The Shortest Fishing Trip EVER!

By Renee McElwee - April 1, 2007
My husband is an avid fisherman - and I don't use the term "avid" lightly. Even when he's asleep he dreams about fishing and wakes up in the morning looking for a pen and paper to write down the ideas that come into his mind during the night; new ways to rig and jig. His nickname here on Lake-Link is "niC" (short for newinCudahy), but we've affectionately re-nicknamed him "niC-gyver", because of all the fishing inventions he's come up with over the years.

I enjoy fishing, too. I fished with my father when I was a young girl. We often went camping throughout Wisconsin and Iowa near the Mississippi river and various lakes. I've always enjoyed the outdoors but, as I grew into adulthood, those pleasures took a back seat once I got married and started a family. Three children and 12 years later I found myself single once again. Being a single mom certainly left no time for self-indulgence.

One day while minding my own business, I fell in love again. "niC", formally known as Phil, was a breath of fresh air in my crazy life. We shared many of the same passions in life and luckily for me, the outdoors once again became a priority as I discovered how much this man I married loves to fish. With my husband by my side, I got a welcome refresher course on fresh air, sunshine, and fishing.

Although we both came into our relationship with three children a piece, we decided early in our relationship that we wanted to have another child of our own. It wasn't long before we discovered that I was expecting - and to our delight, we found out I was going to have twins! Sooner than I could ever have imagined, I no longer fit into any of my clothes. Having had three children already, even I was surprised at how quickly the growing babies made the simple things impossible - tying my own shoes, fitting behind the wheel of our car, reaching into the kitchen sink or clothes washer, even getting up out of a chair! To say that I was huge by my 7th month was an understatement.

Carrying twins didn't deter me from continuing on with our outdoor life though. Phil and I still went fishing and often that included taking the kids along. It was on one of these trips that I discovered just how inconvenient it can be to be pregnant with twins...

One of our less busy weekends, we decided to go fishing at a little pond not too far from our home. The kids were excited about the warm summer day and getting the chance to catch a few fish. We packed the car with our cooler, bait, and poles and off we went. We were all looking forward to a leisurely day in the sun, enjoying a favorite family pastime - fishing.

The pond near our home has an old-fashioned setting. It has a little waterfall near a lodge that is used for ice skating in the winter. The pond is also surrounded by the lush greenery of a park. Phil and the kids jumped out of our van with all the gear and headed to the waters edge. Knowing our routine when we had the kids with us, I followed leisurely behind. Phil always rigs the poles for the kids before he and I actually starting to fish ourselves. I decided to sit down on the grass a few feet from the waters edge. It had become difficult for me to stand on my feet for long periods of time so I carefully figured out a way to plop myself down on the soft grass. Phil and the kids wandered down the ponds' edge about 50 feet to find a good spot for the kids to fish, free from overhanging trees. It was a beautiful warm summer day and unbelievably (and thankfully!) enough, we were the only people fishing there at that moment. Floating on the water were dozens of tranquil geese, enjoying the same beautiful day we were. That was not to be for long ... about 5 minutes into our lazy-day fishing excursion, a noisy car rounded the corner in the parkway behind us and startled the entire flock! With wings flapping and loud honking, all the geese started to run across the surface of the pond to take flight. Phil and the kids stopped what they were doing and we all watched in amazement as the majority of the birds started to soar upward in a path that led directly over my head. What I thought was going to be a moment of splendor quickly turned into a realization of horror as I noticed that it seemed to be raining on the pond below the geese. Confused, but only for a moment, I realized what was about to happen ... 7 months earlier, this situation wouldn't have been a problem - I would simply have gotten up and ran out of harms way. The geese were far enough away that I had a short window of time to anticipate what was about to happen and, under different circumstances, I could have saved myself. But not today, not being 7 months pregnant. Like an old war movie, the renegade "bomber" birds headed in perfect unison right over my head. It all appeared to happen in slow motion - the gentle, slow-motion lift off, the honking and slow flapping of wings, and the droplets of goose dung hitting the water like machine gun shells. I sat there knowing for at least 10 seconds what was about to happen and helpless to do anything about it. I covered my head with my arms and started to scream! Phil and the kids just stood there, mouths open, watching it all like a train wreck in progress, frozen in their spots. Not one of them even attempted to run in my direction to rescue their helpless mom-to-be! Self preservation? Partly ... but I think it was coupled with knowing they were about to watch an absolutely hilarious scene! The entire flock passed 25 feet over my head and I don't think a single one of those darn birds missed its target! My hair, my clothes, my bare arms and legs, were all covered in runny, disgusting goose poo! When the honking faded and I finally dared to slowly raise my head, the "ick" ran down my hair and onto my lap. I looked over at my family, a short 50 feet away from me, and saw my husband fall over onto the grass holding his stomach. He was laughing so hard, I thought he would pass out from lack of oxygen. The kids weren't in any better shape! I know I sat there a full 3 minutes before a single one of them staggered over to me. My youngest daughter, Ashlee - who was 10 years old at the time, was the first to come over to take a better look. She found a McDonald's napkin in the glove compartment of the van and futilely tried to wipe the "goo" out of my hair. It was hopeless! Our fishing trip was over!

Phil has related this story countless times in the last 7 years since it happened. We still go fishing and the kids, many of them grown now, still come along. Our twin boys are learning to be great little fishermen. Can you guess the first lesson I've taught my novice fishing twins?? Pick your spot carefully and watch out for geese!!

Author Renee McElwee
Renee McElwee
My name is Renée McElwee, a.k.a. MisMgmt here on Lake-Link. I've lived in Wisconsin my entire life. I'm married to the love of my life and my best friend, Phil, a.k.a. newinCudahy. We have a combined family of eight children, the oldest being 29 years old and the youngest being our 7½ year old twin sons, Devlin & Dylan. I've always enjoyed the outdoors, spending my summers camping and fishing with my parents as I was growing up. Courtesy of my avid fisherman husband, I've been re-introduced to open water fishing and have learned to ice fish. My family is the most important thing in my life and we've introduced all of our children to fishing over the years. I've always enjoyed writing and hope to share more of our fishing adventures with you!