The finest time to go fishing is at dusk. A hazy fog is settling over the lake, and the sun sits perched just above the crown of the tree line, casting a multitude of soft colors. I prepare myself, sliding slowly into the canoe, balancing myself and making sure not to fall into the crisp dusk waters. Row after row, my paddle breaks the water’s surface and pushes me along. I look to the rear and a long line of small waves glide off the canoe like a halo on an angel. I look to the left and then the right, and all is quiet on the lake. Far off in the woods I can hear twigs being broken under the pressure of another animal’s weight. I look back to the water and spy a tree that has fallen weak and into the water, marking my fishing spot. Foot by foot I steady the canoe closer to the shore. I can see the weed beds through the clear water now, and I know I’m in my territory.
I stop for a second and let my head fall back as I admire the beautiful sky. The stars are timidly peeking out from behind the clouds. Soon enough their bodies will glow with light, but not now. I turn my head back to my main intentions: fishing. I slowly reach for my pole, lying parallel on the canoe, and I gently raise the lure to my eye’s level. The knot seems good. I unhook the taut bait for the pole. I hold the pole lower now towards the reel and lift it slowly over my head. I look behind me and the bait dangles on the thin fishing string perpendicular to the pole. I take a deep breath.
I gently toss my bait towards the shore just before the weed line. I have a popper which floats delicately on the surface of the water until, with a swift pull of my reel, it pops, imitating a frog. I slowly jig the lure closer to the boat. Back to the boat and nothing, but fishing takes patience. Cast. Nothing. Cast. Nothing. Again and again this pattern repeats. This cast is different though, it floats in the air and then lands precisely where I want it, right above the weeds. I start to jig the bait in… nothing bites. I take a breath of frustration. I watch the line calmly sit on the lake, and BAM!
The once calm line becomes taut with a gentle pull and there is no doubt that a fish is on. All the patience has now paid off, and there is an almost bubbly feeling deep inside me. Panic sets in. Set the hook, my mind screams. I jerk my pole up and the fish is on. The whole world is spinning now as I reel in the fish. The fish is near the boat and just as tired as I am. One last battle to go.
Instinct sets in and my hand plunges into the ice-cold water. I can feel the fish struggling with all its might as my hand wraps around it. I lift the fish and take control of the battle. One final surge and the fish is out of the water. It’s a keeper. This is my favorite feeling in the world. Nothing, absolutely nothing, surpasses this feeling.