Unfortunately my kids caught the flu which ruined any mentor day plans today, so instead of fishing, i'm reminiscing to 2018, which couldn’t have turned out any better. My son always liked fishing, but something clicked last year, I think now that he was old enough to do all his own casting. All I heard was “Dad can we go fishing”. That was music to my ears and I spent more time fishing last year than ever before. Having my son negotiate with my wife for fishing time seems to have a much better success rate than the prior method.
We had a good start to the season with the mentor days and opening days, however kids and cold weather don’t mix great. Things didn’t start heating up with big fish until June when he caught his first big brown on a Rapala on a south-central limestone influenced stream.
On our annual “Beach” vacation to South Carolina, my son caught the biggest Flounder I had ever seen at 26”. I was sure he was stuck when he started screaming, but he kept insisting it was pulling back. The beast fed the entire extended family for dinner that night. You can imagine how proud he was having done it all himself. He also got a few redfish, including the giant he's holding below. I kept reaching over to keep a hand on his rod, because I know how strong their runs are and would have placed my money on the fish, but he got it in. I'm a novice salt angler, but minnows on a plain hook seem to catch fish anywhere.
Our best day of the year came on a central PA limestone stream in early August, when we both ended up both catching our first ever Golden’s about an hour apart, both around the same size. I just took about 30 years longer than he did.
We visited Penns Creek together in Mid-September. We saw more fisherman on that one day then I saw in months combined. He managed the only big brown of the day on his last cast of the day.
In early Oct.and he got two more large trout on a central PA limestone catch-and-release stream, including another large Golden and a similar sized Rainbow, in the 18-20" range. (not pictured).
We also got into some great smallmouth and catfish action on the river, which was a blast. And because big fish were seemingly everywhere last year, my daughter caught a 20” rainbow in early Dec. out a creek mouth to the Susquehanna.
I will remember 2018 for quite some time and hoping for a repeat in 2019 of strong flows and cold water.