The Great Outdoors
by Larry Whiteley
It was the afternoon of July 4th as the pontoon boat pulled away from the dock. An American flag hung from the bow blowing gently in the breeze. A family of three generations of soldiers were celebrating Independence Day by going out crappie fishing. The father was a veteran of the Viet Nam War. The son fought in the Gulf War. The grandson just returned from Afghanistan.
They laughed, they smiled, they caught crappie. They talked about their family deer camp. They talked about vacations they had been on together as a family. Lots of stories were shared but none about war and the things they had seen and been through.
A beautiful sunset lit up the western sky. A great day was coming to an end. They had all caught their limit of crappie and were getting ready to pull up the anchor when the fireworks started across the lake. The flag still waved on the front of the boat with the fireworks as a backdrop. Without anyone saying anything, they all stood at once and with tears in their eyes saluted the flag.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
-President Ronald Reagan
Most people know this special day only as the 4th of July. A day of fireworks, parades, picnics and family time at home or on the water. 4th of July sales are on TV, in newspapers and social media. The marketing folks use it as a way to make a buck selling everything they can with an American flag on it. Politicians use it as a way to get votes. It should be known as Independence Day and not just the 4th of July.
A lot of men and women have served and died fighting for our country and the independence of other countries around the world. As you watch the fireworks this year think about the sacrifices they made for you. And, if you see a veteran wearing their branch of service cap proudly, take time to thank them.
Back in the “old days”, anglers called the hottest days of summer “dog days” thinking the fish, like dogs, just stayed in the shade and didn’t do much.
Today, we know how to find the best oxygenated water where fish will be more active. We have all the latest and best electronics. We have learned how to be better night fishermen so we can escape the hot summer sun and be out there when it is more comfortable for us and the fish. Really, about the only way you won’t catch fish during the “dog days” of summer is if your baits not in the water.
OLD BOONE’S FISHING TIP
Folks back in the 1970’s actually thought that cattle grazed actively at times when the fish are hungry and that when cattle stopped eating, so did the fish. Laugh if you want but you might want to check a pasture as you drive by.