Fishing was a major leisure time activity for my family. When I was growing up, my dad would take us fishing many places around the state. We would sometimes go deep sea fishing on his boat but mostly we took our little bamboo poles to Mr. McClain's pond just down the street from our house. But first, we needed to get some lures to make our hooks a bit more appetizing for the freshwater bream, catfish, or bass. Although my dad used plastic flies for catching the big guys, my mom mostly used live earthworms (aka baits) or crickets. Sometimes we would go digging for our own earthworms or catch crickets from our yard. The trick was then to scoop out just one, grabbing it strategically to get it on the hook so that it was not too easy for the fish to get it off without getting caught. On a good day when the fish were "jumping" we would catch enough for everyone to have 2 whole fried fish with a side of rice and tomatoes and cucumbers. I think these meals were more delicious that usual since we worked for our meal.
To keep the family tradition of regular fishing trips, my dad built a fresh water pond on our land near my mom's current home. A short walk down the trail behind her house is an amazing outdoor oasis. Last time I was there, I saw many small bream and my mom caught a huge catfish. It still amazes me how small things that we take for granted can bring so much pleasure and relaxation. This pond is a part of our family legacy of outdoor connectedness that I hope will provide rejuvenation to my family and friends for years to come.