Reflecting on dad

As I write this, I’m getting ready to go back out on the Mississippi River to see if I can find some winning bass. The bite’s pretty good but my fish aren’t as big as I’d like them to be. Before we get into that, however, I want to say a few words about my dad.  

It’s traditional to talk about your father around Father’s Day. On fishing sites, much of what’s said centers on fishing, and I suppose that’s right. But when I think about my dad I think about much more than that. That’s because as much as he taught us about fishing he taught us much more about how to be a man and about how to live life.

He managed to raise four kids and support my mom without neglecting any of us. He always treated my mom with respect. All three boys learned at an early age that’s how you’re supposed to treat your wife, the mother of your children.

We learned that it’s important to work. He worked all of his life as a salesman. At first he worked for other people and then, later, he formed his own company. He worked hard. At the same time, though, he didn’t allow his work hours or his work ethic to interfere with being our father. He always had time for us, and he always had time to help other people who needed a hand.

Our sister learned a lot from him, too. He treated her much like he did us boys but with a feminine twist. There’s no doubt in my mind that she learned what makes a real man from him. He showed her how it’s done.

With all that said, he’s also one heck of a bass fisherman. Bobby, Arnie and I all fish professionally. We use what he taught us every day we’re on the water. I’m talking about much more than how to catch bass here. I’m talking about following the rules, conducting ourselves properly at all times and helping another angler when he or she needs it.

He’s a heck of a dad. I can’t wait for things to slow down so we can do some fishing together this fall and winter.

Now, we can talk some more about this tournament. The river isn’t as far along as it was last time we were here. The water’s been up and it’s a little dirty. That’s held back the grass. There just isn’t as much of it and it’s not as thick as I thought it’d be when I wrote about it last week.

I’ve got about a day and a half under my belt as I write this. It looks to me like it’ll be a good tournament with a lot of fish caught and brought to the scales. As far as weight goes, I’m not so sure. My practice fish are small but that doesn’t mean everyone else’s are small. This is the Elite Series. Someone always finds big fish.

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