The Fishing Life

It's Not Always About Winning the Tournament

by Luke Estel

I am the proud father of two daughters. Both of them would rather go shopping at the mall than go fishing, but on occasion they do ask me to take them. On a nice, sunny Saturday, my youngest, Hannah, asked if we could go to the lake. Now, she knows that she does not have to ask me twice, so I immediately hooked the boat up and we headed out. I figured we would do more swimming than fishing, but she threw me a curve ball when she told me she wanted to catch a big bass. It was hard to mask my excitement, and I know she could tell I was happy.

I started on one of my better spots graphing some brush. There were fish on them. I set the marker buoy out so she knew where to cast. I showed her what to look for on the Lowrance and it didn’t take her long to know what to look for. I rigged her up with a Strike King Tour Grade Football Head and a KVD Green Pumpkin Finesse Worm. She found the brush and set the hook. I then started explaining to her that she needed to drag it over the brush and that she would feel the fish pull back. After five minutes with no bites, she asked me to take her to a better spot. “There is no fish here dad, we have to move.” She said. So we did.


We pulled up onto a point that is loaded with stumps and brush. It didn’t matter where she threw now. She was going to hit something. As I was getting my rod ready I noticed her looking at my graph and trying to run the trolling motor at the same time. It gave me goose bumps. My little girl is acting like she knows what she is doing. She took a long cast and let it sink to the bottom. I asked her if she felt brush and she said she did. She kept slowly dragging and then it hit. Hannah set the hook and the fight was on. “Dad, I can’t hold him!” She yelled. I told her that she was going to do this all on her own. She eventually wore the fish down and I instructed her to place her other hand in the middle of the rod and boat flip him, just like a pro.