Gone Fishin’

The Southern Kitchen | Chef Kevin Templet
July 30, 2020
Peace on the Pond
July 30, 2020

I flipped through the past few years of August articles I’ve written for this publication. Most of them circled around the idea of school starting again. Our August schedule and what we’re dreaming of for the new school year: buying school supplies; new teachers; and new schools.

This year feels like an anomaly, which I guess it is. 

Many schools have pushed back the start of school until September.

People who never considered homeschooling are homeschooling.

Questions are being asked like: “What am I supposed to do with my kids while I’m at work?”

One teacher wrote that she wasn’t a babysitter and doesn’t appreciate being treated as such. I hear you. But us working moms are also not prepared for an August sitter. College kids are busy with their online classes, no camps are being offered, and honestly, what even is a working mom supposed to do?

There’s a whole lot of “I don’t know” happening right now for everyone. The world is in a state of unrest. Our country still feels torn apart. We’re still in a state of unknown. No one dreamed it would last this long.

“Overwhelmed at heart” is how a friend described it. Wherever you turn there’s new territory to be charted. News stories that crash with more news of broken lives, broken hearts, broken trust. 

So I’ve taken up fishing. 

That sentence seems out of place with the first part of this article. But there it is. I’m an over-thinker. I can’t stop my brain even when I want to shut it down. If I don’t have something new churning in my brain, I will create unhealthy rhythms of thinking on things that shouldn’t be constantly thought about. Anyone else? 

Ok. Maybe it’s just me. All the over-thinkers are probably too busy thinking to read this anyway.

As I write this, it’s been an entire month of my new fishing habit. I have face-timed my husband’s fishing friends, asked questions to lifelong fishermen, and watched YouTube videos about saltwater baits and shads. (True statement: I didn’t even know what shad meant a month ago.)

But here I am, fishing. I caught three redfish last weekend and I’m aiming for more this weekend. I used to only shop for clothes at Academy, and now you can find me on the fishing aisle, weighing out the pros and cons of different types of jigheads (another word that I didn’t know until a month ago).

I probably wouldn’t have recognized myself just a short month ago. Wearing a mask. Shopping for fishing lures. What has happened to me?

I stole my son’s Magellan fishing shirt last weekend to go out early in the morning and fish, to which he responded, “If you’re going to be all into this fishing stuff, buy your own stuff, mom.”

But his worked fine, and I have plans to steal it again this weekend.

This over-thinker is thinking about bait, lures, tides, and hooks. I don’t even officially own a fishing pole. I use my teenage son’s for that as well. So since I turn 40 in a few short days, I asked for a fishing pole for my 40th birthday. Who even am I? 

But I’ve found some much needed silence in the bayous. I’m not burying my head in the proverbial sand, but rather think I’m simply creating space. Space to not think about it all for just a few short hours. Where my biggest problem becomes whether or not I’m using the right hook. My camera roll is full of bayou sunsets and sunrises and pictures of fish. There’s been joy in the chaos. The weekend ends, and Monday comes. And my heart is a little more renewed than it was before. 

Maybe it makes no sense. But maybe it does. 

There’s so much beauty still. It just depends on what we want to see. In the middle of changes and uncertainty, many things we love stay the same. New hobbies have resurrected a sense of “this is a beautiful place to be, and I’m proud to call Louisiana my home.” POV