Learning to Fish
As a fisherman, I always like to look for ways to give back to others in the community and provide the means with which to hopefully make for a more successful trip on the water. I try to do this through my seminars, fishing reports online, as well as by volunteering to take people from Black Hills Works out for different trips throughout the year.
Black Hills Works is a community organization that helps people with special needs to develop life skills to lead full and productive lives. I always enjoy taking different people from there out fishing on the shore or ice because it is something that they do not always have the opportunity to do or the gear to use for it.
Late last week, I had arranged for three members and their supervisor to meet me at Curlew Lake for a morning trip. Though I hadn't fished on the lake yet, I had received a good report from a friend of mine that the fishing was going pretty good there from shore.
I arrived an hour early of our meet up time to set up the umbrella and get the gear ready as well as throw out some lines and see if anything was around. It was supposed to be nearly 100 degrees that day and the heat was already rising fast by 8:30.
There was only a couple bites by the time the guys arrived at 9:30 so I was a bit concerned. The three who came out were Kendal, Jeff and John for this times go-around. I had asked their supervisor, Shane, if he could bring out a canopy or something to provide extra shade and he did bring out one.
After getting it set up and putting a rod in front of each of them, it was time to fish and were they treated with some rapid fire fishing! For the next three hours, each of them would catch many fish.
Most of the time after I had re-baited and tossed out one rod, another would go. It was mostly smaller fish, but they didn't care. They caught largemouth bass, walleyes, catfish, crappie, perch and bullheads and watching them reel in each fish would always bring a smile to their faces.
In between fish, Kendal would tell us stories of his past fishing experiences when he was younger and did ever have some tales to tell! Jeff achieved a double catch on his crappie rig not once, not twice, but three times which I had done maybe once in my life!
He earned the nickname "Mr. Double" after the third time, which he laughed about. Needless to say after three hours of running between all three guys to help set the hook, take the fish off, re-bait, then cast it back out in the 90 degree heat, I was exhausted, but it was all worth it to help make a great memory for these guys.
After a quick lunch, it was time to pack everything up and get out of heat of the day which was starting to make even under the canopy hot. We said our good-byes and I told them that I hoped to see them again on another trip.
It was such a good feeling to get these guys out and show them a good time catching fish. It always makes me appreciate what I have and remember not to take anything for granted because things happen in life. But now, these great guys have a good fishing story to tell and some fantastic memories to go with it. I'm just glad that I was allowed to be a part of it.