I went fishing for the first time on Saturday. I’ve gone on the pier with my parents when I was a kid, but I don’t have any recollection of those experiences. Jon, Scott and I went fishing on a private lake in Mission Viejo, which is a city close to Irvine. We met at Scott’s parents’ place in Cypress at 9am in the morning and got to the lake at around 10am.
Since it was a private lake, we had to pick up a friend’s card in order to get in. When we got there, we rented a basic electric boat for $5 an hour and set forth onto the middle of the lake. The temperature was pretty warm. Probably somewhere around low to mid 70s. I anticipated it being freezing, so I wore two pairs of pants and two sweaters. It was supposed to be really windy that day, but surprisingly there was no wind at all. It ended up being a little to warm, but bearable.
I was really excited to catch something, but they told me that it wasn’t unusual to go home empty handed. It took about 30 minutes for us to get the fishing rods ready, as we had to knot the hooks, prepare the bait and other preliminary things. Since I had no experience, they helped me with all of this.
One of the most disturbing things we had to do was put the worms on the hooks. The whole thing was really disgusting, as the first step was cutting the worm in half. This step was actually the most bearable, because all you needed to do was use a knife. It only got worse from here. The next step was to put the worm on the hook. It’s hard to describe the feeling, but the feeling of something squirmy in your hands while you stick a hook through its body just didn’t feel right. This wasn’t even the bad part. Once you stuck the hook through the worm, you had to do it two more times to prevent the worm from falling off the hook. With each puncture, the worm squirmed more and more. It was terrible.
However, the absolute worst part was the last part. After you’re done putting the worm on, you have to take a syringe and pump air into the worm so that it gets fat and so that it floats. This almost made me throw up. If you pump too much air into the worm, you can hear the air leaking out. Last but not least, we dipped the worm in special bait and sprayed it with garlic. The garlic apparently draws the attention of the fish because of its pungent smell.
After all of this, you can finally get to the fun stuff. Fishing. Except, it’s not really that exciting because you spend most of your time waiting. We sat around for two hours without any action. Neither of us even had a bite, and it gets pretty demoralizing if you’re just sitting there for two hours without any action. We moved the boat around to different areas of the lake to try our luck, but to our disappointment there was still no action. We were getting close to calling it a day as we navigated back to the dock, but we decided to give it one more shot.
This time we anchored the boat pretty close to the dock and we just went through the motions. Put the bait on the hook, spray it with garlic, cast the line, and wait. After a few minutes of waiting, I started reeling in my line really slowly to prepare to throw it out again. However, I felt a little tug on my line. The tug was so subtle that I thought it was just seaweed again so I continued to reel the line in. Again, I felt a little tug. As I continued to reel the line in, I definitely felt some movement on the line, and not knowing what to do I quickly shouted ‘GUYS, I THINK I GOT ONE!!’. Jon took the rod from me and pulled the fishing rod straight up as he confirmed that we got one. He passed the rod back to me and directed me to keep the rod up as I reeled the fish in.
I was overwhelmed with excitement as we brought the fish onto the boat. My first time fishing and I caught the first one! They told me that I caught myself a trout. It was a pretty decent sized one, maybe around a foot long. Scott helped me remove the hook and we put a rope through its gills its mouth and threw it over the water to keep it fresh. My catch gave everyone hope, and we ended up getting really lucky because we caught three more over the next 30 minutes. I caught a blue gilled crappie, while Jon caught a crappie and a small bass. Scott wasn’t so lucky and he ended up going home empty handed. All in all, it was a great experienced and I look forward to going back out there and trying to catch something bigger.