Author: Matt Foster
It was late summer and the mornings still provided a bundled up boat ride to our favorite spot. My son Lucas was six and a sixteen foot trolling rod was a bit for him to handle. Regardless, when the boat came to a stop on the calm water, he looked at me and said, “Dad, can we spider rig?” Of course it is my favorite technique to crappie fish, so how could I turn down his request? I set out eight B’n’M Buck’s Graphite Jig Poles in the Millennium Marine rod holders. Lucas picked out what jigs he wanted to use the night before. He chose to use Muddy Water Baits blue and white with a 1/16 ounce Arkie jig head. Like any good dad/guide, I baited his poles first and set them out. As I reached for my first rod to put a minnow on the hook, he yelled, “Dad, I got one!” I quickly set my rod down and assisted him with pulling in an 11” white crappie. Once the crappie was in the live-well, I attempted to finish baiting my rods. After setting two rods out, Lucas yelled again, “I got another!” This time I let him haul the 11.5” crappie in the boat by himself, which was quite a feat. Watching him use the rod holder as leverage to swing the crappie into the boat was a sight I won’t soon forget. We fished for several hours in that location and had 17 fish in the live-well before he got hungry. After he finished his Honey Bun, he asked if we could go home.
We loaded the rods into the boat and as I sat down and started the motor, he said, “Dad, can I drive?” Growing up, I didn’t have a motorboat and even if we did, I’m skeptical that my father would have let me drive it. Wanting him to have a good time and look forward to coming back next time, I obliged. While he watched and listened intently, I showed him how to drive the boat as he sat on my lap. He drove the boat all the way to the ramp like he had been doing it for all six years of his life.
Once we were inside the truck, I asked him if he had fun. His response, “Dad it was the best day of my life!”
If you get the opportunity to, take a kid fishing. It doesn’t even have to be your kid. I can promise you, it will leave a lasting impact on not only them, but you as well.