Fishin’ In The Moment On Fontana!

By Capt. James McManus

A couple of weeks ago, I had a trip with a father, grandfather and grandson. They were ages 10 to 70, we caught plenty of fish, and I am not sure who enjoyed it the most, any of those three, or me. As a guide, you have the chance to see families interact with each other in a mostly stress-free atmosphere. There are forgotten deadlines, uncleaned rooms, missed curfews and less than stellar grades to be sure, but when they get out on the water, all that seems to, at least, get put on the back burner for a few hours. The youngest can, and usually does, get to catch the most, or biggest, and for a time, is elevated above those around him that, because of age, are typically placed ahead of him. It always thrills me to hear the dad or granddad encourage the smallest, or youngest, to grab the rod first, maybe every time; not only the dad or granddad, but also the mom or granny. This is a time when a younger sister may gain an inch or two on an older brother.

It is a reminder that, when dealing with youngsters, it is really important to let them gain confidence in their abilities -whether it is casting correctly, playing a fish to the boat, or maybe something as simple as netting a fish for you, or putting on their own bait. I write this because looking back, I was often more strict and pressuring on my own boys than I ever am now. Age mellows and a lot of age mellows a lot. We are coming into a time of fast fishing action. This morning I fished a striper lake and there were acres, literally thousands of fish, breaking on top for about an hour. I would have given anything to have had about five, ten year olds on the boat; it would have been something they would remember for years. Don’t let those young years slip by without giving them the chance to experience one of God’s greatest gifts.

Get out early this month because the fish are likely to be on top for at least those first couple of hours. We threw spoons, jerkbaits and jigs – anything resembling a shad was hit almost immediately. If it missed, another took its place. Fontana doesn’t have stripers, but I am holding onto the idea that they, one day, may stock them. If the biologists had been with me this morning, we would be one step closer to that reality for sure. It doesn’t necessarily take giant fish to make a youngun’s day. Sometimes, just getting out on the water before the sun comes up or driving in the dark, and eating gas station breakfast food – that is all it takes to make a meaningful day. It’s the effort to include the little ones that is the most important part of the story. So let me help make you some memories for your younguns, or grands. It is a wonderful time to be on the water, just give me a call.

Later Capt. James

Capt. James McManus is the Owner of 153 Charters. Give him a call for a great day of boat fishing!