Tomorrow, June 18, is NATIONAL GO FISHING DAY. Fishing has been around as long as man and women have. It is a major industry that yields billions of dollars worldwide annually. It is also a great recreational activity for everyone, young and old. It’s a way to add food to the table and an opportunity to bond with family and friends.
The benefits of fishing are numerous. Did you know fishing actually boosts your immune system? When you do something you enjoy, your body responds by healing and strengthening itself. Being out in nature helps promote relaxation and is a way to practice calm and patience. It can lower blood pressure and can be done individually or with others. You can fish from the shore, from a boat or by standing in a stream. However you decide to do it, why not teach a kid, your kid or a friend’s kid, to fish.
Check your local recreational areas for competitions and rules regarding proper fishing etiquette. Even during this Covid-19 pandemic, it’s okay to go fishing.
When you go fishing, or teach a child to fish, you never know what you might catch.
Here’s a case in point, where eleven-year-old JACK takes his five-year-old sister KATY to fish for the first time from my newest MG novel in verse WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (Creston)
Katy feels sorry for worms
and won’t fish with them.
I make balls of dough
from the crusts of our sandwiches to
bait her hook.
She breaks every rule about fishing.
Making loud noises, scaring the fish.
She can’t stand in one spot
more than a minute without
tangling the fishing line,
asking so many questions
my ears are ready to
When are we going to catch a
FISH!!! she shouts for the
tenth time, dropping her pole to
chase a butterfly.
Fish don’t come around when it’s noisy,
so zzzzip your lips, I say.
She pretends to zip her lip,
humming the tune to
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
After lunch I’m ready to leave.
No fish today, let’s go, I say.
Maybe the fish don’t like worms.
Maybe they’re veterinarians, Katy says.
She means vegetarians because
she hands me a grape and says
put it on the hook, Jack, please?
Can you sit without making a sound,
quiet as a stone?
She puts a finger to her lips, Shhhhh.
I hook the grape, toss the line,
hand the rod to Katy.
Before I settle onto the grass,
the line gives a tug.
Too heavy for me, I can’t do it, Jack.
I grab the rod and pull a fish out,
a fish with one eye.
It’s Fred, I tell her.
Katy strokes Fred’s tail with a pinkie.
A special fish, I say.
Like magic special?
Katy’s two eyes as wide as Fred’s one.
Don’t know, I say.
Katy frowns, so I say,
make a wish, quick before Fred goes back.
Pancakes for supper! she wishes,
kissing Fred on the tail.
Pancakes, I agree. As I slip
Fred into the water, he seems to
wink his eye before he swims away.
While you may not catch a fish that grants wishes, taking a child fishing will be something you’ll both remember for a long time.