Just enough sun to make you happy. Blue bird weather with one drawback. The wind is gusting to 18-mph. That is just a tad too much to get the Grey Ghost out on the big pond. You would be constantly fighting the wind, trying to keep the boat in position. But sitting around the house is not an option. To do so would court with the possibility of doing something stupid and quite likely, breaking something. You might even go off the deep end and mow the yard.
What to do-what to do?
You use your head. Call a nice guy who happens to own a piece of property with a pond. In the pond are crappie, bass and catfish.
"Sure," he says, "y'all come on. I'll meet you there at 2:30 and show you around."
The Judge (ret.) as always, is early but we drive on out anyway. It is a beautiful pond, just the right size to walk around and work from all angles. The place is manicured.
We won't even get our feet muddy. (Who ever heard of fishing a pond and not get your feet muddy?) Also, you can see what is on the ground. You go walking around a pond with tall grass and something suddenly slithers between your feet, you are going to bust a move. Trust me on that. It is a perfect pond for not only curing the April semi-cabin fever, but for teaching things.
We have just commenced fishing when the owner shows up. I'm throwing my usual Whirly Bee because it will catch just about anything and is a great locator bait.
My first fish is a black perch, then a small crappie hits. It is about then, we bemoan the fact, we, did not bring a landing net.
See, what happened was, as I was reeling my WB in, a catfish of about six-pounds decided he wanted it more than I did. Since I am throwing it on four-pound test line, quite a battle ensued. It takes some finesse to retain possession of your lure when a six-pound catfish hits on four-pound line.
But I had help.
Alan, the landowner just happened to have a landing net which he quickly retrieved and came to my aid, doing the netting honors for me.
Less than a minute later, The Judge (ret.), casts his minnow under a float out near an aerator. The float, quickly vanished. As I ran to render aid, The Judge (ret.), lacking the proper amount of finesse, broke the fish off.
It was a splendid afternoon. The kind of afternoon you would really like to share with others such as maybe a grandson or a novice angler.
As we circled the bank, picking up a crappie here and a catfish there, I considered this. Over the years, I have spent some time with a lot of kids, including my own, on ponds. They are great for teaching.
I have a grandson who is just about old enough to learn the mysteries of fishing and why it isn't really about just catching fish. Then, I also have a friend who has now lost enough weight, he can walk around the pond without falling over. He is a true novice fisherman and quite short on patience but pond fishing is perfect for teaching, among other things, patience. This is especially true when placed here and there around the bank are benches. It makes it easy to just amble from one to the next, fishing as you go and stopping for a spell at each one. He has a rod and reel and I have thousands of yards of line and plenty of hooks, split shot and bobbers. Couple dozen minnows, some cold drinks and maybe a cookie and we are set.
I think it is for that purpose that ponds are built. They are there to slow you down, make you consider your navel or whatever needs considering. They are for the very young to throw things into and maybe pull things out of. They are for the novice to practice casting and proper rod handling and how a drag is properly adjusted. They may even learn finesse and...dare I say it? Patience.
Maybe most of all, they are to cure cabin fever or similar ailments that come in the spring when you know you should be outside but not mowing the lawn.
Everyone should have a friend with a pond. I'll not give his name, I don't want him besieged with requests. But the Judge (ret.) and I certainly appreciate his hospitality and yes, I will take him up on kind offer to bring the G-son and the Novice.
Contact the author at jsloan19422gmail.com