Season firsts

A fishing season has lots of firsts.

There’s a pond by my parent’s house–more so a cranberry bog reservoir than a pond– that’s generally the site of a few season firsts.

Some years back, on a warmish Sunday night in March, my Dad, my fiance and I decided to stop by the “Rock Pond” (we call it this because it has a rock in it. Original name, I know). Armed with worms and bobbers, we set up chairs in the quickening twilight, opened up a few beers and cast the bobbers into the still pond. I had a few old cigars in my car, so we lit those up. “To keep the bugs away,” I justified.

Earlier in the day, driving past the water, I saw little dimples and disturbances in the shallows. The weather had begun it’s slow turn, and the warming water temperatures and longer daylight hours had caused the pan fish in the always-faithful Rock Pond to stir.

The simplicity and nostalgia that comes with fishing a nightcrawler under a bobber, is, at its core, the reason why we love fishing. No matter how complicated fishing gets, or technical or stressful, when you take away all the bullshit, fishing is merely a way for us to squeeze out some extra time with the people around us, surrounded by nature, hanging on to the hope of a fish.

The first bite came after dark. Gelany’s bobber disappeared in the light of the headlamp.

File Feb 22, 8 54 08 PM

The second one came not long after the first. This one put up a fight.

File Feb 22, 8 54 43 PM

In the quickly cooling night of March, the guides on our rods showed only the hint of ice, and the season had begun in much the same way all of our fishing memories began: with a worm on a hook under a bobber.

Billy Mitchell

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