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Guests make fishing day worthwhile

Sunday afternoon, my wife was feeling a bit under the weather. A natural guy response is to hang around and make things all better.

Some things can not be made better. When she told me to leave her alone so she could feel miserable in peace, I took the hint. She wanted to sleep and did not need any help. I decided to go fishing.

Fishing solves a lot of things. If a person needs a break from work or just a time to relax, fishing is the answer. If one needs to get out for some fresh air and exercise, fishing can not be beat. If a person's wife is sick and wants nothing more than to be left to suffer quietly alone, a guy might as well go fishing.

When I got to the farm, I discovered Damon, Amanda and the grandsons had invited another couple and their three children for an afternoon outing. I arrived just in time to grab a rod and tackle box to head out to try my luck. Damon took Jeff, his wife, and their two boys in his boat. Amanda had two kids in the paddle boat with her.

Trevor was looking around for a ride when I asked, "anybody want to go with me?" Trevor said, "I will go with you, Grandpa." Up until that point, I was beginning to wonder if my deodorant had quit working.

Trevor handed his rod and tackle box to me, zipped up his life jacket, and jumped in my boat. He cast off the bow line and we cleared the dock before anyone else was untied. We made a bee-line for the best fishing spot on the lake; the old dead cottonwood tree. It is a good thing to let company go first, but there is a limit to how nice a person can be. There could be a really big, really hungry bass at the bottom of the old cottonwood. If not a really big bass, I knew there were crappies in the submerged branches that had fallen from the dying tree.

My hunch was right. Trevor caught a nice crappie on the first cast. I helped him get it off and cast in about the same time he caught another. He landed his third fish, which was a small bass, before I had even gotten a bite. I have gotten accustomed to being out-fished by my wife, because I know she is really good. My happiness for my grandson was tempered by the fact an eight-year-old was catching many more fish than me. I changed lures and soon started catching a few nice-sized bass and some really nice crappie.

When all three boats came back to the dock, we found that everyone had caught fish. I thought it was time I should go home and check on my ailing and infirmed wife. It is always good to have an out when it comes time to clean the fish. My wife was rested and feeling much better when I returned home. It may have had something to do with being left alone rather than forcibly nursed back to health.

Damon called a little later to check on his mother and to inform me Jeff had brought his electric filet knife and cleaned all the fish. They did not have time to cook them up so we would have to eat them. Darn the bad luck.

Last night, my wife and I went to Damon's and put a sizable dent in the fish caught by the group. They were delicious. We decided Jeff was a better guest than we were hosts. I was not going to give up the best fishing spot on the lake, but he was still willing to clean his and everyone else's fish.

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.

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