Genny wanted to go down to the lake fishing for the first time this year. We’ve been angling off the dock for several years and the best catch ever was a big perch. Genny had a big trout on the line once, but it broke loose as she brought it to the dock.
We spent the obligatory 20 to 25 minutes setting up her new rod and reel, purchased a few days ago when it was raining. On the second cast, a big fish hit my line. Genny was untangling a bird’s nest of line and didn’t see it, but the trout jumped and it was big. It took about five minutes to get it in the net, as it went running four times and tried to get back under the dock twice. Genny was shouting and hollering, waving the net to instruct me where to “make the fish go” and it got badly tangled and hooked both through the lip and eye.
It was an eight or ten pound trout.
Normally, we catch and release. The lure was stuck in the net, the fish’s head lashed to the lure. Genny ran to a neighbor’s to get some scissors (I’d neglected to bring anything, thinking we’d have the same luck as usual), but there was no getting this fish out of the net and off the hook without killing it. When she returned, she started to cry. We’d never killed the fish before. She ran up the bank saying she’d never fish again.
Kiera took the picture as I tried to get the fish loose.
Long story short, I ran up the hill with the fish in the net on a rescue mission. It didn’t work out. After I cut its head off to end its misery, the kids—Taylor had come downstairs from doing his homework—were raring to go fishing, again. Genny was leading the way. Taylor, underdressed for the weather in shorts, wouldn’t wait for me to get the fish head and lure out of the net, so he borrowed the neighbor’s and off they went.
So, I gutted the fish and went back to the lake. I found the kids cold and ready to come home. Genny said to me: “You don’t want to fish anymore today, because of what you did. Right?”
We walked up the hill and, seeing the fish in the sink, Taylor said “You know, if it had a head and was alive and swimming, this would be a beautiful animal.”
Yes, I said. Too bad. Thinking about how to cook this for dinner.
“I’ll bet the fish think of us like aliens,” Taylor said. “UFOs are bait, and we who live above take away the members of a fish family.”