Ah, sweet summertime. When I think back on some of my fondest memories as a kid, I can’t help but think about those hot summer days with no school in sight. What should we do today? Many of my days consisted of meeting up with a group of friends, fishing poles in hand, and walking from pond to pond in our subdivision stalking largemouth bass — and it was always a competition. Who would win the day? Would it come down to quantity or quality? That was always the question.
Of course it was hard to make the quantity argument if someone else landed a monster. I’d catch five bass in a day, but sure enough, Jimmy got a 7 pounder — dang it!
I always like to start the day with a quick tackle check to size up my competition, who was using what bait? My typical go-to was a pocket full of rubber worms and a couple small bullet weights. I would always have my handy dandy topwater lure in case we started really early or fished to dusk. You couldn’t leave the house without a spinner bait in your back pocket too. Let’s just say we gave armed and dangerous a new meaning! What made me reminisce about these golden summers was a phone call my youngest son received yesterday.
It went something like this… “Dad, Johnny wants to know if we can go fishing at Mather’s Bridge.”
After going through some of the typical “Dad” security clearance questions, I made the determination. “Heck yeah, you can go!”
But that round of questions was only the beginning before my son would ask, “Dad, what should we fish for?”
“Funny you should ask young grasshopper, I have heard they are catching mangrove snapper around the bridge.”
And so it began, the two day competition of Mangrove Madness! I have to say, as a father, it warmed my heart to see my son and one of his best buds fishing their hearts out. Sweaty, stinky, dirty, but not giving up. Fishing out every last piece of bait. Competing against each other but also helping each other out and having a blast doing it! After two long hot days of fishing, only they know the score. I am sure a winner was crowned and a plot is in play to regain the throne!
I digress, it just takes me back and I can’t help but believe some of the best friendships you will ever know sometimes begin standing shoulder to shoulder with a fishing pole in hand. How could you not love summertime?