My older brother Fred passed away Sunday morning at his home with heart trouble. I am reposting the story below from last fall… The last time he went fishing and the last time we fished together… My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Lynn and daughter Lindy Yack at this sad time… RIP BIG BROTHER!
When I was a little kid my older brother Fred got me started fishing on a Mitchell 300 spinning reel a light action 6′ spinning rod with Stren clear blue monofilament line. This was a “State of the Art” rod for the time. I had saved up a little money from chores and such. My brother and I walked “up town” to a local tackle shop and he helped me buy that rod.
I was 9 years old and so proud to walk up main street North East carrying MY new rod…With no angling skills; I proceeded to decorate most of the trees in northeast creek with fishing lures of every description. It looked like trees were wearing jewelry! He helped me learn to cast a #15 Tony spoon as far as possible, skip it under tree limbs and most importantly, how to reel it in so it would catch fish.
The preacher next door would let us use his aluminum boat to fish the creek or we would fish from shore. We spent many days catching fish in the creek behind our house in North East. Largemouth Bass were king back then…but we also caught Rockfish, Pickerel, White and Yellow Perch, Catfish, Carp, Crappie, & Hickory Shad. I learned early that every fish has it’s time in the creek… I was a “creek rat” by the time I was 10. It was the beginning of my addiction to fishing.
Fast forward 50 years… We had grown some distance between us and had not fished together for many, many years. Today, I was able to take my Brother fishing again! We both have some health issues now and I didn’t want to wait any longer to fish together again.
Here we are, fishing in a tin boat like when we were kids. This morning I drove from Elkton, Md. to Wilm, De where I picked up my brother. We then drove to Millington, Md. and hitched up Ange’s Creek boat. We chatted with him and drove on to Rock Hall to launch the boat. I had told my brother we’d fish from a pier! …Surprise! He was in pain as we motored out of the creek. The Easterly wind was particularly bitter and blowing directly in our face.
There was an annoying spray coming off the waves. I chose to stay in the creek, in a bend sheltered from the confounded wind. About a 1/2 mile from the ramp I found strong White Perch marks in 25 feet of water. The first drop yielded an 11″ White Perch. We continued jigging our “Mac-Whackers” and I directly put 3 keeper Perch in the box. Soon, he was catching also.
The Rockfish could be seen on the fish finder mixed with the perch just before I hooked our first keeper Rock of the day. A fat 24″ fish that was lit up and full of energy. As quickly as we were on them the wind blew us off of them. I started using the electric trolling motor to back-troll, as if we were Flounder or Walleye fishing.
Soon we were back on the marks and my brother’s reel starts a scream’n. I had set him up with my lightest, smallest “state of the art” perch catcher. It was doubled over, and the little reel was paying out line in a smooth steady manner. My brother was grinning and did not seem to be hurting so badly now. Laughter could be heard. Soon a fat 21” Rockfish is keeping the other one company in the fish box…
I asked him “Fish? Or Go?”… He says “let’s put another in the box before we go”…That’s my Brother!
On the next drift we put a few more Perch on ice and that was enough. He was really hurting bad so we headed back to the ramp. Seemed like an okay deal to me… drive 3 hours, fish barely an hour and drive back home with a box of fish to give my brother… home before dark. Fishing with my brother again… PRICELESS!