0

CLINE: Plan to make memories at Kid's Fishing Day

Todd Cline

Todd Cline

IF YOU GO

What: Kid's Fishing Day

Where: Jones Bridge Park, Peachtree Corners

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free. Bait and rods provided while supplies last

More info: Call 678-277-0920 or go to

www.gwinnettparks.com

I can't remember the last time I baited a hook. It may cost me my man card, but I'm no fisherman. However, that doesn't mean I don't have great memories of casting a line.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of fishing with my Grandpa. I vividly remember the early morning wake-up calls (if your idea of a wake-up call is a loud exhortation to "get up, get up") and just as vividly remember how awful they seemed at the onset. At age 8, I couldn't imagine why anyone on earth would get up at 4:30 in the morning. This was my reward for staying at Grandpa's house?

Once I got up and going (which took several tries and several more exhortations from Grandpa) I'd stumble into the kitchen to find my grandfather doing his own version of trying to kick-start his engine. He had to have his coffee but didn't want to wait for it to cool, so he poured it little by little onto the saucer that should have been holding his cup, lapping it up like some overgrown cat.

There was no coffee for me. But after toast and juice, it was off to his truck. As long as I live, I'll never forget the solitude of that ride to the lake or pond we were headed to. The radio was never turned on (heck, I'm not even sure the old truck had one) and we sat in silence as we made our way.

My grandfather was a by-the-book guy, so even in the dark of the morning, with no other vehicles in sight, he signaled at the four-way stop. And the sound those blinkers made amid the silence was amazing, every click-click sounding like a bass drum. For the most part, I can't remember many of the fish we caught, but I'll never forget the sound of those blinkers on a pitch-black morning.

All of that is a long way of saying that fishing, like a lot of other things, is as much about the bonding experience as it is the catching of fish. Which is why this weekend's Kid's Fishing Day at Jones Bridge Park in Peachtree Corners caught my eye.

It's a great chance to give your kids or grandkids that same feeling I had. And the best thing is, it's free.

The event, to help celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week, runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday. No fishing license is required and bait and a fishing rod will be provided while supplies last. All ages are welcome, with those 16 and under invited to fish. Even better, you don't have to worry about eating dry toast or sipping coffee from a saucer. Hot dogs and drinks will be provided and there will be prizes for all skill levels when it comes to the actual fishing.

The Buford Trout Hatchery is stocking more than 2,000 Rainbow trout on the morning of the event, which will also include arts and crafts at the Jones Bridge playground. For more info, call 678-277-0920 or go to www.gwinnettparks.com.

There should be a lot of fish caught Saturday morning, not something I can say for all the fishing trips I took with my Grandpa. While I do remember catching a carp that was about as long as me (I've got the picture to prove it) I just as happily remember all that time I got to spend with my Grandpa, not only on the boat but to and from the lake.

Here's hoping Saturday's event produces more of those same memories.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.