Waking up at six o’clock in the morning was not a very pleasant experience for me. I was used to waking up much, much later, as I was in afternoon elementary school. My dad, however, believed if we got out to the lake before everyone else started stirring up waves, we would catch more fish. So it was, I got up and dressed, then went downstairs. My dad was waiting for me, already dressed with his hat that he always wore. “Get the fishing rods and the bait and put them in the truck” he instructed.
I ambled over to the cabinet in the garage where we stored them, and opened the door. Whoever was the last person to use the cabinet, they packed supplies in it so precariously that as soon as I opened the door, fishing rods, tackle boxes, life jackets, and an odd assortment of random items spilled out onto me, just like out of a cartoon! My dad poked his head through the doorway to see what the loud clatter was. “I told you to put it in the truck, not all over the floor” he joked. I gathered two life jackets, two fishing rods, and a tackle box for us, and carried them outside. I looked up at the still dark sky to see if I could find the moon still hanging in the sky through the clouds. There was a patch in the sky which was slightly brighter than the rest, and I decided that must be where it was.
As I loaded our equipment into the vehicle, my dad came out with two coolers, one smaller than the other and live bait. We both got in and he started the truck. The quiet drone of the engine started to put me back to sleep. I woke up when my dad stopped at Whataburger. We almost always stopped there if we went out for breakfast. I can still remember what I got, because I get the same thing every time; a sausage, egg, and cheese taquito. The smell of fries and sausage filled the car as the cashier handed us the food. We ate while my dad drove along, and when I finished I fell back asleep.
Once we arrived at the lake, my dad woke me up. I lazily hopped down out of my seat onto the damp concrete. The boat was already halfway down the ramp, and my shoes slipped on the wet ground as I hoisted myself into the boat. My dad began to hand me supplies for me to put away. The fishing rods under the hatch, the bait and tackle box under the seat. As I finished, my dad got back in the truck and began to slowly inch down the ramp, easing the boat into the water. Once it was in the water, he got in and unhooked it, slowly driving it to the dock for me to tie up. He went back to move the truck off the ramp, leaving me alone for just a few minutes to breath the clean, cool air emitting off of the lake’s surface.
Almost as soon as he stepped back into the boat, he started the engine and carefully drove out of the launching area. We rode around the lake for a while, looking for a good spot to anchor. Finally, as we were entering a small channel with overhanging trees, the motor cut off. My dad stood up and asked if I thought this was a good spot. “I think so” I said, although I really had no idea, due to the fact that I had never fished before. He dropped the heavy hook-like chunk of metal into the water after making sure the rope securing it to the boat was tied on tight. He handed me my fishing rod and showed me how to put a worm on the hook. I cast it out into the water, eagerly watching the bobber, waiting for the moment that it went under.
As time passed by, I began to grow restless. “Aren’t there ANY fish in this lake?” I wondered to myself. Finally, I couldn’t stand the quiet. “I’m bored” I told my dad. He looked back at me. “Hi bored, I’m dad” he said with a grin. I wasn’t amused. I started to say “that’s not funny”, when a movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. I excitedly started reeling in the fish, and when I pulled it out of the water, I was not disappointed! At the end of the line hung an eleven inch catfish! My dad helped me put it in the cooler to take home and clean. I was so proud of myself, and I learned a lesson about patience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing, or writing a paper for history, or cleaning your room, just catching the fish right as I was about to give up reminded me that just because something is boring in the moment doesn’t mean that you should give up. The excitement you were looking for could be just around the corner!