My stepdad lived to fish, not loved to fish, lived to fish.

For real.
I seriously think that if “Worm”, “Minnow” or “Lake Water” were bottled and sold by Calvin Klein, Father’s Day gifts would’ve been much easier.

He would wake us up early to arrive at our pontoon for “the best catch of the day”–this typically meant a 4:00a.m. wake up to drive 40 minutes to Pymatuning Lake to beat the other obsessed fishermen who too, were vying for the fish’s attention before dawn.

This was not my idea of fun, sunshine.

4:00a.m. wake up (Did I mention this was summer?!)
Sitting in stillness (As if the fish didn’t hear the sound of the boat’s motor!)
Worms and minnows (They were still alive!)
Stranded miles from shore (With no restroom on the boat!)
Untangling the invisible string (Do fish have 20/20 vision? I could barely see it; I bet they couldn’t.)
Casting the net farther often got a “better” catch (If you didn’t hook the canvas canopy or my dad’s hat)
Piercing a fish’s cheek with a sharp metal hook only to throw in back in the water (Seriously…this is a sport?!)

While I easily complained as a tween and teen about my stepdad’s fishing rituals, I’ve matured as an adult (thank God!) and realized fishing actually taught me some important life lessons:

  • Early morning quiet time gives the “best catch of the day”
  • Stillness offers great reflection
  • Living things attract other living things
  • Being on the open water offers appreciation for basic luxuries that I often take for granted
  • Invisible vices and forces (sin) can easily entangle
  • Casting my line far and wide has reaped amazing friendships, opportunities and privileges
  • Fishing as a sport, well, I’m still working on this one…

What’s an important life lesson you’ve learned from a childhood experience that you may have endured and now have learned to enjoy, sunshine?

P.S. As always, if this spoke to you in any way, drop me a line. (Too easy not to use a fishing term) I’d love to hear from you.