Saturday, April 23, 2005

Fishing Season Opens

Since I was a little boy, I've loved fishing. I don't know why I iked it then, but I understand why I like it now. It has all the qualities of a perfect past-time. You do it with people you like. You do it at a beautiful location. And the activity itself consists of complete concentration on something totally insignificant, something that simply does not matter. The same criteria apply to golf, by the way.

Anyhow, I got up before dawn this morning and went out with Paco to James A. Reed Wildlife Area, leaving at 6 in the morning. After a quick stop at McDonalds, and a visit to the Wal*Mart in Lee's Summit to buy Canadian nightcrawlers, we arrived at the park soon after the sun rose. We rented a row boat (you put $5 in an envelope and take one), and set out into the wind.

Paco and I failed to choose our weather wisely. It was only about 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius those of you reading from abroad), and the wind averaged around 16 miles per hour (26 kph). I am sure that I could find a statistic for what the wind chill factor was, but I'm convinced that the entire concept of the wind chill factor is a nefarious plot to make our country weak and whiny, so just settle for the fact that it was cold and windy.

Regardless, we're both too insecure to admit that we'd be better off to find some nice warm coffee shop and have breakfast, so we proceed. After a while, Paco's suggestion that the boat was taking water in turned out to be supported by cold, wet evidence, so we rowed back to shore and fished from the bank. Before abandoning ship, though, I opened my season with a decent-sized channel catfish, caught on one of the aforementioned nightcrawlers.

The channel cat is the official fish of Missouri, so, in a frenzy of piscatorial patriotism, I set him free. (Actually, I tend to be a catch-and-release fisherman, out of laziness and concern about the lawn chemicals and agricultural products that find their ways into our water. Paco and I have pledged to catch enough one day soon, though, to have a fish fry for our families.)

As the day went on, Paco caught a bunch of blue gill, and a small largemouth bass. I also caught a blue gill, as well as a small flathead catfish. We also saw a guy land a bass that probably weighed 5 pounds, so we know they're in there.

It is good to know that less than half an hour away from our city homes is a place where we can go fishing amidst wild turkey, red tailed hawks and wild mallards.


Blogger Eric said...

I didn't know Reed had boats available, that's very cool. Gotta check it out soon!

4/26/2005 2:52 PM  

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