddy waters when I began to whine to end the fishing trip way too prematurely for Granddaddy.
“Give her some Nabs and a Co-cola,” he’d tell my grandmother. “And keep her quiet.”
As I grew older, however, and more appreciative of the lure of fishing, my patience improved and each visit to the lake, I lasted a little longer.
They were great teachers, my grandparents. And also one of their four sons, my father.
It was Dad who taught me, finally, the correct way to bait a hook.
We were fishing for catfish years ago in a Yalobusha County pond.
Wanting to exercise my angling independence, I walked to the other side of the pond from Dad. Each time I’d cast, I’d notice two splashes. And I puzzled at how I could go through so many minnows without getting a single bite.
It was my father who realized the first splash was my hook going into the water; the second was my minnow, flying off my hook and into the pond.
Without making me feel any more stupid than I already did, Dad corrected the error of my ways.
Now spring fever has led to fishing fever.
I stand ready to bait my hook. Do a little casting.
And practice patience.
A whole lot of patience.