Mom gave me Dad's boat before she passed away. Mom loved to fish. It didn't matter the size or the species, if she was catching fish she'd stay there all day. She, also, loved watching outdoor TV. Fishing shows were her favorite. On a visit a few days before she passed, she told me she caught a 6 pound bass in Indiana. It was the dementia talking. She probably saw it on a fishing show. I just smile and congratulated her. She said it tasted great. Mom always had a fondness for eating bass.
Once when I was a kid of 8 or 9 and we were living in Dayton, Mom and Dad planned a fishing trip to a little Lake in KY, WITHOUT Me SISTER AND I.
Dad purchased a used john boat, trailer, trolling motor and every piece of Coleman camping gear that was on the market, except a tent. We had a station wagon that Mom had made zip up covers for 4" thick foam pads that would fit inside the station wagon. That was to be their bed. Mom didn't like the idea of tent camping. Snakes could crawl into a tent.
When they got home, I wanted every detail of their adventure, and what an adventure it was. Crossing the Ohio river bridge at Cincinnati there was a loose cow on the bridge. Ohio and Kentucky law enforcement officials were chasing it back and forth between state lines. On the way home trailer axle broke loose from the frame. Dad was able to steer the car and dragging trailer to the emergency lane with no problem. Other boaters stopped to assist. They put the john boat on the racks on the station wagon. Dad had the idea that if the boat could ride on the trailer, then the trailer should be able to ride on the boat. With help they made it happen. The axle was put inside the station wagon.
Mom commented that the battery had to be put in the floor board between her feet. She was certain with the weekend they'd had that the battery acid would leak out and burn a hole in her foot.
I asked the young boy question, "Did you catch any fish?" Dad had this sly grin on his face. Mom answered they she had caught several small bass but they released them. Dad just smiled.
A few weeks later, Dad prompted me to ask Mom about the size of the bass she caught showing me a citation for $33.50 for undersized bass. They hadn't checked the regulations for "keeper" bass in KY. When the game warden pulled up to their boat, Mom proudly displayed all the bass she had caught. Four of the 6 on the stinger were under sized. The game warden was quite generous and only fined them for the dead bass that was too small. Mom made Dad promise to keep this a secret, which he was bursting to tell his 9 year old son. When Mom realize the beans had been spilled, she exclaim, "Thomas! you promised not to tell." I think that's the only time I ever heard Mom call Dad, Thomas. Dad and I were both in tears, laughing at Mom's embarrassment and sudo-anger. I still have the receipt from Mom's citation as a treasured momentum of my youth.
Fast forward nearly 50 years to this Mother's Day, I'm fishing in Dad and Mom's boat (not the same one of the above story). I caught 18 (limit is 20) nice shell crackers (red ear sunfish) and bluegill on a local lake. It was a good Mother's Day. I'm sure Mom was smiling from above.
The largest fish was 10" the smallest was 7". They ate really well.
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