Last summer I came home early from work ready to relax. I walked into the house, heard the sound of children crying, and cringed at the thought of how this might be affecting my wife’s mood. I found her in the back bedroom dealing with a father’s worst fear: a dirty diaper. Quickly I tried to sneak away before I became a victim of my child’s crime, but I was too late. My wife began to explain how hard her day had been, washing clothes, doing dishes, and mopping floors was just the start of it. I tried sympathizing with her. I told her how sorry I was that she was having a bad day. But it was obvious that I could only focus on the stink bomb she had handed me to take to the outside trash. She gave me a dirty stare when she felt as though my comments lacked sincerity. Trying to avoid her glare, I half-heartedly asked what I could do to help. She insisted that we find something enjoyable to do with the kids. She explained that they had been stuck at home all day and needed something fun. I suggested we hook up our small fishing boat and head to Newcastle Reservoir; 30 minutes from Cedar City. Honestly, I didn’t think she would go for it because fishing is my solution to every problem. She hesitated for a moment, and then surprised me by accepting my offer.
My wife began gathering our children’s stuff, while I loaded the important things like fishing poles, tackle boxes, and Pepsi. After loading what seemed like half of the stuff in our house, we began our adventure. While traveling to the reservoir, both of our children fell asleep and this seemed to be the highlight of the day for my wife. She found a local country radio station and hummed along. When we arrived at the lake we unloaded everything from the truck to the boat including, kids, blankets, fruit snacks, juice boxes, and toys.
The old fishing boat started up with a little persuasion and we headed to my favorite fishing hole across the lake. I quickly rigged up my son’s fishing pole, then my wife’s, and then mine. I was so excited I nearly fell out of the boat when I tried to get to my fishing spot on the front deck. My wife laughed at me as she settled into her seat to read a book. I think she would have preferred to watch me to fall in head first. I gathered my boat legs, took a deep breath, and began fishing. Several perfect casts started the afternoon, but alas no fish. Undiscouraged, I threw several more casts, and to my surprise, I didn’t even get a bite. I was still very determined to catch something and so I switched out my lure and tried a different approach. Again with absolute confidence I cast my pole several more times, but still no fish. My wife looked up from her book several times trying not to laugh at my lack of success. After two hours of trying all of the best lures in my box, I began to lose faith in my fishing abilities.
Finishing her book, my wife asked when I would be giving up, with my pride still intact, I begged for another half an hour, to which she agreed. Luckily our kids had been completely entertained with their fruit snacks and toys. After enjoying the sunlight for a few moments my wife became bored and decided to cast one of the fishing poles lying on the deck. Her first cast was terrible. I tried not to laugh but couldn’t help it. Her next cast landed near the shore and she began to reel in her lure towards the boat. Within seconds she complained that she had snagged something. Annoyed, I started the electric trolling motor and headed towards her snag. As we came closer I noticed the fishing line beginning to move.
Immediately I realized that she had snagged a fish. I began a desperate search for the net, while trying to instruct her how to land it. Calm, she handled the fish with ease and in less than a minute it was in the net. It was a 4lb Wiper Bass, a cross between a Striped Bass and a White Bass. I must have been more excited than she was because I began giving hugs and high fives to her and the kids. She acted as if the catch was no big deal. After I collected myself, I convinced her that we must get a picture of the monster. It was with some difficulty I convinced her to hold it, but in the end she was a good sport and held it long enough to get a picture.
I bragged about the fish for weeks and told her story many times. Shortly after she released it, I was able to catch a fish of my own, and my wife insisted we take a photo. Sometimes a little luck is better than a lot of skill.