Friday, July 10, 2009

Sportsman’s Paradise

After mid-morning Mass and a late lunch, my daughter and I walked to our backyard pond. Already there fishing were my brothers and a sister-in-law. My little girl picked up a pink Disney Princess fishing pole and I picked up a very cold Corona and wrapped it up in a tight fitting, new koozie.

Yep, our black Bayou Teche Brewing koozies look good.

My little angler needed some bait so I pinched out a live cricket from the bucket and slipped it on the hook.

My youngest brother pulled in a nice 17 inch bass on an artificial worm. Minutes later his wife reeled in one an inch longer. Neither my brother nor his wife spilled a drop of their Coronas while fighting their fish to land.

The fish remaining in the pond kept safely nibbling the crickets off of my daughters hook.

While holding a freshly-koozied Abita Amber my other brother had earlier told us that he had a taste in his mouth for fried bream. The old folks around here called that fish a patassa, and he was hauling them in as soon as his cricketed-hooks hit the water. Our younger brother and his wife pulled in several more bass.

I grabbed another Corona and put yet another cricket on my girl’s hook. All the two of us had managed to do so far was feed crickets to the fish my bothers and sister-in-law had not yet caught.

After my little girl got bored, we walked back to the house to get cleaned up. My wife and I then took her to see a movie in Lafayette.

My brothers cleaned and then fried the fish up with some French fries. They and my parents ate at our communal outdoor kitchen.

That night, after I got back from the movie, I carried my sleeping little girl upstairs and put her in bed. I went back downstairs and poured myself a tall glass of Abita Jockamo IPA and reflected on the day.

As much as things have changed in Acadiana, one thing that has not is the fun you can have taking kids fishing.

My father and our uncle would take my brothers and me fishing many weekends when we where young. My uncle would load up his metal Jax ice chest with cold beer and pop, and then put it and a paper sack full of Vienna sausages, potted meat and Evangeline Maid bread in a light blue wooden bass boat. We would trailer it to nearby Henderson and spend a day on the water. We would stay whether the fish were biting or not, heading home only after the adults’ beer was gone.

I look forward to taking my young daughter fishing again. We are lucky to live in an area where there is so many places to throw your bait - Louisiana is truly the Sportsman’s Paradise. With the introduction of our LA-31, which really compliments fried fish and French fries, we hope to make it a Beer Drinkers’ Paradise as well.