Friday, April 02, 2010

Some updates and fish tales

Tomorrow will be the very last Easter Egg hunt that we will be taking our kids to. Patrick and I have been taking our kids for the last 15 years every Saturday before Easter and it's been one of those events that we have a love/hate relationship with. The weather hasn't always been on our side...snow some of those mornings, freezing cold, warm, rainy...every possible element of the weather under the sun.

Aside from watching the kids run around like chickens with their heads cut off, my next favorite part of these events is standing next to Patrick drinking our steaming coffee discussing how we think the fireman's kids are always the winners of the golden egg contest. It's the firemen who put on this Egg Hunt, who hide the eggs, and who also came up with the idea of hiding a bunch of huge golden eggs...the discovery of one of those results in a large Easter basket for the kids who found those large eggs. And I must say, most years, it's been the child of a fireman who has found those eggs.

Truth be told, it's a great event, the firemen work really hard on this, and go to great lengths for all the children in the community. Their kids should be entitled because they reward the firemen with squeals and shouts of excitement. There's nothing like seeing such joy in the eyes of your child--and I've seen it a lot with our kids.

It's still hard to watch all the other kids who get upset or sad because they never find the eggs but in the end, our kids don't need MORE candy and they have come home with a ton of it every single egg hunt. And there's a good 200 kids at this the money spent on this is no small gesture--it's a wonderful community get together that we really enjoy.

Our boy is in his last year of elementary school this year so he will officially be too old to participate next year. I hope he has as good of a year this year as the last two. For the last two years he has won the egg toss contest--year one he came home with a giant chocolate dinosaur nearly as big as him and last year he came home with a giant chocolate Easter bunny. He's pretty pumped for tomorrow.

Off the subject of Easter--we did go fishing on Wednesday and what a trip it was!!! The idea was to bobber fish with night crawlers, enjoy the sunset, and catch some sunfish and sigh as we welcomed this fishing season....

It started out that way...sunfish were being caught but then I heard Patrick's drag going crazy. Using our ultra lite poles with four lb. test and little hooks, we had no intentions of anything bigger than sunnies and crappies. When I looked over at Pat I just assumed his drag was set a bit too lite or that he was fighting to get himself unhooked from a weed..ah, no. His tiny little ultra lite was bent to the reel and his line was spooling off at lightening speed. None of us had a clue what he may have hooked into nor did we expect it.

GD#4 and I anxiously watched as he fought whatever it was for about a minute. Then we could see that it was coming to the surface...the head, then a fin and then it rolled on it's back and was simply being dragged. It's fins were huge and it's tail was even bigger. We thought maybe it was a northern but as Pat got is closer we determined that it was a giant carp. About 15-feet from shore we got a much better look and it must have been about 30-inches long. It was a pig. Patrick kept reeling it in trying very hard to be careful considering the make-up of his about eight to ten feet from shore, the carp decided to give it one more go. It rolled over and took off. Pat's drag went crazy once again....once it slowed Pat started the process all over but this time, he wasn't so lucky. His line snapped like brittle bones and the fish was gone. We all just sat and looked at the bobber floating out of reach and bummed out. Ugly fish or not, it certainly would have been a sight to see, it had to be close to 10-lbs.

After that, we all started back to fishing for our sunnies and crappies. My bobber was suddenly active--slowly going under. I jerked and was surprised with a big jerk and a fish taking off on the other end. Not nearly as large as Pat's fish but a good size one all the same.

About 15-feet off shore, this large mouth protruded and rose up..and splash. A big bass. Now we know we're not supposed to be catching these and weren't actively trying but it felt amazing all the same; and the thrill....gawd I miss fishing. I got that bass in, we weighed it and it was 2 3/4 - lbs. and pretty. It was the first bass of the season, something that is usually my honor every year.

Well, five minutes later, my bobber repeated the act of this slow submersion. This time, it was not nearly as small...I love fighting bass--they are like putty in my hands most of the time....the tugs on my line, trailing it with my pole...anyway...the fish was getting dangerously close to crossing Pat's line. He began reeling in and 'WHAM' he had a big fish. Both of us were fighting bass...mine had surfaced and gave me a show then Pat's. Once we got them in, I looked at mine as it lay on the shore line and said, "Holy shit, this thing is a monster!!!" Pat's was good size too. I was actually afraid to pick mine up because I didn't want him to flop out of my hand and get hurt. I just watched it in awe.

We weighed them both; first Pat's and his was 3 1/2-lbs. He laid his next to mine and there was no comparison....mine out-sized his by a long shot both in inches and in girth. It was then time to weigh mine--4 1/2 lbs. the biggest bass I've ever caught. What a pig it was and one I was pretty proud of. We of course wanted pictures of them but struggled to figure out just how to go about doing that...the camera was in my pocket and we were each holding fish. I wound up taking a picture of Pat with his first with one hand. He then took one of my fish....and holy crap, that thing is insanely huge. We have the pics but since it's not bass season we don't feel right posting them.

After that bout of excitement things settled down a bit...but I got one more go. Another 2+ lb. bass latched on to my line again. We didn't weigh this one...but there was definitely a down side; our son. The poor little man was devastated because he'd caught nothing but a few sunfish. I so desperately wanted him to catch something of substance but he just couldn't and he was heartbroken. I didn't know how to make him feel better as we weren't even trying to catch these fish, they just happened to grab on. That's probably the worst part is when we try not to catch them we get some really nice bass.

It was a great fishing excursion and for the first of the season I have to admit it was a lot more fun than we thought it would be.

Since then the week was interesting to say the least. The other shoe has fallen off the foot but hasn't dropped completely. I mentioned in my last post that I wondered when that was going to happen...I must have jinxed us! I can't talk about it now as all the information isn't available but Patrick and I are keeping our fingers crossed, trying to keep our spirits up, and really trying to stay positive! In this situation, it's the best that we have right now.

I'm sure I'll put up an Easter post so will refrain from warm and happy wishes to everyone. So until then......

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