I CREATED A MONSTER, AND I LOVE IT
How many times have you heard of fishermen who claimed they took their wives fishing one time, and they declared they would never go again? Every year I see men out in the boat fishing and their wives sitting on shore reading a book or watching the kids having fun in the water. If you are one of those fishermen maybe it's your fault your wife won't join in you fishing fun.
When I got married to Brigitte she had only drowned a few worms for panfish. Now I can't keep her away from the water. I started my wife with a light weight spin-cast outfit that didn't tire her out after 10 minutes and wasn't so complicated that she would give up in disgust.
Next I started her out with a jig and minnow. Most wives will recognize a minnow as just a small version of the fish they are trying to catch. If you try worms or some other nasty bait you will scare them off right at the start.
Be sure to take her to a lake where she will be certain to catch something. Lake Michigan was the perfect spot for me to start since it's close to home and anyone can catch Yellow Perch there. The first time we fished Lake Michigan I rigged her rod with a jig and minnow and demonstrated casting and proper retrieve, and then I left her alone. Once you have your wife casting don't try to make a pro out of her the first day. When my wife would get snagged in the weeds I would let her try to get free. I have shown her the method but I never take the rod from her unless she asks.
My wife was always getting snagged in the weeds every time she stopped reeling to talk to me. I never complained about the cost of the jigs she lost when we had to break her line to get it free. I did not want to make her feel guilty and stop fishing with me.
If your wife continues to accompany you on your fishing trips you can show her how to tie fishing knots and how to put her rod together. This all came easy for my wife and she even had no difficulty baiting the jig with a minnow. The first problem came when I bought some Spikes [Maggots]. When she realized what they were it took a couple fishing trips before she would even carry them out to the water. By the end of the first summer, if your wife hasn't given up, she will have progressed enough to start asking for her own tackle box and lures.
The first time your wife out fishes you they you are on your way towards creating a monster. My wife had two ultra-lite rods and one heavy duty rod for Lake Michigan and two tackle boxes. I never leave her alone in a tackle shop!
Don't laugh at the selection of lures she picks out. Every time my wife buys a lure because she liked the color it would catch fish with it, like the 8 pound large-mouthed bass she landed on Lake Norfork during Christmas week. Now, when she buys a lure, she gets two, one for her and one for me.
My wife turned out to be the best fishing partner I ever had. If you are as lucky as I was you too can have a fishing buddy who is always there when you want to go fishing.
When I finished writing the story about Brigitte I sold it in to the Midwest Outdoor Magazine. At the time Brigitte was working at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort gift shop. One of the customers said he was going fishing for salmon in Lake Michigan, and Brigitte was telling him what to use, where to go, and how to fish for the salmon. He said she sounded like the woman he read about in a magazine. When Brigitte laughed he asked what was so funny, and she replied, "I am the woman you read about."
We retired to Mountain Home Arkansas, and Brigitte started fishing the Norfork river below the dam.She had a favorite spot to fish, so one morning she found a gentleman in her spot who looked up at her and started to pack his gear. When Brigitte asked if he was leaving, he stated that some old man told him he had to leave if he saw a blond women coming because it was her spot. With a straight face she told him that her name was on a rock in the river. She just had to laugh when he apologized for sitting in her spot.
She had some funny stories to tell me when she would come home from a day of fishing. There was the time a fly fisherman was wading and about to step on her line. When she told him her line was in front of him, He said, it's all right, you can't cast that far anyway. She reeled in, cast again and hit him on the head with her weight.
Then there was the time the horn blew and a fly fisherman didn't get out of the water no matter how many times she yelled at him to get out. After being rescued and changing clothes he came to ask if she was the one telling him to get out of the water. He said he was watching the spillway and didn't see any water coming down.
Before her health stopped her from fishing at the dam, she managed to land a 7 pound rainbow on her 10 foot spinning rod we bought to fish for Yellow Perch off the rock in Lake Michigan.
I sure miss my fishing partner!
Dedicated to Brigitte – 1940-2004