As we approach Labor Day weekend and I hope to head to our annual fishing fun on the Gulf Coast, I'm brought back to this memory from 3 years ago...
"JP, as you know, I'm out fishing off the pier next to the KOA Kabin that we love to stay at in Lillian, Alabama," I said being careful to not drop my cell phone into the water while holding my fishing pole in the other hand; I had just spoken to our then almost 17 year old son, John Paul.
"I sure wish you could have come with me like in the past, but I understand that you and your girlfriend wanted to go to the St. Michael High School Jamboree Football Game," I continued and reflected to myself, "What high school senior would not have chosen to be with his girlfriend than with his dad?"
"I tried shrimp and some other fresh bait that I had gotten nearby and have even used the treble hook to have a better chance at landing something," I continued in talking with JP.
"I sure hope the fishing officials don't catch me, since some states ban those triple hooks and ya know what I forgot to do, JP? I didn't get the Alabama Fishing License like I hoped to do when I was leaving late from Baton Rouge. Maybe they will just honor my LA Fishing License?"
JP then told me some tricks of the trade by noting, "You can use some of my lures that you took and rub them with shrimp - that might help!"
Oops - there almost went my cell phone, which thankfully landed safely in the net that I just happened to have had next to the bench on the pier where I was fishing.
"I surely won't get lucky twice on this trip," I continued talking with JP, "Like when I had only gotten a Warning from the Baldwin County Alabama Sheriff in nearby Elberta when I was going 47 in a 35 mph speed trap late Friday when I got here- that was so cool, huh, JP?"
"Now Daddy, you aren't still using a bobber are you? You know how I've told you before that you won't get to some of the bottom dwelling fish with a bobber!" JP continued.
"I know JP," I continued, "But I just like to see when I'm getting a nibble."
"Oh well, JP; you're probably right - I'll take my darned bobber off," I noted. "I'll let ya know if that helps - love ya, son!"
Next thing you know, a few moments after taking off the bobber and making a short cast, I started to feel all kinds of actions on my line.
Sure, I had to keep putting on some bait but then, all of a sudden, I felt a big pull on my line. Some other KOA Kampers' kids were also now on the pier and they came to my rescue, as they could see I was getting something on my line.
"Can one of you get my net to be sure I don't lose this fish?" I asked one of the kids, who quickly got the net and landed a funny looking fish into my net and pulled it up on the pier for me.
"It's a Rock Fish!" said one of the boys; "You landed a rock fish!" It was squishy and rocky looking.
"Can you take a pic of this for me so I can show my son?" I asked one of the kids, who certainly obliged and took a few great "show-off memory."
A crane was nearby also on the pier and watching all of my adventures - we'd seen him in previous years as the camp - he's kind of like the KOA Kamp mascot - and tossed him little fish that we'd caught, so I quickly threw the rock fish to him, at which he started to gobble it up. Certainly, another pic was in order.
First, since our son usually responds quicker to texts, I sent my treasured rock fish catch pic to JP and my wife and then called to brag and thank him for his advice! He was so excited for his stubborn bobber-dependent daddy, and sent back a neat, "Awesome, Dad!" text.
Later, you can bet your bottom dollar that this fish pic was posted on Facebook!
The moral of the story: be sure to sometimes take the advice of your kids - like the old Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song, "Teach Your Children!"