My Biggest Fish

It was another sunny morning
Another beautiful day,
As my Dad and I got ready
To head out on the lake.
We grabbed our poles and nets,
A bucket of worms in mud.
My cane pole, long as I was tall.
Dad’s casting reel and trusty jitterbug.
Dad rowed out to the point,
Always a good place to start.
I threw in my line, watched the bobber,
And waited with a pounding heart.
Dad cast and reeled and cast again,
We waited, and waited some more.
My heartbeat slowed and head drooped down.
For the first time I think I was bored!
We pulled up the anchor and rowed to the spring,
My heart started pounding again.
“All of the fish must have swum over here.”
With confidence I said.

With enthusiasm renewed, and of course a nice fresh worm,
I threw in my line and waited.
And waited.
I began to squirm.
“They’re just not biting today.” Daid said.
Impossible! Not here!
Not at The Cottage where the fish get bigger
Each and every year!
We trolled a while around the lake,
My worm, Dad’s jitterbug.
We never caught even one small fish.
Not a bite, not even a tug.

“Let’s try the lily pads near the shore.”
I suggested when all else failed.
“It’s way too shallow over there.” Dad replied.
But I prevailed.
Dad rowed reluctantly
To the shallow shore,
I moved up my bobber,
Dad pulled in the oars.
I threw in my line,
Held my pole straight up.
My hook barely dangled
Above the lake bottom muck.
We waited for a little while
But before it had been too long,
My line jerked taught, my pole tip bent,
I’d never felt a fish so strong!

I yelled and pulled and held on tight.
My little arms couldĀ  not hold out.
My heart was pounding in my throat,
I thought for sure I’d lose this bout.
Dad calmly took my pole and said,
“You’ve just got it caught.”
He turned the end, he pulled it back,
He tugged.
The line stayed taught.
Then the snag bolted. Dad braced himself and yelled
“Grab the net!”
It was a fish! My eyes were wide,
My hands were slick with sweat.
Dad took the net, gave me the pole.
I pulled with all my strength.
The fish fought back, and turned, and dove,
I had it within an arm’s length.
I pulled a little harder, it followed to the top.
Dad dipped the net.
I had my wish.
With a smile I held my hard-won prize,
To this day my biggest fish!

By Nicole Bates 11-02-2000


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