The options are abundant. A sportsman has a variety of things to engage in currently.
The turkeys abound throughout Pisgah gamelands. Besides the sheer numbers, the land is some of the most beautiful in the state. It is by far one of my favorite places to hunt. Clear flowing streams trickling over the smooth stones. Foggy morning mists hovering low in the valleys. And a loud gobble as a Tom prepares to strut after dismounting from his roost. Yes, it is very tempting.
Then, of course, the stripers are beginning their annual pilgrimage up the Roanoke, Neuse, Tar and Cape Fear rivers. The striped bass that is so intent on its natural urge to spawn that it travels over 600 miles just to make an exhausting trip up rivers until they can go no further, all in the purpose of procreation. A species that was once so prolific it was said a single haul net at the beginning of the last century brought in 35000 of the rockfish. A species that could make Jeremy Wade seek a new river monster as another haul was reported as averaging 90 pounds per fish. Yes, it is very tempting.
The largemouth are starting their spawning process as well. A small farm pond anywhere will yield alien like troughs along the shorelines for the unknowing. For those in the know however, it means the bass are bedding. I remember the days when everything from a Beetle Spin or Roostertail, to an earthworm or cricket, and even a frog, Jitterbug, or Devil’s horse would be the ticket to bringing in the behemoth mouth. And if the fish were not biting? Just throw a Mister Twister worm over and over and over again until you irritate him so much that he attacks the lure that way. Trust me, it works. And yes, it is very tempting.
But then, you get a phone call. One you were not expecting. It is your son. Your son who is in college has a question. Money? Emergency? Everything flashes through a worried parent’s mind.
“Dad, you want to go fishing at the coast this weekend on the kayaks?”
Well, the fish have not hit the coastal waters quite yet, as the temperature is still a little low. But, my son is asking to go there.
“Yes, come on home Saturday and we will go out there that night,” I responded.
We thought about trying to fish a little at night, and all intentions to do so. Instead, we drove there, parked in the parking lot at the boat ramp, and talked. We talked more. We talked about school. We talked about friends. We talked about girls. We talked. We talked until 3:00 am.
We woke up shortly after sunrise, and backed up to the boat ramp, unloaded the kayaks, and paddled.
We fished open water. We fished under the bridge. We caught fish. We caught croakers, black sea bass, puffers and mullet.
Most of all though, we were with each other. No worries and no hesitation in sharing with each other our thoughts. It is how it is supposed to be. Father and son, enjoying something together and enjoying each other.
So when I got the call this week, I was not worried about money or an emergency. I just answered yes to the question he had, “do you want to go fishing this weekend?”
Yes, it is very tempting.