Lakecaster Online

Of Bass & Gals
By: Sue Crochet

Over the last few years, I've been blessed with 7 beautiful grandchildren. They're now getting to the ages where they do a little fishing and hunting with us … well, let's say we take them along. Actually, only one or two of them can cast somewhat accurately and none of them have acquired the patience to wait for a fish to take their bait before reeling it all the way in. Needless to say, they mostly like to cast and reel, which is not a totally bad thing. Practice makes perfect, right? As for hunting, unless we're sitting in a fully enclosed blind with soundproofing, I doubt a deer (or any kind of animal) would come within 100 yards of us! So far, we've mostly taken them along when we're doing chores and riding around the lease on 4-wheelers.

Since they're still very young and impressionable, we use this time we spend together to teach them the simple things in life and to have a true appreciation of the outdoors. These little people will be adults before we know it, so we want to teach them about the rich heritage left to us by our forefathers, in hopes that someday they'll teach they're own children and grandchildren the same things. We also try to instill in them important values, such as patience, sharing with others, keeping the environment clean, and so on. Mostly, we try to make our outings fun and memorable.

Youngsters bore easily, so we never plan to be gone very long. All-day excursions are a no-no! It also helps to bring plenty of snacks. When they get tired of "not getting a bite", we can usually keep them occupied with something to eat or drink, while we hook a fish for them. Then, of course, they take over … reel the fish in and brag about the big one they caught! Occasionally, they'll get a little sleepy-eyed or preoccupied and even forget they're fishing, while watching a bird, butterfly, or insect crawling around. That's when they actually catch their own fish!

It's been such a pleasure watching them learn and grow. They've gone from not even wanting to touch the bait (worms, crickets, minnows) or the fish we catch, to now wanting to do it all themselves … which is not entirely possible without getting line all tangled on the tip of the rod, hooks in someone's clothes or hair, worm "juice" all over the place … you get the picture. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I can't wait until they can do it all themselves, but then that would mean they're all grown up. I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet!

How about you? Do you know a young person that needs someone to teach them about hunting and fishing? There are so many children and young adults who need us to share our time and talents with them. I know that my life has been so much more fulfilling since becoming an avid angler and hunter. Not only have I met many wonderful people that I'd never have met otherwise, but I've learned so much more about respecting life and my environment, taking time out to be close to nature and our Creator, and how to have good, clean fun. Honing my skills and experiencing success in both sports has given me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. How can we not share these gifts with others?

A good place to start is in your own family! If you don't have children of your own, maybe you have a niece or nephew who would enjoy the outdoors. How about close friends or neighbors? Some single mothers don't have the time or knowledge to teach these skills to their children. I'm sure they would appreciate our help. Organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Boys & Girls Villages have programs set up for outings with sponsors. This takes a little effort, but nothing worthwhile was ever easy. I challenge you to make a difference in someone's life.

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The Lake Area Lady Anglers will be holding their next tournament on September 9th at Sam Rayburn Lake. We will be meeting at The Stump restaurant at 5:30 AM and launching out of Twin Dikes Public Ramp. Ladies 18 years of age and older who are interested in fishing with us are welcome to come and fish as "guests" any time. For more information, please call me at (337) 217-9283 or e-mail me at cbasskitten@cs.com.
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If you have a story to share, tackle tips, or an announcement related to fishing (tournament, something to sell, etc.), please feel free to contact me and I will use your materials in my articles. I reserve the right to edit these materials as I see appropriate. Thanks!

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