Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Parker Heinlein
Outdoors columnist 

Too much like me?


Like any grandparent, I’m proud of my grandchildren, and see great promise in their future.

Some of them have already begun to show an athletic prowess that I never had. Others are more accomplished students than I was, and all of them are far better looking than me.

One in particular, however, appears to have a special gift for – of all things – fishing. My 6-year-old grandson would rather fish than eat.

Last weekend at the lake he schooled us all in catching perch. Using a Superman rod and reel, the little guy pulled in fish after fish while the rest of the crew spent more time re-baiting than catching.

He didn’t come up to the cabin for breakfast, and later chose to stay on the dock and fish instead of join the other kids, who were clamoring for me to tow them behind the pontoon boat on the inflatable.

The perch were tiny, but they had him hooked, and he soon realized there were bigger fish to catch.

“Hey Grandpa,” he hollered while I was cooking breakfast on the patio, “I caught a bass!”

He also saw a “huge” pike swim past but couldn’t get him to eat the chunk of nightcrawler he was offering.

What impressed me most though, was the little guy’s focus. While the other kids weren’t always paying attention and needed to be told when their bobbers had been pulled under, my angling prodigy never missed a bite. He had the touch that the others didn’t.

I’m concerned he may be a little bit too much like me. For much of my life I’ve fished when I should be doing something else. I still do, although there are fewer things I should be doing these days than there used to be.

While his father taught him how bait a hook and make a cast, and is still occasionally called upon for help, the kid is quite content to fish alone. As one of 10 children, I think he enjoys the solitude that solo angling offers.

It’s hard to be objective about your grandchildren. Mine are simply exceptional. They excel at sports, shine in the classroom, and are compassionate toward the less fortunate.

One is already quite skilled with a rod and reel. I look forward to feeding the beast. I’m a bit of an addict myself. I shouldn’t be surprised that a grandson of mine is, too.

Parker Heinlein is at [email protected]


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