Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Fulfilling Moments

Six months ago, I started praying, hoping and searching hard for a job that truly fit who I was. I was praying hard to find out who I was, talent-wise. With an inspired wife and some great friends, the opportunity with ConAgra rolled up. That was a fulfilling moment, to sit in an interview and honestly express excitement about what one can do at a Unix console, then get to do it every day.

Turned out even better than I expected. My new job was five - count 'em - five minutes away from my favorite fishing hole.

They have free popcorn. I get along great with my coworkers. (That last one has never lacked, but it's a nice trend to continue.)

Every time I reflect on how those prayers have been answered, and are answered every day, it's a fulfilling moment.

I hit the water today during lunch. 78 degrees and sunny, slight breeze. Water semi-clear, not much turbidity.

Not a single bite.

I commented on this with a co-worker who enjoys the sport. I lamented my attempts with my wife via chat. She felt sorry for me. Our chat turned to our budget. We discussed cost-savings. I decided I just needed to take a good evening up at a nice spot, catch a bunch of green sunfish, and we'd have some grocery supplement.

Wife brought the girls up to work so I could take them tonight. That was a fulfilling moment.

First fish was Eva's, and a nice one at that. As you can see, she's two years old. And distressed. This fish went in the bucket. She caught another soon after, similar size. Dropped her pole. I picked it up. Fish went in the bucket.

Next two were Ruth's. She fought them hard and strong. Held it up for a picture.  Those two fish went in the bucket. Is that a tick on the grass behind her?

Skipping down the bank to the next spot, Ruth cries, "This is great daddy-daughter time!!"

That was a fulfilling moment.

All told, 3 on the fly rod, 4 by the babies. Met some polite young men out having fun. They wished us a good evening, called me a good fisherman - I denied it; they haven't read my blog.

Car doors slam shut. Girls are buckled, bucket is in the back, and we're rolling.

"We're going to go home," starts Ruth, "and we're going to kill the fish, then we're going to cut them up, and freeze them to eat later."

"That's right!"

Kind of a weird moment, that, but fulfilling in a way.

Girls are in the kitchen awaiting the spectacle. 

Apron is on, dog is out, cat is not interested (strange), and the first fish gets it. 

"Ewwww! There's blood! Yuck."

Another fish flops in the sink.

"Don't worry fish, you'll be okay!" Ruth says.

"Ho ho, no they won't," I remind her.

"Why?" she asks.

"Because we're going to cut them!"

"Oh, right. We're going to cut them up! They will NOT Be okay! Haha!"


More ooooo's and ahhh's, and the first fish is butchered. Time for bath.

Eva only had one tick on her hide. Pulled 9 off of Ruth. 8 from her scalp, one from behind her ear. Babies were scrubbed and sleeping soon after.

Butchered the rest of the fish, with the help of this awesome video. Behold:


And here we are. Only cut up one of the 14 fillets beyond recognition. They are now chilling, per my daughters earlier statement.

My wife wonders via text where I am. I send her the bag-of-fish picture. She says, "Yay! Enough for fish tacos?"

"Heck yes," I say, and it still feels as fulfilling now as it did in that moment.

Oh crap, though. I just realized I wrapped the fillets in parchment paper instead of wax paper. I hope they're okay! Oh well... lesson learned if not. It's still all about the fulfilling moments.


  1. I think it is a bit hypocritical to complain about the "refugees" that are not respecting the size limits on fish at "super-secret" when you are hauling out large bluegill and putting them to the knife. I know the lake you are fishing and have loved that spot for the last 30+ years having fished it since I was a kid. You are doing it no favors by posting pictures of its location on the internet and filling your freezer with large bluegill fillets. I have noticed the pressure on this lake increasing over the last couple of seasons and have also noticed the larger bass being harder to come by. Your respect for taking only what you need and keeping the smaller fish would be appreciated. Additionally if you would take down the signs pointing to it's location it would be appreciated. I mean no disrespect, only trying to keep as much pressure as possible off this little gem. Fishing pressure in SE NE is tough enough as it is.

  2. Hello there! I have taken mention of that spot out of this post, including pictures. I have also searched for past mentions of that spot and have removed descriptive pictures and mentions of it from them as well. I also appreciate your calling me out on being hypocritical in my complaints of refugees. I believe in honoring, upholding, and sustaining the law, and my views of fish and wildlife management in SE Nebraska, as well as the actions of everyone I've ever criticized, have changed since I put up that post. I will be sure to obey all state regulations in regards to the fish I keep. Thank you for your comments.