TATERS & FISH

The “itch” hit me a couple of months back when in the dead of winter we had a warm beautiful day.  Ever since then I had been wanting to go fishing.  Just like hunting I told my wife that I wanted to go fishing more this year.  I could count on one hand how many times I’ve been fishing in the last three to four years.  I went as far as getting all my reel and rods out and started cleaning them up and re-lining them.

I woke up early that Saturday morning.  Slight to no chance of rain, a beautiful warm day. The weather conditions were going to be perfect for a day outside.  Whether you got out riding a motorcycle, having a yard sale, going to a yard sale, doing yard work or going fishing. I chose to go fishing.  I got up, got dressed and then woke my wife and offered to take her out for breakfast.  Usually I cook breakfast on weekends and let her sleep in since she gets up during the weekday and fixes breakfast for me.  Most of the time I will wake up early and get up, fix myself a cup of coffee and watch the ‘Rifleman’ with Chuck Conners in the den.  Lately though I’ve started watching fishing shows.  You know, having the “itch” and all.

Anyway my wife got up and got dressed and we drove down to Luverne to have breakfast. Our place of choice is a little restaurant, or diner if you prefer, called ‘Taters’.  It used to be called ‘Matties’ but it was taken over by new owners.  I like the name ‘Taters’ better too. “Taters” or for anyone north of the Mason/Dixon Line that might be reading this, “potatoes” are by far my most favorite vegetable.  I love potatoes so much that I don’t even like calling it a vegetable because to me it seems like it’s an insult to it in some kind of way.  I prefer to call it the “other” meat.

We go into ‘Taters’ and as always, met with a welcoming smile.  Being a local they pretty much already know what you’re going to drink except my wife, it may be coffee, soda or tea.  It all depends on the mood she’s in for the day.  At each table or booth they always have an encouraging Bible verse on each napkin dispenser.  On the wall is words and quotes of faith, hope, love and family.  They always have gospel music playing on the radio.

We enjoy our meal and talk with other patrons, locals, as well as friends who may venture in.  Of course sometime it can get too loud in there as it gets crowded but that’s all part of the small town diner you’ll experience here in the south.

After about four cups of coffee and my wife’s one cup and a tea to go I’m still having my “itch”.  I can’t get to the water fast enough.  By the way did I mention that Tater’s has really good coffee?

When we get back home I start grabbing my reel and rods and all my fishing gear and throwing it into the truck.  My wife tells my son that we are going fishing and he’s talking and texting with his fiancé.  They decided they wanted to go fishing as well.  Great, we’ll make it a family affair and enjoy everyone’s company.

After a couple of stops to pick up some bait and other supplies as well as a soda we make our destination.  I am about to get my cure for my “itch”.  We get settled in and ready to fish and the first reel I pick up won’t cast.  That’s alright, there are four of us and I brought about nine reel and rods along.  The second one I cast out and it fell a few feet short, a few yards, okay it barely hit the water.  I reach down and pull on the line and it won’t move.  I take the cover off and look to see what was hanging the line and low and behold I realize of all the reels that I had prepared I had to pick up the one I forgot to re-line.  Situation taken care of now I am ready to catch me a string or cooler full of fish and have some fresh fish to eat.  Everyone is getting nibbles and bites and I’m going after the big ones.  I want to haul in that monster Bass, the kind you would be proud to hang on the wall and brag about in years to come.  I’m loving this moment in my life.  I’ve finally got a chance to go fishing, got my family and future family around me.  Those that I love the most enjoying the day with me.

Finally getting settled in for a second time and everyone and everything is nice and quiet. Looking out over the water I reflected back to times I’ve spent with my dad and older brothers and my son out fishing.  I finally come to the realization of where my dad would get his words of wisdom from.  Experience.

After about four hours of fishing and only one little bream fish caught, which I did not catch, we decided the fish weren’t biting enough but the mosquitos and the turtles were. We still enjoyed the day and each other’s company.

And just like my dad gave me, I now give you my words of wisdom to my son and anyone else that will listen: If you plan a fishing trip for the day don’t EVER drink four cups of coffee and a soda before going.

Have a great day and take a loved one fishing this spring and summer and if you’re ever in Luverne, Alabama stop in at “Taters” and have a bite.  You’ll be glad you did.

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