It was a cloudy warm spring day In North Carolina. My wife and I were on our way to Lookout Shoals lake where our friends had recently bought a lot. We were invited to just relax and enjoy the beautifull flowering trees that were speckled on the hill side and reached over the lake.
"What did ya bring your fishin' stuff for," my friends wife had asked me in her wonderful Texas twang.
"You didn't think I would come to just lounge on the shore when there's some water I could be fishing in did you?" I replied.
"Well, I hope you aren't dissapointed." she said doubting I would catch anything
I meandered my way along the shore line to find that "perfect" place to sit and cast. It didn't take long till I was settled and got my $15 Walmart fishing pole out. As I rigged it up my thoughts turned to how thankful I was to have this moment to fish. I had moved to North Carolina from Minnesota and been living there for over a year before I had this chance to fish. Fishing was a piece of home that hadn't left me but the circumstances of my job didn't leave me much time to have a life, let alone fish. I was drinking in the moment even though I had to settle for 'them little old pan fish.' Truth is, I didn't know what to expect. These waters weren't anything like what I had fished up north. At first glance I thought, 'Man the water is green! Can anything live in green water?' I laughed at myself when I remembered that the lakes I fished back home were coffe stained and looked like you could say the same about them. It felt strange to be in such a different part of the country and yet feeling like it was home. Fishing that day was God's way of telling me that it didn't matter where I was he was always there with me.
I finally got my lively quarter of a night crawler on and looked around for a good place to cast.
"Where do you think I should try?" I asked my friend as he just arrived and started to rig up himself.
" I don't know? This is the first time I have tried it myself. The water isn't very deep. I had to go in last week to figure out how I am going to put my dock. Just throw it anywhere I guess."
We were at the end of a narrow finger of the lake. So it didn't leave us much options to cast. As I adjusted my bobber about 2 feet above my crawler, I saw a nice branch hanging over the opposite bank about 20 yards away. Taking aim, I let her go. It landed close enough to my target so I sat down to wait. I watched the bobber intently hoping and wishing it to go down when, 'bloop' it disappeared. I set the hook and found myself having a good tangle with a Bluegill. My thoughts raced, can this be happening? Are you supposed to get this excited over 'them little old bluegill'. Man they fight a lot harder than I remember.
After having that golden minute of fun my buddy's bobber went down. We held up our two 9" bluegills and just laughed and smiled. Our wifes sat on the opposite bank shaking their heads at there two husbands who just became boys again. We stayed for hours and lived up the gift that God had given us that day, 'them little old panfish.'
It's hard to believe that such a little fish can bring much joy, but it can. At the end of that day I knew I was hooked, there was no going back. I am a pan fisherman for life.