Fishing makes for great conversation

There was a television commercial that showed a young person with a father in a boat.
It opened showing both persons alone. Then it expanded to show the two in the boat with fishing poles in their hands and the caption, “If you want some time face time with your child, take them fishing.”
I thought about this on Sunday when I took Layna and Nicholas Pedesky fishing with their father, Tim.
We were after walleye and were up near Rebecca Island.
It is far from my first memory of fishing with my father. He had rented a rowboat from Mrs. Mills, who had cabins at Pither’s Point where La Place Rendez-Vous sits today.
He rowed both my brother and me out around the dock, and we tied up to a piling that was mid-point between the pumping station and town dock.
I think we caught one fish that day—but perhaps the term “caught” is a misnomer. The fish was snagged in the back and put up a big fight.
At other times, my mother would make sandwiches and Dad would take Don and me to the Five-Mile Dock, where we would fish from the dock. We would stop by the Dew Drop Inn and pick up a couple of dozen minnows that went into Dad’s galvanized minnow pail.
We probably fished until eight at night. We didn’t always catch fish, but we had fun.
Occasionally on weekends, a lunch would be packed and Dad, Don, and I would park at the “Five-Mile” landing, walk all the way to the lift bridge, and fish from the cribs on the west side.
It seemed like a long walk. We carried the minnow pail, Dad’s metal tackle box, the rods, lemonade in a big gallon sealer jar, and our rods.
There was always a current there and the fishing was relatively successful. We learned to jig and when we caught a fish, Dad would land it without a net.
On a good day, we would walk back along the tracks with the fish on a stringer. The bigger the stringer of fish, the more proud we were.
It was our alone time with Dad. I don’t remember anything about conversations, but remember Dad’s attention to us to make sure the spinners were tied on well and that we were having fun (the lunches and snacks packed probably helped a lot).
I remember this thinking about the two days of fishing with my sons this past summer. Both were at the cabin, together for the first time in three years, and the banter and teasing that took place between the three of us was really special.
On Sunday, I watched Tim, with his two children, taking special care to make sure their lures were tied on correctly. Two years ago, they would put minnows onto their hooks but this year they paid particular attention to that detail.
There was a sibling rivalry between the two of who caught the most fish.
It was fun to watch them interact, and to talk to them about their heading back to school. The two are growing up.
We caught lots of fish—most not in the slot size—but that wasn’t really important. The time alone and the conversations with them counted most.
It is amazing how a boat and a fishing pole can make communications so much easier.

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