Some men don't approve of such things, but I really don't mind taking my wife fishing with me, as long as she doesn't out fish me.
After work, you can find us out on the lake in my bass boat. Well, it's a pontoon boat ... err ... it's really a flat bottom boat that seats two people. But with a battery operated motor, it's easy to fish were you can't reach when fishing from shore.
We go all over: North Adams, Savoy, Cheshire and Rowe. That little thing of mine has been around the block a time or two. I mean my boat, not my wife. Come to think about it, she hasn't been a wallflower either.
But that's another story.
Dawn has come a long way as far as casting her line out to the point that I'm no longer worried about her cutting off my ear with an errant cast. Lately, we have been fishing rubber worms. Meaning my big and strong wife can bait her own hook since the worms are rubber. But she still refuses the take her own fish off as if they were a deadly species ready to infect her moral character.
Since the boat is a smaller one, we have to make do with the mini cooler for Dawns two cans of beer. The captain of the ship has ruled that's enough beer on the boat since the crew would be singing, ‘16 men on a dead man's chest,' if left to her own devices.
Fishing with the wife is so much different than fishing with my buddy Ian. First of all, I don't try to look down Ian's shirt when he reaches for the tackle box even though he is zaftig looking. Secondly, Ian's language is cleaner than my wife's. Dawn can speak as salty as the next sailor, and it's usually directed at me when I steer her to close to shore.
The last two times we went, I have been very lucky and have out-fished her by five or more. Hey, it's not me who is doing the counting. I'm into a non-competitive form of fishing. It's her with her smug little voice informing me, "That's three." Dawn is very competitive when fishing, and has not enjoyed these last two outings. Lately, Dawn couldn't catch a cold.
But that's not the norm. Dawn can catch fish with the best of them and usually catches the fish of the day. However, I remain the biggest fish she's ever caught. And when company comes over, I'm proudly displayed over the Mantle. It's not a fireplace; we have a picture of "Old Number Seven" on the wall.
We go after bass, but are not offended when we catch sunnys, black crappy, pickerel and pike. I love catching pike and pickerel. Not only do they fight if you latch on to a large, muscular one, but Dawn hates them because of their large teeth. With a nice pair of pliers, the hook is easily removed and the fish then can be safely sent over to Dawn's side of the boat, where she screams like Mary Todd Lincoln.
We don't keep our hard-earned bounty. We just poke holes in their lips and maybe rip out the larynx, sending a fish home unable to talk about what happened to him or her. We don't eat them mainly because I can't eat fish unless it's deep fried in a thick batter of breadcrumbs. Baked fish makes me gag. So I reel them in, show the fish my thumb and make it known that I am on top of the food chain, and could, if I wanted to, smite this poor gilled creature.
Still not convinced? Fishing with my wife is different than golfing with her. Golfing with my wife is like dentistry without Novocain.
You end up calling her names and throwing the ball because it will go farther than she can hit it. No, I like fishing with my wife. And in the weeds and mist of the evening, you may hear things that I wouldn't say to any other fishing buddy. Never mind the kids; take your wife fishing. Fish on!
Johnnie Carrier is a freelance writer who wants to thank Ian for teaching Dawn and I the nuance of fishing with soft plastics.