Hook and bullet club: No luck like a kid's luck
There is one thing the best fishermen can’t buy, rent, borrow, steal or imitate. Luck. And the best kind of luck is kid luck. I knew this before we even put the boat in the water Sunday afternoon. Kids and wives outfish dads and husbands on a regular basis. This day would be no different.I was outnumbered two to one, kids to dads. Evan and Megan were chomping at the bit to go fishing and we finally were going to be able to get out on the water. We had to stop at the gas station and the bait shop on the way to the landing. This was all part of the experience, of course. Seeing the minnows swimming around in the tanks is fun in its own right for a five and 11 year-old. Especially if you’re already wearing your life jacket. Then there was the jig selection, “Get the white one, I like that color.” And of course we had to get some pop and ice for the cooler as well as a box of Everlasting Gobstoppers. We put in on Fall Lake without a problem. The old Lund slid off the roller trailer and into the water. Megan and Evan held onto the boat while I parked the truck. We took off up the lake on a beautiful blue sky afternoon, with just a ripple of wind on the water. The requisite sunscreen had already been applied, so we had that area covered. We pulled into the swirling waters in front of the power dam and began to get everything ready to go. Evan had his Spongebob pole all rigged up with a jig already, all he needed was a minnow. I fetched a rainbow from the bucket and impaled it on Evan’s hook. After getting Megan ready to go I took a look and they seemed to be doing okay so I grabbed a pole and figured I’d try my luck. We drifted from east to west in front of the dam, and halfway across Evan yelled out, “I got a fish!”Sure enough, kid luck had kicked in and a walleye found Evan’s line first. Putting the Spongebob pole to the test, Evan reeled in a walleye that I scooped up with the net. “I caught one! I caught a fish!” Evan exclaimed. The walleye would have had to stretch to make the seat test but there was no way it was going back in the water. So on the stringer it went. We drifted over toward the main current and started to head out toward the middle of the lake. I decided it was time to put the new motor to the test.A few weeks back I wrote how a number of things I use for fishing actually don’t belong to me, specifically an electric trolling motor. I made several comments about how nice a four-stroke trolling motor would be and apparently they were read in Illinois.Well, the owner of said trolling motor decided he could solve my woes and arriving at our house last week was a new five-horse four-stroke outboard motor. I had to try it out and decided the power dam current was as good a place as any. The motor started right off and I dropped it into gear, trolling us back to the other side for another drift across. Thanks, John. We followed the same pattern, drifting with the current and then trolling back to the starting point. Evan and Megan decided they would like to pick out their own minnows after awhile and Evan even managed to bait his own hook without catching a finger or thumb along the way.Megan was the next one to tie into a fish and she landed it without any help. The walleye was dropped into the back of the boat where I was sitting and it went on the stringer as well. “Now it’s your turn to catch a fish Dad,” Megan reminded me. Unfortunately that would have to wait. The kid luck was working and apparently keeping me from adding to the stringer. We even went up into the current and tried to hook whatever was biting up closer to the dam. Rocks and sticks were easy to catch, but the fish were just not interested. So we broke open the cooler and the box of Everlasting Gobstoppers and enjoyed the early evening time on Fall Lake. Evan managed to bat about 90 percent on casting and Megan was a like a pro up in front of the boat. Megan even made the catch of the day. Evan was trying to see how far he could get that jig and minnow to fly through the air when Spongebob tried to return to his pineapple under the sea. “Ker-sploosh” went the rod and reel, right in the water. But as advertised, the pole floated and Megan reached over and retrieved our wayward friend Spongebob. As that was going on, mallards and loons moved in and out, getting in some fishing of their own. Boats came and went and although the fishing was slow, there wasn’t much complaining going on. On our final drift through I decided to let the current take us out toward the middle of the lake. Sometimes the fish seem to congregate where the current loses its fight against the lake and that day that’s where a few were hanging out.Several times the rods bent and finally our trifecta was complete as Dad managed to put one on the stringer as well. Time to head home.I fired up the motor and Megan and Evan took turns driving us back to the landing. We saw a familiar face at the dock, getting ready to head out for a quick trip up the lake.“Hey Rico I caught a fish!” Evan yelled as we motored in. The fish were placed in a bucket with some water to be shown to mom and then cleaned up for the frying pan. The kids wanted to take a tadpole-looking minnow home as well so I added that to the bucket and gave the rest of our bait to Rico. “Did you have any luck?” he asked. “Well, they did,” I said. And that’s the way it should be. Kid luck is something you just don’t want to mess with. And it’s a darn nice thing to have in your boat.