Gilbert PT- June 2019

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June 2019

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NATIONAL GO FISHING DAY IS JUNE 18 America’s Real National Pastime

While the vast majority of Americans consider baseball the national pastime, for my family, fishing is definitely a close second. My dad and I have put in hundreds of hours on the water since I was a little boy. In fact, I think several of my fondest childhood memories stem from these quiet but exciting trips out on the water with my dad. Every year, we would go for the opening day of trout fishing. We’d start making our way to the fishing hole long before sunshine first filled the sky. Traditionally, we would fish for local trout, but often, we’d venture to the Susquehanna River, which was dubbed a world-renowned bass fishing location. We’d pack up our small aluminum johnboat and head out in search of both bass and catfish. I can’t remember a single trip when we didn’t have a blast.

was predicted to be nice, but on our drive to the lake, we noticed that the car’s thermometer read a measly 32 degrees. We got out on the boat, and the biting wind and splashing water took all feeling out of my hands almost immediately. Luckily, once the guide slowed the boat, I could feel myself thaw. Both my dad and I ended up catching several striped bass, each of which was over 20 pounds. Even now, several years later, that trip still stands out in my memory. It’s a spot we will definitely have to hit again. While fishing has always been a hobby of mine, the longer I enjoy it, the more lessons I’m able to take away. Throughout my younger years, I remember feeling like an entire day would go by before I got a bite, and a trip only felt truly successful if I caught something. Fast forward to my experiences now, and I have zero problem with going out on the water or

wading in it and never even seeing a fish the whole day. Fishing gets me outdoors and gives me the opportunity to clear my head, breathe in my natural surroundings, and just relax. Now that I’m a dad myself, I’ve enjoyed being able to take my kids fishing, as well. The one time my dad and I took my daughter out, she had a great time — until she didn’t. She caught a fish and was really excited until a tiny bit of the fish’s blood got on her hands. She hasn’t shown any interest in going fishing since. My son, however, seems to have taken to fishing the same way I did when I was his age, which means he likes the activity but lacks the patience. I’m sure that, over time, fishing will offer him the same life lessons that it did to me.

“Fishing gets me outdoors and gives me the opportunity to clear my head, breathe in my natural surroundings, and just relax.”

One year, we decided to test our luck at hooking striped bass at Raystown Lake. During this particular point in time, Raystown Lake was known all across Pennsylvania as one of the most notoriously difficult spots to fish. So in order to make the most of our trip, we hired a guide. Since it was an early May morning, it was incredibly cold. Both my dad and I had checked the weather beforehand and knew it

–Michael Gilbert

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