Fun with Dad Memories: Seven Pounds of Junk Fish


When I woke up this morning, my brain, Peanuts, had been dreaming about fishing with my dad. My dad loved going fishing and this post is about some of those happy memories.

Father/Toddler Hunting Trips

Fishing is one of the main things I can remember doing with my dad, besides going on Pheasant hunting trips with him when I was really little. On these hunting trips, he would balance his loaded gun on the front seat of our Pontiac at the ready, and I would stand on the front seat next to his loaded gun.

Of course, this was way before seat belts and car seats.  Little kids simply stood on the front seat of the car or sat in the back seat when they got too tall.  In this case, because it was just my dad and me, I got to stand in the coveted spot on the front seat right next to the loaded gun.

I remember my dad having a can of Olympia beer between his legs and every once in a while, he’d slow down the car to shoot at a Pheasant through his open window (that’s where the hunting part came in) and then he’d take a sip of  his Olympia beer. (Probably in consolation for having missed it by a mile.)

If my dad would have had a Baby on Board sign in the back window in those days, it would have said:

baby on board

Fishing with Father


Anyway, when my dad would take my two brothers and I  fishing, he would make each of us a fishing pole. He’d cut a long branch from a tree and tie fishing line, a sinker and a hook to the end of it.

Then we’d pull out a poor, defenseless,  angle worm from our coffee can filled with them — digging up worms being one of our many personal pursuits at the time — and affix the poor dear to the hook. (The whole thing just seems downright cruel thinking about it now.) Then we’d stick our lines into Coppei Creek and sometimes we’d even catch a fish!

Giving Suckers More Than an Even Break

The ones my brothers and I  always caught were called suckers, and we had to throw them back because they weren’t good to eat.  But for some reason, the ones my dad always caught were called trout; those we’d eat.

My dad taught us how to clean fish when we were pretty little.  We’d cut into them and peel out their innards and launch the whole mess downstream. Thinking back on it now, it’s a wonder we didn’t get typhoid from eating the fish we caught in Coppei Creek.

Before Bruce Willis

One summer, we went on a vacation to Coeur d’Alene lake. Back then, it was just one of many Podunk lakes within driving distance of our town — way before Bruce Willis and his trendy ilk/elk moved there.

On that vacation, I caught a seven-pound “junk” fish.  Boy was it ugly!  It looked just like the fish pictured below that was recently caught alive, a lovely little fish thought to have been extinct for 65 million years.

"And here we thought he had been dead for 65 million years!  Oops!  Our bad!
Poor thing would have been better off extinct!

We were all afraid of the junk fish I caught.   I made my brother, Peter, take the hook out of its mouth.  And I remember Peter told me, “If you’re old enough to fish, you’re old enough to take the hook out of its mouth.”  And I thought, “Gee he’s right.”  He was nine and I was six, but I never forgot this sage piece of brotherly advice.

Boy Those Flowers Smell Healthy

The proprietor of the resort took the seven-pound junk fish off our hands and put it in the flower bed in front of his store to fertilize his flowers.  He didn’t bury it, so it laid there decomposing for the rest of our vacation.

Everyday we’d walk by it on our way to the lake.  It was kind of sad really. The more it stunk the more we realized our vacation was coming to an end.

That’s all the time we have for  fun with dad memories, Dear Readers, but I hope you’ll check back in for more Fun with Dad (and maybe even Fun with Mom) memories which I’ll write about as soon as my brain, Peanuts, remember some! 

Until next time . . . I love you

24 thoughts on “Fun with Dad Memories: Seven Pounds of Junk Fish

  1. I think a progressive stink-o-meter to help vacationers remember how long they’ve been away is a great idea!
    Especially after a hot week, they won’t be able to wait to get home.

    Your dad and brother sound like great guys!

    • My mom and dad really were a couple of characters.My dad was probablyin his early 20’s when he would take me “hunting” with him. He certainly was oblivious when it came to child safety! HA! I even remember thinking that it was it pretty dangerous at the time and was careful not to touch that gun.

  2. Ah, so you’ve been road huntin’ A southern institution if there ever was one.
    I gave a large carp to a gentleman of Asian descent one time. He opened the trunk of his Volkswagen (the front), chunked it in, and kept on fishing that 80 degree spring day. I bet enjoyed that sweet bouquet all the way home and his fish was fully cooked upon arrival.

    • Road huntin’. Well I’ll be darned! I didn’t know there was a name for that kind of hunting. Who knew? And trunk warmed carp sounds like about the worst kind of fish there imaginable! Maybe he made sushi out of it.

  3. I love these memories mom! I You never told me the fishing story and how it has me laughing. How funny the store owner just let that junk fish decompose right out front! And Peter really did you give you some wisdom when he told you that you were old enough to gut your own fish. Tough love!

    I hope you share more stories soon!!

  4. I didn’t need to read beyond the second paragraph to know that your dad was a Princely man indeed. A Pontiac! What a man!! I read the rest anyway, but damn, a Pontiac takes some beating.

    • Yeah, I guess my dad must have been a Pontiac man. Do they even make Pontiacs anymore? I don’t know much about cars. They must have been pretty good to shoot a gun from — kind of like a tank with a radio.

      • No, Obama killed off the mighty Pontiac. ;-( I have a Pepper Green 1970 445 GTO that I bought from a tweaker in Minneapolis for $3000 back in 1997, so I love them dearly.

  5. A brilliant story LInda, and really well told, I have nothing silly to add which I usually enjoy doing on your comments, such is the poignancy of your tale.

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