Fishing with kids a lot of fun

Our friends from LaCrosse, Wis., Tim and Tara Pedesky, along with their two children, have spent the past week on the island.
They are now the third and fourth generation of the Edwards clan to occupy that cabin that looks south to American Narrows.
Their cabin has changed much in the last decade as the younger members of the clan moved to expand the original with a large screened-in porch.
Their mother, Jane Johnson, had brought electricity to the cabin when Ontario Hydro agreed to hook up a group of Canadian cabin owners. The electricity eliminated gas light fixtures and a gas refrigerator.
Last year, hot water streamed into the cottage for the first time and this year the wood airtight heater was removed and electric one installed.
Tim and Tara have been responsible for bringing those nice conveniences to the cabin.
It remains rustic, but the four families using the cabin would have it no other way.
Last week, I invited Tim and his two children, Laina and Nicholas, to go fishing if the weather would co-operate. And it did on Saturday.
With a quick trip to a Canadian licence issuer, we were on our way fishing. I had chosen a hole way up in Rice Bay that always will produce some fish.
We were not targeting any particular species, just fish.
Tim, whose furthest travel into Canada by boat has been to the cabin on Turtle Island, sat back and enjoyed the trip under the bridges of Windy Point and then up through the two narrow waterways that lead to the top end of Rice Bay.
Laina, who is the youngest, had brought along her tackle box and fishing reel. It had been a special present and she was going to use it.
I supplied the tackle, rods, and reels for Tim and his son, Nicholas.
We arrived at our spot and set up to fish. I didn’t even have the trolling motor in the water before Tim had latched onto a big northern.
Nicholas and Laina strained to watch their father try to bring the fish in, peering over the motor at the back of the boat. The buzz of excitement was present.
The fish came to the boat three times before it finally got the fishing line square in its teeth and freed itself. Still, it was a good omen.
We drifted with the wind on the edge of a reef in 10 feet of water. Casting towards the rocks, with a purple designer colour Mepps lure, Laina latched onto a big bass.
Her first instinct was that she was snagged on the bottom because she couldn’t reel. But as she announced her predicament, the bass launched itself into the air.
I think that scared her. With her father’s help, Laina slowly started bringing the fish to the boat. She was more worried about losing her lure than catching the fish, and showed lots of anxiety about the fish.
Between feeling excited and worried about the fish pulling the rod out of her hands, she finally gave way to letting her father bring it to the boat.
And what a beauty. In any bass tournament, it would be a “money” fish weighing almost four pounds. We lifted it out of the net and took her picture (she wouldn’t touch it).
Her brother caught a small bass which fought as hard as its big mother.
Nicholas was much more brave. Holding the bass with his thumb and finger, he reached over the side of the boat and gently released it back into the water.
The smile of accomplishment on his face said everything.
It has been a while since I’ve had youngsters fishing and the excitement of catching a fish was contagious. Pictures were taken, and the big fish was given a ride back to the cabin for Laina’s mother, Tara, to see.
It was fun.
And with its later release back into the water, the stories of catching fish for the rest of the day grew.
It’s what fishing with kids is all about.

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