Fishing with grandsons is a rewarding experience

Published 6:08 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

This past week I had the pleasure of spending some time up north with two of my grandsons. Trevor, my oldest grandson and Dylan, Trevor’s cousin. The boys went north with Grandpa for a few days to do some fishing.

The weather was good, and the fishing wasn’t too bad either.

I had my sights set on visiting Spider Lake for a day and was excited about seeing my old fishing hole again.

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At least once a year I try to revisit the lake that we had spent so many vacations at when my boys were growing up.

I think that we all had visions of muskies dancing in our heads, but that was not to be on this trip.

We didn’t see any of those toothed ones that day so we had to settle for Grandpa pointing out different places on the lake that he had caught them or had seen one caught in the past.

I am pretty sure that after about an hour of me pointing out those different spots they were both ready to make their own musky memories.

The slot limit for northern pike on Spider Lake is everything between 24 and 36 inches must go back and only one fish over 36 inches can be kept.

On this particular day we did catch a lot of fish, and they were either too small or too big to keep.

Trevor caught a nice fat 23-inch pike that we could have kept, but he opted to let it swim for another day.

I had mentioned to Trevor that I hadn’t seen as many smallmouth as in years past so just about a half hour later he landed a dandy that both of us had to laugh about.

We also caught quite a few nice largemouth bass, so after spending about seven hours of hard fishing we called it a day and headed back to the cabin.

The funny thing about this outing was that I woke up about a half hour before the boys did to make breakfast and on the ride home they were both falling asleep.

Dylan slept all the way to the cabin, and Trevor took a nap after we got back. I guess the old guy outlasted them on this day.

Once we had eaten lunch the boys took our small boat and were off to another lake and returned later that evening with a couple of dandy northern, which were earmarked for the dinner table the next day.

Last year I taught Trevor how to take the “Y” bones out of a northern, and now he is already a master at it. He told me that his mom and dad are sure happy that he knows how to do that. Grandpa is probably just as happy because now he’s not the only one in the family who can do it.

Trevor asked his cousin Dylan if he’d like to learn and he said he would try it. Trevor is already passing his skills on to the younger family members. He is always willing to share his fishing secrets with anyone who asks, and he has a lot to share because the kid definitely knows fishing and the outdoors.

When an occasion like this happens it really makes me feel proud to have taken both of the boys up north and be able to share so many good outdoor experiences with them.

The best way to learn about fishing and becoming a good outdoorsman is to experience it. We always fish a variety of different lakes when we are up north and Dylan already has fond memories of them.

Just the other day we were on a lake and he pointed out a location on that lake and said “this is where I caught my first northern”.

It amazes me at just how much of an influence you can have on a youth. That’s a memory that he will be able to share with his kids one day.

Trevor is 17 and has already developed a real liking for the small boat of ours. On this trip he and Dylan had been going to different lakes in the evening after fishing with Grandpa in the big boat in the morning.

I guess that I have always been a morning person so rising early and heading to a different lake is right down my alley. The last early morning fishing excursion of this trip north was pretty rewarding. When we got to the spot we were going to fish Trevor and I caught back-to-back fish within a minute of each other. Dylan started a little slow but was soon making up for it.

The day before he’d had some really good fishing, and I didn’t think he could duplicate it two days in a row, but he came close. By the time we headed off the lake we had caught quite a few nice bass, some northern and a few panfish. Dylan told me more than once that this was the best fishing that he’d ever had on a trip north. I don’t think that there are ever any bad ones, but this was truly a good day of fishing.

On the way back to Albert Lea we stopped at Reed’s Sporting Goods store by Mille Lacs. Trevor had heard about it from his uncle and wanted to stop and check it out. He bought a musky lure and an ice fishing reel; both necessities of course.

Once we were back on the road Dylan was on his cellphone asking his friend if he wanted to go fishing that evening. These two boys are definitely hooked on the outdoors and Grandpa couldn’t be prouder. They both thanked me many times for the trip, but I should be the one thanking them.

Until next time, enjoy the outdoors and take a little time to teach a kid about fishing it’s a rewarding experience.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.


Dick Herfindahl’s column appears in the Tribune each Sunday.