by Margaret Knoebel
I was a ‘den mother’ for Boy Scout Troop #75. I always tried to show the seven- year-old boys as much fun as possible, including my own son and four-year-old old daughter, who always had to tag along on our field trips. She was a good scout! On a lovely spring day I decided to take the boys fishing at a stocked lake. I called all the boys and had them meet at a central location with their fishing equipment. Somehow I wound up with a few strange faces, but that was okay. I put the top down on the convertible and we looked like a rolling pin cushion with nine fish poles sticking up! The car was alive with wiggling, noisy boys and a little girl!
As soon as we arrived, we bought some stinky, mushy bait from the entrance shack, and found a nice secluded spot to put our lines in. I started baiting hooks. With each hook I baited, I recited a mantra, “Hocus Pocus, sixth & locust, Gina Lollabridgada.” Not being a fishermom, I really didn’t know much, but acted very savvy when I showed them how to cast and reel in. My son had our only rod and reel, so Cathy and I used a bamboo pole which I had rigged up with some old 30-pound test line and a bobber. The boys started catching more fish than I care to remember, and none knew how to unhook and string them. We had blue gill, cat, carp and some unidentifiable squirmy things. I had put a concrete block on my pole, since too busy to sit down. The day passed rapidly, but the boys didn’t want to go home. I relented and we stayed until we were fully sunburned, and mosquito bitten. I had forgotten my pole in the melee.
I challenge anyone to take seven, seven-year-olds and a little girl fishing and do any fishing themselves.
Suddenly, one of the boys shouted, “Look at your bobber!” It was going crazy out in the water. I casually started pulling on the line, but couldn’t pull in whatever had it. The boys helped and finally there was the biggest fish I had ever seen. We got it up to the one-foot bank but couldn’t get it up the embankment.
Little Robbie Ganniger jumped in the lake and straddled the fish. He exclaimed with certainty, “I won’t let him get away Mz. Knoebel, he’s not getting away!” I said, “Ride ’em fishboy!” I had noticed a man watching us, and yelled, “Hey man! Hey, you man come help!’ With his assistance, we finally hauled in the big carp, which weighed in at 13-1/2 pounds! All totaled, we caught 70 pounds of fish that day.
Later I took some very happy boys home to their very worried parents. We had planned a much shorter fishing excursion!