My youngest son, Mitchell turned three in
March. Since the Easter Egg Hunt got cancelled due to the cold front
that had temperatures down in the 30's, Mitchell and I were left
sitting around the house with nothing to do. I'll have to admit that
actually going fishing was about the farthest thing from my mind on
this blustery day, but that didn't stop me from sitting on the couch
and watching fishing shows. Obviously impressed with the fish Bill
Dance was bringing into the boat, Mitchell asked if we could go
If you've never done it before, fishing with a
small child can be a pretty frustrating experience. I just knew
Mitchell would be ready to come home after about five minutes in the
windy cold, so we drove over to the Saluda River in Piedmont just to
find a place to dunk some worms. I'll admit to having an ulterior
motive: I wanted to check out the river in a few different places to
see what it looked like and find some places to drop a boat in the
water. While not known as a great destination for numbers of bass,
the Saluda produces numerous 10 pound bass every spring and also has
a reputation as a great catfish and bream fishery.
Upon arriving in Piedmont, we grabbed a bite to
eat at Clock (which I highly recommend for a burger and fries) and
then bought worms and minnows at the only place in town that sells
them. A little driving around landed us on a little point of land
just above the dam in Piedmont. A couple other guys were fishing
there also and not having much luck, but Mitchell was rarin' to go
so we set up, baited our hooks, and settled in.
Chowing down at Clock (left), and the only bait store in Piedmont
After about 15 minutes, Daddy was ready to go
home. I tried explaining to Mitchell about cold fronts and how they
affect fish behavior but, like his Mom, the kid just wouldn't listen
to reason. After thirty minutes, Mitchell was the one telling me to
sit down, be still, and quit throwing rocks in the river.
Then the cork went under, and both the little
bluegill and the little boy acquitted themselves quite nicely. The
fish took the line into some weeds and then headed out to open
water. I was doing the usual "Don'thorsehimKeepyourrodtipupReelhimin!!"
thing that Dad's always seem to do, but Mitchell stayed pretty calm
and got the fish to the bank. I took him off the hook and let
Mitchell throw him back in the river. I couldn't have been prouder
if he had scored a touchdown to win the big game.
Luckily for Mitchell, accuracy is way more important than length
for a fisherman
We hung around for another 30 minutes or so, and
Mitchell only pouted a little bit when it was time to leave. We
scouted a few other spots downstream from Piedmont, and Mitchell
insisted on making a few casts (he can't cast a lick yet) at every
stop. We didn't get any more bites, but it makes me happy that my
youngest son already loves to go fishing at such a young age. I've
got a great new fishing buddy who'll go with me whenever I want. At
least until he discovers girls.