The questions came in rapid-fire succession. “How many fish have you caught? What’s the biggest? How many fishing poles do you have? How long have you been fishing? How old are you?
I had committed to taking a friend’s 9-year-old son fishing for the first time. I could use a relaxing evening — or so I thought. In the beginning, his questions were non-stop and I was amazed how long he could actually talk without stopping to take a breath.
“Just relax and enjoy what’s going on around you,” I told him, as I baited our hooks with plump beemoth. Then the questions came again.
“What kind of worms are those? What kind of fish will we catch? Are there big ones here? Have you ever hooked a goose?”
Each inquiry came without giving a second to answer any of them.
“Why do fish jump?” he asked immediately after a small largemouth bass had broken the surface, dimpling the placid water.
His last question intrigued me. Why do fish jump? I think most of us agree that a chunk of sharp steel lodged unforgivably in the mouth and the resistance of fishing line pulled tight by someone on the other end would cause any fish to jump.
Through the years I can personally testify through experience that being impaled by a hook is not a pleasant way to spend your time. Actually, getting hooked isn’t so bad — it’s yanking it out that makes me jump.
What Jarrod meant was why do fish rocket out of the water for no apparent reason, then dash back under the surface only to do it again and again.
There is not a fisherman alive who hasn’t seen it happen and with every species of fish. From sailfish to sunfish and barracuda to bluegills, we have seen them all become airborne.