Bass, Bugs and Four Boys

taking kids fishing


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

  • Nelson Mandela

Some people might call me crazy for taking four teenage boys on vacation with my family. However, my wife and I did just that. We took four boys from completely different walks of life on our family vacation.

kids fishingMy son, two of his best friends, and my nephew went with us to my mom’s cabin on a private lake in northern Wisconsin.

After we arrived and unloaded the cars, my wife and my parents went to town to get groceries and supplies. The boys kept asking about cell phone service and Wi-Fi.

It was about 7:30 pm when we started fishing. I noticed a nice hatch of white miller so I tied on a small white popper. The fly hits the water and I let the rings settle. Then I give it to quick pop’s All of a sudden, we hear a toilet bowl flush from behind. The fly was gone. A three-pound largemouth jumped out of the water and put a nice bend in my fiberglass fly rod

taking kids fishingThe next morning, I woke the boys up to fish and take out the kayaks. It took them three hours to go through four dozen worms, but they filled the fish basket full of nice bluegills. Now, at this lake, the bass are catch and release, but you can keep all the panfish you want. We never saw bluegill under eight inches and bass under a foot.

They learned some important lessons that day: check the bottom lid of the basket, make sure before you throw the anchor, and double-check it if it’s tied to something.

kids fishingIn the first 24 hours, we caught 75 over bass all over 16 inches. You had to pick through the bass to get to the panfish. The average bluegill was ten inches plus, crappie was over 13 and perch bigger than my son’s foot size. He wears a size 13.

Over those four days, I watched those boys become lifelong friends. They learned conservation, entomology, and shenanigans. What I enjoyed the most from this trip is watching Eric catch’s his Pb largemouth in the first 30 minutes of the trip and him yelling “Fish on!”, like he is Jeremy Wade from River Monsters.

I learned that you don’t take the small things in life for granted and you don’t give up on humanity. There is still hope. I will leave you with a quote from an unknown author: “Kids don’t remember their best day of television.’’

Tight lines and good health! – Justin James