This is me when I was 4 years old. This fish has a very special memory for me for many reasons. One, it was my first fish I ever caught. Two it was a 20 in carp and it was the biggest catch of the day. Three, my grandfather helped me catch it. And four, my grandfather told this story over and over to anyone who would listen. He was so proud of me.
My grandfather had a pontoon boat (they call them bass buggies now). He also had a cabin up on Lake Lanier; in North Georgia (he built the cabin too). My parents and I would go up on the weekends with my grandparents and fish all weekend on the lake.
I guess I wanted to fish that day and my grandfather baited up a pole for me. It was probably an old Zebco reel. We were anchored in one of our favorite coves on the lake. I’m standing behind the railing on the boat as I was never allowed on the deck (no rails – I mean I was only 4 years old). My bobber went under; I had hooked a fish. I was so excited that I was going to catch a bream or blue gill for dinner. That darn fish took off. My grandfather got behind me and helped me turn that reel for about 5 minutes. He took me out on the deck so we could get more leverage. This stupid fish was taking forever to reel in. My grandfather said it was a big one. We were hoping it wasn’t a turtle or a snake. Grandpa was ready to cut the line just in case. We kept turning that reel and turning it. Finally, the bobber came up, that meant the fish was soon to follow. And there she was the biggest, ugliest fish I had ever seen. As it cleared the deck, I dropped the reel (grandpa caught it) and ran all the way to the back of the boat. After I got over my initial fright, I went back to my grandpa and we discussed my fish. I was so disappointed to find out that we couldn’t eat it. I wanted to eat it so badly. But grandpa told me I had caught one of the biggest fish ever caught on his boat.
We took that fish home. I think it stayed in the cooler for several days. My mother took some Polaroid shots of me with my fish. That fish was half my height. One of the photos shows me holding a folding wooden measuring tape next to my fish. Each section is 12 inches and I had two sections unfolded, so that booger was roughly 20 inches long.
This is just an example of stories I would like to include in my genealogy research. So many memories are lost forever because we didn’t write them down somewhere. I hope that one day my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will appreciate reading the stories I collect about their ancestors.