“Are you catching any fish?” The deep voice behind these words startled me. I mean, it was the wee hours of the morning and the last time I checked there was no one in the area. I turned with my hand on my chest to find Mr. Leakes standing behind me with a grin on his face.
‘Thank God it’s this kind soul and not a serial killer’ I thought to myself. “Hoping to catch some, after all, isn’t that the point of fishing?” I said with a voice of confidence. It is every teacher’s pride to hear and see the confidence in their students.
Mr. Leakes has been a father figure to me since the age of 16 when his son, Mike, passed away. I first met him when he hired me to mow his lawn. I’d brought my own lawn mower but I couldn’t get my eyes off of his Black & Decker electric mower.
Back in the day, only a handful of people had such high-tech equipment and I couldn’t believe that he gave me permission to use it. He actually had two electric lawn mowers, and he gave me the luxury of choosing between the two of them. I couldn’t wait to go back and share the experience with my friends.
Just like any other teenager, Mike was always distant and withdrawn, so he and Mr. Leakes didn’t have a normal relationship. Despite his hot temper and need for everyone to leave him alone, Mr. Leakes never left for fishing without asking Mike if he wanted to join him.
My first fishing expedition with Mr. Leakes was a year after Mike’s departure and we’ve been doing it ever since. I neither had any fishing gear nor experience. All I had to offer was my company, but the lessons came naturally with time. Knowing Mr. Leakes like I do, I knew the second question that was coming my way. “Did you use the correct knot?”
When he took me for my first fishing trip, I had no idea how to fish. I didn’t know how to hold the fishing rod or what to do with it. Luckily, I have now learned all there is to know from him to be a pro. I still remember the basic fishing lessons that he taught me on that chilly sunday morning.
Rule number one, rig it right. A properly tied fishing knot will not break when set to the hook. There are certain knots that will lure the fish in a natural manner, hence better chances.
The second rule is to swim your lure the correct way. It is important to move your reel tip and rod tip in a manner to mimic the natural movement of real fish. Move too fast and your lure will not appear natural. Swim your lure as the fishing spot dictates, so you may want to take a few minutes to monitor the pond.
While fishing, you have to be willing to change depths. Although fishing on the top water is fun and easy, it isn’t always the best spot. If nothing is happening here, you need to move to deeper water until you find the fish.
If you’re still not having any luck, move around. You may need to cover the water with a fan cast and make fewer casts to your left, some in front and even more to the right.
“Fishing is a process, son. The better your technique, the higher your chances of going home with a catch.” This phrase is the first thing I think about whenever I go fishing. I still mow his lawn because the mower is very easy to use, and to be nice and hang with him for a little while.