Hunting & Fishing for Stories & Photos

Monday, May 16, 2011

Drownin' Worms

Teague proudly shows Mattox a catfish on Mattox's first fishing excursion.

We spent Easter weekend down in Phoenix with my brother and his family. Besides the huge Echeverria picnic on Saturday and an Easter egg hunt on Sunday, Erik and his oldest son Teague took Nichole, Mattox, and I on Mattox’s first fishing trip. One of Erik’s friends lives on a private lake in Ahwatukee with an abundance of warm water fish species such as catfish, carp, bluegill, and crappie.

We rigged up a couple rods with corn and worms, and let Teague do the catching as soon as the fish hit. We only fished for about an hour, but Teague caught a carp and three catfish. The carp put up quite a fight, but after I tightened the drag on Teague’s reel, he made short work of the big bottom-feeder.

Since I was trying to get a picture of Mattox with a fish (two of the squirmiest things on the planet), I was frustrated when the first catfish got off, and then when I dropped the second. It all came together on the third, which also happened to be the biggest! We got a great photo of Teague holding the catfish, me holding Mattox, and Mattox touching his first slimy fish.

Teague was totally unselfish and loved sharing the experience with the family. He couldn’t wait to go and was very proud to show his fish to Mattox. I think those cousins will have a great time in the woods together!

Even though Mattox’s first fishing trip was more about me than him, I hope he’ll recognize the value of exposing kids to the outdoors early. My parents took me fishing before I could walk and now we’ve done the same for Mattox. Hopefully he’ll do the same for his kids…

A sequence of photos showing Teague catching and releasing a nice carp with the help of his dad: