By Mike Whitten
June 17, 2012
Father’s Day is this weekend, and I’ll spend Saturday fishing a tournament on Pickwick. Some of what I throw will have GYCB written all over it—I’ll keep exactly what quiet for now, but maybe that’s food for a later article.
Father’s Day is special to me and always has been. My grandfather took me to a bunch of farm ponds across the north, and watching him catch a 6 ½ pound bass on a minnow and a slip bobber (shades of Al Lindner) always stands out in my mind. We caught over 100 bass that day and I was never the same. I fished my first tournaments with my dad in the “Ole Cypress Bass” club. We won a few, too! Got to net my dad’s biggest bass ever, almost 8 pounds, during a club tournament on Sardis Lake. I fished for the first time at night with him, and we caught the fire out of them. We started at dusk and fished till dawn—I don’t think he loved fishing as much as he loved his son. He gave me his bass boat, a 1650 Venture Magnum with a 115 Merc, so I could use it as a trade in on my first BassCat—a 1990 Pantera II. I didn’t understand then how much love it took to let me use his boat anytime I wanted, or what it took to give away that boat. He taught me a lot more than just how to fish—he taught me how to be a dad. Alzheimer’s took him from me—but the lessons are still here.