Emerson's first channel catfish


After maybe 4 minutes, the catfish rolled near the boat. “It’s HUGE!!!” Emerson shouted, and “GET THE NET!”. I could feel his whole body shaking, but a moment later Kevin deftly swept Emerson’s first master angler fish into the net – a very healthy 34.5” catfish.  We took a few pictures, high-fived all around… and immediately raised mom on the cell phone for an update. Shortly after we headed for home.

6-years old and a first Manitoba Master Angler catfish!

6-years old and a first Manitoba Master Angler catfish!

This outing was great in so many ways. Although my wife and I often lament on how fast Emerson is growing up (where does the time go?!), this evening marked the first time Emerson spent 3 uninterrupted hours in the boat fishing… and he didn’t want to leave! I think he’s now at the age where he’s going to be able to start going on more and more adventures, and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s also a wonderful milestone, with his first ever catfish and first ever “Master Angler”.

But it was also amazing to me how much of the experience truly interested him. Upon launching the boat, the first thing he couldn’t believe was how close we were to pelicans - which prompted a 5 minutes dissertation to Kevin and I on everything he knew about the birds. Then it was noticing and asking questions about marker buoys, locks, Canada Geese, different types of boats, different kinds of fish and the difference between rivers and lakes.  I learned more about what was going on in my son’s universe in those three hours than I have all summer.

Days later, he’s still sharing his photos proudly to any family member that he can reach on the phone. All this from a little more than 3 hours activity, 20 minutes from our house; and for less than the price of movie and popcorn.

I hope you’re having a great summer of fishing, and also hoping that you’re getting the chance to get your kids out fishing. In my opinion, it’s an experience second to none!


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