I’ve loved fishing all my life. When I was a little kid my dad would take us fishing for Bullheads. No one really catches them anymore, but we used to do it a lot. The process was pretty unusual, but fun. You’d wade into the lake with your fishbowl and pull up the fish. We always got so many! At the end of the day my dad would clean them—that was unusual also. He’d tie them up in a tree, pull the scales off and off we’d go home with a gunnysack full of fish. Looking back, not sure how we kept all of them fresh since we didn’t have a fridge. Probably gave a lot of them to the neighbors.
When my first husband died, fishing became my getaway. My dad and I would head up to Park Rapids and just cast our lines for hours on end. That time away from it all helped me grieve and recuperate during one of the toughest times of my life. Fishing can really be a meditative experience. Well, at least 80% of it is.
The other 20%? That moment when you reel in the big one.
Speaking of the big one, or big two, I had quite the fishing year in 2014. First, there was the 22-inch Northern. I thought that would be the biggest fish I’d ever catch in my life, but no, the lake had other plans. A little later that summer, my son and I were out fishing at the cabin. My line got stuck on some weeds so I started reeling it in and quickly realized these weeds were wiggling. I don’t know how I pulled it in, I must have been determined. We eventually had to move the pontoon to the shore and my son brought it up. There it was: a 31-inch Northern. It was almost taller than me! We posed for a few pictures and then returned it to the lake for next year’s fishing expedition.
Fishing has meant a lot to me throughout my life, and I am determined to keep it up as long as I am able. Even if it’s just spending time on the boat with my loved ones, it’s those simple moments that make life wonderful.