From my first time as a little kid to some of my most recent trips to Canada, the greatest influence in my fishing life is my Dad.
I remember when I was about 8 years old we spent a night camping on the Mississippi in Minnesota and dad would stand on this large rock on the shore and kept missing bites. After about an hour he went to change baits so I casted my nightcrawler from his rock and caught a 5 lb Smallmouth seconds after he had moved. He was more proud of his son than he was catching any fish!
When I was 10 we went on a charter boat on Lake Michigan where I was the only child. Six adults and me. We caught over a dozen Lakers 8-14lbs as a group, but Dad's little guy caught a 24lbs Monster while Dad held me in by my belt so I wouldn't fall in. He bragged for years to his buddies how his son kicked their butts fishing...Proud Dad!
Fishing opener in Minnesota when I was 11, fishing was tough that day on Coon Lake when I hooked into a 8lb Northern that actually had a small Northern still hanging out it's mouth. All Dad could say was "my boy catches fish that don't even need to eat!" Proud Dad
LOTW 2011, Dad had a huge pike break off a 5 of diamond spoon and 30 seconds later I hooked into a giant 15 pounder and when we netted it his 5 of diamonds was hanging off it mouth. Dad claimed "that only his son could catch the uncatchable"....Proud Dad!
Almost every phone conversation over the the past 20 years from over 1000 miles away Dad always asks about my latest fishing adventures and always was so excited to hear how I did, even it it was a slow fishing day, he just loved hearing about it...Loving and proud Dad!
Last Saturday, we lost my father after a month long battle with Covid-19 and I realized that I will never get the chance to spend a day with the person that first showed me what has become my life long passion, my fishing buddy...Dad! I know he will be watching every cast I ever make and is probably bragging in heaven about how great a fisherman his son is, but I wouldn't trade a second of a lifetime of fishing memories I have had with the best fishing buddy ever, my Dad....Proud Son!!!!
Fishing is Family, Take your Dad fishing as soon as you can!