It is not secret here that I take Braden’s outdoor upbringing seriously. I want him to experience as much as he can and enjoy it as he goes with the hope he carries on the traditions.
A few weeks back we ran into B’s second grade teacher and she asked him if he had caught any big catfish over the summer. He said, “not really” and I added that he had not been catfishing with me all that much because I was so busy. That next weekend we didn’t have much going on and I was looking at water conditions and seeing that we better get out one last time or it may be too late.
Sunday, September 23rd on a whim we loaded up some bait and bundled up to fight the northeast winds that were coming in and headed to Drayton to see if we could get in on one last catfish outing together for 2018.
My goal for the day was to get the boy a 20-pound cat but also to spend the day in the catfish boat with just the two of us as he had requested. We got on fish early and often with or second spot producing a triple (three fish on at the same time) and that little turkey landed all three.
We kept moving downstream before stopping in one of my “big fish” spots which on a side not produced a world line class record just the week before. I threw the baits down and we sat back. I even said I was not feeling confident in the spot because we had not gotten even a bite in the first seven or eight minutes.
We were finally watching a nibble on one line when the one behind us just folded in half. He grabbed the rod and the battle was on. He was about three minutes in when a second rod went down. This is how I get to catch a fish. I reeled my fish in and netted it before he got his fish to the boat. He was grunting and groaning while laughing and saying, “who would win? Giant catfish for eight-year-old boy?”
We finally got the beast to the surface and netted. It was that elusive 20-pound catfish that we were looking for. We got some great photos and let the fish go back to the depths. This makes the fourth year in a row Braden has broken the 20-pound mark. Not bad for being eight years old.
I am a proud papa this week not only in that my boy caught a trophy fish but that he was excited to go. He woke up early and was ready to roll without any prodding. He toughed out a cold windy day and had a good time. It was the perfect way to end the open water fishing season for him.