Just Goin' Fishin'

It's summer time again, and few things say the great outdoors like fishing. But when it comes to real fishing, my knowledge of the sport ends with the Zebco Kids' push-button spin-caster rod and reel. This was one of those gifts that you loved as soon as you got but then "gave up on" as soon you got it caught in something on the first cast across the driveway to pick up the plastic fish. After that it was confined to the "floaty fish in the kiddy pool" kind of fishing, which usually meant the plastic hook was going in my brother's shirt at some point. But beyond the backyard "sword fights" and other shenanigans with it, dad used to actually take us out on the lake in the canoe a few weekends to put it to use. The best thing I can say about this rod and reel from these experiences, besides the fact of just "having" a cool fishing pole like every guy wants, is how the whole one-pound test on it was strong enough to snag even the flimsiest surface weeds! Watch the bobber!

Truth be told, the only fish I think I ever caught, besides the plastic kiddy pool variety, were the feeder fish (which in the kindness of my heart I set free in the lake once...dad was not happy about that). Animal rights activism aside, there was nothing like being out on the lake with dad and bro, just us guys, but that time spent with this rod usually involved untangling the lines, unhooking the line from bushes, trees, clothing, and body parts, rethreading the lines, and generally... untangling the lines.

But despite my complete lack of luck or common sense when it came to fishing, I did manage to net me at least one good catch... a real live mermaid! And that may sound like one very unbelievable fish story, but I swear it's the truth. Once my brother and I showed up to some kid's Halloween costume party, and because we weren't all that creative in our costume ideas, we came with our poles for some reason. Now, it just so happened that at this party was this girl from our daycare dressed as Ariel, the "Little Mermaid," so naturally it was only a matter of time before she was taking our hooks out of her costume. I mean, obviously it was going to happen, but for some reason she didn't think it was as funny as we did, until of course we were forced to put the poles away.

Speaking of fishing, I seem to remember being particularly good at this very "indoor" game called Let's Go Fishin': "the action fishing game where players try for the biggest catch!" You take your tiny fishing pole and hook the fish that circle around the pond bobbing up and down and opening their mouths. The first one to hook the most wins! You might remember this as the kind of game you usually found stacked up in that carpeted basement playroom at your rich cousin's house along with the NES, the robotic arm, and all the other cool toys you couldn't have. You'd slide it out of the box and, wouldn't-ya-know-it, half the fish would be missing from the pond (just like they would be on a real fishing trip).

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