Do you remember your first take? | News, Sports, Jobs
I am a dreamer, inclined to let my attention wander as I reflect on incredibly vast topics like the infinity of our universe, the origin of life, and the number of fish I have caught in my decades of living. angling.
Virtually everything we experience has a beginning and an end, so the limitless expanse of galaxies and black holes is pretty much incomprehensible to most of us, as is the idea that at one point unfathomable in time, there was no life.
And for us fishermen, unthinkable as it may sound, there was a time when we had never known the joy of a cast, the satisfaction of a bite, and the thrill of hauling a fish up.
I was reminded recently when the host of a national radio show asked me what the first fish I caught was. I wasn’t expecting the question, so I didn’t have an answer on the tip of my tongue.
We who fish have certainly had times when we caught our very first fish. For most of us, however, our introduction to the joy of fishing – that first catch – has faded into the cacophony of experiences that has become the foundation of our love of fishing. It has happened, although we can’t exactly put our finger on it.
But the radio host had asked a question and his audience of listeners would be waiting for my answer. My brain clicked on the “think fast” button.
I have thought about this for a long time. But many years have passed since dad took me fishing in beaver ponds off Leffingwell Road in Canfield, the Berlin Reservoir Trestle, the surface mine lake in New Middletown Farmers & Sportsmen Club, trailing the Junebug spinners and nightcrawlers for the Milton walleye, and various other adventures out of the blue.
The scenes are still recognizable, even after many years. I see visions of schools darting with crappies. I see the glare and hear the hiss of an old Coleman lantern hanging over the water to attract baitfish on a crappie night outing. I see a lazy largemouth bass prowling between the shore and the inner edge of aquatic vegetation in the crystal-clear water of an old open pit in East Fairfield Coal.
Yes, a lot of history there, but radio listeners were waiting. My mind raced – crappie, crappie, white bass, creek chub, bullhead …
Who knows? So I picked one and delivered a monologue about the bouncing floats and brave panfish and the first sparks that ignited the embers that shine in my soul and ignite every time I answer the call to ‘go into the water to fish.
I think I gave a very good answer. At least it seemed like the radio host was happy with my first taste description that most anglers here in our corner of Ohio sample on the way to our fishing addiction.
So again the question, do I remember the first fish I ever caught? It’s not complicated. It is not like describing the concept of infinity in time and space.
Mine was a sunfish.
Do you remember yours?
Jack Wollitz’s new book, The Common Angler: A Celebration of Fishing, was released in May. He loves emails from readers. Send a note to [email protected]