Growing up with my grandfather helped me learn many crucial things about life. He was a stockpile of knowledge and I often marveled at how often he could be able to predict things through mere observation. When I expressed my awe at his abilities he would simply reply “experience my boy… experience”.
Whenever I was in his company, I tried to get as much knowledge from him as possible. This was not complicated since he was also always eager to share what he knew with me. One of the things that I was able to be good at courtesy of my grandfather’s tutelage was fishing.
Like many men his age who lived around our region which had many lakes and rivers, my grandfather had a great passion for fishing. He often told me that during his days as a young boy fishing was a major activity in his community. Fish was one of the main sources of food and money. People would catch fish for their food and they would sell the extra fish for money to help meet other life needs.
As he grew older, life in the country was changing rapidly and people were finding other avenues for money and for food. Although fishing continued to be a significant activity in the community, it could not be able to provide high sustainable income as compared to the jobs that were being offered in the nearby city.
Fishing became more of a recreational activity among the people. He tells me that people in his generation turned to angling as their number one recreational activity. Groups of men would go to the river or to the lake and they would spend many hours competing in all kinds of fishing challenges.
My grandfather was eager to pass on the knowledge he gathered at this time to me.
Many times when the weather was right he would urge me to go fishing with him. At first I was reluctant since I did not think much of fishing. I thought it was a boring activity. However, with my grandfather taking every opportunity to educate me about everything in fishing, it was not boring at all.
My grandad would patiently explain to me all the types of fish that could be found in the region and in other fresh water. He would then go on to explain the unique characteristics of the different fish species including the food each ate. He told me the best bait that I could therefore use for the fish especially for bass which was the most sought species.
He also explained the best places where I could find specific types of fish; he told me the best times to fish, and the best strategies to use to get the fish. He even told me the type of clothes that I should wear when out fishing.
My grandfather told me that the vessel that he loved most for fishing was the sit on top kayak since it was easy to maneuver and it was easy to carry around. He also told me that unlike the sit in kayak, it was more comfortable and had more room for storage.