Sometimes, I feel like the only dude in the region who’s not batty about fishing and hunting. Growing up, that was my dad’s thing — fishing, especially. His way of decompressing was hitching up his boat and spending the weekend on a lake. Even as a young boy, I had a freakish attention span, but never the patience for fishing or hunting, nor the killer instinct. Why spend a weekend murdering animals when you suck at baseball?
A funny thing happened in Portland. Surrounded by a city full of vegans, the idea of fishing became a little more romantic. The predatory element — abusing the evolutionary chain and unwitting lowly fish — started to seem more appealing. Hunting doesn’t interest me as much, which is a shame considering I’m from the pheasant-hunting capital of the solar system. (Eastern South Dakota.) However, I think I could stand to be a fisherman.
That starts this weekend.
I’m pushing off for northern Minnesota this weekend to meet up with my parents at my grandparents’ house on Big Bass Lake. (Don’t be misled by the lake’s name — false advertising if ever there were such a thing.) I haven’t been to their lake home in a good eight years. My intention this weekend is to pull fish from their natural element and put them in my stomach post haste. We’ll see how that goes. Luckily, I’ve got my dad as a sherpa out there. My only concern is at age 25 he’ll start holding my liable for all the bait and tackle I’m bound to snag and lose. I’ve always been overambitious with my casting.
I believe three things need to happen this weekend for me to consider fishing in the future:
- I need to catch something edible that weighs more than three pounds.
- I need to get said fish into the live well without puncturing a major artery, whether by hook or gill.
- I need to clean said fish without vomiting all over myself.
My list is short. My list is simple. My list is very well defined. If all goes right, these three things will take place and I will have footage for you on Monday.