I haven't gone fishing in years. In fact, I cannot recall the last time I did go.
But I can tell you this much, when I did go fishing, it was with my dad. He used to take all of us, me, my mom, and then once my sister was born, we packed her up and took her with us too. I was just a kid back then, probably around 5 or 6.
Now we never went to any place big, like the ocean or a raging river. I remember going to Lake Mathis (now known as Lake Corpus Christi) once, but the majority of the time we went fishing on the property of someone my dad knew. The person had a lot of land with cattle and stocked fish tanks. That's where we did the majority of our fishing.
Now you are probably wondering why we didn't go anywhere else to go fishing, like camping or to the beach. Or somewhere that fish lived naturally or whatever. The thing was, I was a really sick kid.
We couldn't go anywhere far from a hospital or hang outdoors much because I was allergic to everything. You name it and I was allergic to it: molds, spores, leaves, trees, bees, air. I would take allergy shots twice a week. I was a regular at the doctor's office, would saunter in at the age of 6 like I owned the place, with everyone in the office shouting out, "CJ!", as I walked in, took my regular seat near the receptionist's window, and grabbed the nearest Highlight mag. Ok, maybe it didn't really happen that way, but all the staff knew me well enough. So anyway, to continue with this exciting story. About my allergies, I'm not talking just a simple case of the sniffles. I would break out in deadly hives in a matter of minutes and have to be rushed to the nearest emergency room. Probably caused by allergies, but the doctors could never tell us specifically what since I was allergic to so many things. It happened a lot too. It's a scary feeling, hives all over your body, and then your throat tightening up and struggling for air.
Don't get me wrong though, we still did a lot of fun things, went on trips, and I did normal kid stuff. It wasn't like I lived like the bubble boy or anything like that.
Back to my story about fishing. So we would go fishing on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. My dad would load up the pickup with all of our gear, my mom would pack snacks and drinks for all of us. We would always stop at Handy-Stop, go to the area where they had live bait, and filled up our bucket with minnows. I would give each of them names.
Once on the property we had to unlock the gates and lock them behind us as we drove in to fish at one of the many tanks. If there was not anything biting at one location, we would go to another area. I had my Snoopy fishing rod, my little lawn chair, and I would kick back next to my dad, popping open a cold one...Dr. Pepper for me. Then we would wait. Sometimes I would catch something that was a tad larger than my bait, sometimes all I caught was a bunch of moss. It was still fun though. My dad would teach me how to put the bait on the hook, throw the line, and then we would wait for the fish to show up. When the sun started to set we would pack up our things, usually have a minnow or two left over which I would claim as my new pet (they never lasted more than a day), and drive back home. Those were the days.
I was thinking how we should go fishing again with my dad. Think he would be embarrased if I showed up with this?
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