By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for frozen bait.
Each year our City Parks and Recreation Department hosts a tournament at a small lake across from Wal-Mart. Every January they stock the lack with 800 trout and a few days later host a tournament for children one to sixteen. It is the biggest little fishing tournament of the year as far as Dr. Hubby is concerned.
The temperature is always in the twenties here at this time of the year and Saturday was no exception, 22 degrees. The trout thrive in cold weather. I shiver in cold weather. Two years ago our three-year-old won the tournament having caught the most fish. He also won a couple of rods in the drawing they hold at the end of the tournament. This year Dr. Hubby was out for a repeat win.
Saturday morning is the one morning I do not have to set the alarm. You would think I would be able to sleep late. Not so. Five mornings I set the alarm then spend thirty minutes trying to awaken, dress, and feed breakfast to two sleepy heads and get them off to school. On the sixth morning the five-year-old's internal clock says PLAY TIME and he is up and running around by 7a.m. and thus me also.
On THE DAY of the fishing tournament, all three children (one of them being seventy years old) were up, chattering, layering on the thermal underwear, grabbing woolen hats, fishing poles, bait, rubber boots, and were out the door for breakfast at McDonald's by 8a.m. The tournament started at 9a.m.
At 11:30 I dropped by after my daily Wal-Mart run to see how they were doing. It was just across the street, remember? Dr. Hubby was having trouble keeping the five-year-old focused on reeling in the fish. The nine-year-old had abandoned ship and gone up to the registration tent to help them gut the trout and fry the trout that had been caught so far. She said she liked fried trout. Later she said she was going to help mix up the apple cider and serve it. I left little Miss Paula Deane and the wandering fishermen and headed back home.
I returned with camera in hand at 2p.m. in time for the awards. The five-year-old had managed to stay focused long enough to catch the largest trout and the most trout for his age group. He received a new rod and reel, an expensive tackle case, and a fifty dollar gift card. If anyone came late for the awards and missed his presentation, he proceeded to walk around with his rod and reel and tackle case over his shoulder so everyone could get a good look at his "winnings." Little Miss Paula Deane stopped serving long enough to catch the largest trout and the most trout for her age group. She also came home with a pink rod and reel that lights up when you turn the handle and a pink fishing tackle box which she immediately began converting to a spice and cooking utensil carrier.
After we got home, the kids dumped their loot and headed for the swings. Dr. Hubby was looking for just the right place to display the new rods and hang the tackle cases. "Two out of three years. He's won two out of three years and even she won this year. Good year!" He was still grinning from ear to ear when he fell asleep in his recliner.
The next morning all three "kids" were sniffling and snorting but still smiling from their successful six hour cold water fishing tournament. My job was to retrieve the Sunday paper. After much looking and ahhing and oooing over the newspaper article and picture, I was allowed to cut out and frame the article and alert the rest of the northern hemisphere. By this afternoon Dr. Hubby had the five-year-old casting his new rod and reel in preparation for next year's tournament. Little Miss Paula Deene baked brownies and a cake.
If you happen to stop by the little lake across from Wal-Mart next year, give us a holler. Dr. Hubby will be the old gray haired man in five layers of clothing with the five-year-old who will be running up and down the dam chasing the geese and pulling in fish. The nine-year-old will be serving up fried trout and hot apple cider before hauling in her catch.
I will be missing having wisely decided once again to remain home where it is warm until award time. Oh, and preparing this year's Fish Tale.