Here's something sort of weird: this Saturday, I'm doing something I don't like to do that I've postponed for over five years, but nevertheless will probably enjoy. Intrigued? Read on, dear reader. Read on.
When my son was a wee lad, maybe 6-7 years old, he played a video game that included a fishing mini-game. He really liked it, and mentioned to his grandfather (aka my dad) that he wanted to go fishing for real sometime. Well, my pop is an old-school guy from the Midwest who grew up hunting and fishing, and he couldn't wait to go out fishing with me and my boy. However, "wait" is exactly what he did. Getting our schedules to mesh is a pain in the ass. Between the three of us, with my son's school, my music, my dad's golfing, and both of our jobs, it just hasn't happened.
There's another reason it hasn't happened: I'm not a big fan of killing wild animals. While I did my fair share of fishing as a kid, as I got older, my philosophy about the importance of life changed to the point that now, I am hesitant to kill even things like spiders, or ants if I can help it. So, I kind of sat on the idea for awhile, taking no real effort to make it happen. However, I will say that fishing is a valuable skill. It may seem like an anachronistic attitude, but you never know when you'll be in some situation where you might have to get your dinner from a source other than a grocery store, or McDonald's for that matter. As the ancient adage goes, if you give a man a fish, he eats for an evening. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. You get the idea.
The Redondo Pier, just a few blocks due west of me. Seems like a good place for my kid to try fishing.
It tends to get pretty busy at the fishing area of the pier, especially on weekends.
All this is leading up to my telling you that after five years of nagging from both generations, my son and my pop, we're finally going fishing this weekend. One of the big hold-ups to doing this was the idea that we'd have to travel somewhere far away, but wait... what's that giant blue thing outside my window? Oh, it's the Pacific Ocean, which has been rumored to contain fish. I live in Redondo Beach, a suburb of LA that has a large pier which is well known for angling. So as opposed to making a big production out of it, we're heading down the street and spending a few hours casting our hooks, lines, and sinkers over the edge, hopefully to catch a few calico bass, mackerel, and other such sea creatures.
The Pacific Mackerel. Not exactly the most impressive fish, but it'll be fun to catch one for my boy in any case. Once it's caught and I can hopefully pull the hook out, back in the ocean it goes.
To do that, I took my kid to Big 5 last night, and we bought some rather cheap Zebco all-in-one packages that include the rod, reel, and all the tackle. It's even pre-spooled with line, so we'll have an easy time and avoid the frustration of dealing with all that. One thing you should know: while I'm happy to acquiesce my ethics for a day of family fun, I'm also not taking any fish home with me. It's all catch-and-release, with hopefully as little damage to the fish as possible. I'll bring the camera, and if we do catch anything, it'll be just long enough to preserve the image for good memories, and then back in the ocean for the fishy.
So, wish us luck this weekend. My kid can find out what it's like to fish for real, and I can spend a little time with him and his crazy grandpa. We'll fish until we get bored, then grab a late lunch and head home. Should be cool.