Before us kids were born Mom had many adventures of her own. She is a strong, independent woman who at one time could out-run, out-eat, and as it happened, out-fish the boys. Not because she worked at it, she was generally happy to stay on the porch and read, bask in the sun on the dock, or enjoy a quiet canoe ride sans hook and worm.
One summer her younger brother was visiting the cottage and wanted desperately to go fishing. He and my Dad both asked Mom to join them, so she agreed. Dad, of course, used his casting rod and reel, probably baited with the trusty jitter-bug, or maybe the hula-popper. Mom and her brother both used cane poles and worms. They were fishing out of a little rowboat that seats two adults comfortably, so it would seem that both worms would be equally accessible to any passing school of fish. Since they were so close together, this particular school must have had a sense of humor.
After only a few minutes of setting anchor, Mom caught a lovely eighteen inch bass. Her brother was equal parts ecstatic and jealous. He insisted that the switch places in the boat. Mom graciously agreed, and they must have taken turns stepping carefully over Dad in the rower’s seat as they shuffled positions.
Everyone settled back in after the excitement and threw in their lines.
A few more minutes passed. Mom felt another tug, responded with a jerk, and lifted her long pole high in the air to reveal another whopper.
Her brother began hounding her with questions. How much worm was she using? How often was she changing it? How long was she staying in the same spot? Did she move the bait at all or hold it still? How was she catching all of the fish?
They switched spots again, maybe even switched poles, and still Mom caught another fish.
Her brother probably caught one eventually, but none as big as the one’s that Mom was bagging.
Did she have a secret?
If it was anything other than the patience of a person who wasn’t actually concerned about whether or not she caught a fish, she’s not telling.