At this point in my life, I can pretty much go fishing whenever I want. Such was not the case when I was a youngster, though, as I then had to rely on others to create fishing opportunities for me.
Since this is Fathers Day, todays column acknowledges all the fathers and those other individuals who fathered fishing times for us when we were too young to do so ourselves.
Jim Seymour was a teacher and school administrator who had a summer job as a U.S. Customs agent where he monitored the boat traffic between Brockville and Morristown. During those years, my favorite days were when Dad took my brother and me to work, and the two of us would spend the day fishing from the public dock in the small bay at Morristown. Dick and I fished with worms, and our primary catches were rock bass, yellow perch, and bluegills while a Northern pike, smallmouth bass, carp, or eel provided that rare and exhilarating catch.
Every summer Dad arranged for us to stay at his family camp where we arose in the pre-dawn hours to go fishing for a few hours before he had to leave for Morristown at 10 a.m.
I recall those times as adventurous but producing few fish. I now realize that Dad, who was working two jobs to support a family of nine children, didnt have the time to get out on the water and find where the fish were.
Also, Dad authorized fishing trips for me when he allowed me to go fishing with a neighborhood dad such as Mr. Baker, Mr. Kroeger, or Mr. Lawrence who periodically loaded neighborhood kids into the vehicle for an afternoon or evening of fishing at one of the various waterfront docks in Ogdensburg.
As I got a bit older, Dad approved (with stern warnings) unsupervised outings with other kids to those same docks.
Rose Seymour was a stay-at-home mom, and like Dad, she created fishing opportunities for me during my youthful days. Mom arranged for frequent summer trips to my Aunt Sylvia Seguins camp on the St. Lawrence River.
For me, such trips meant a day of fishing from the camp dock where night crawlers produced a steady catch of rock bass and yellow perch and where a huge boulder at a challenging casting distance yielded the occasional bass.
Mom also arranged numerous fishing trips for me with her father, Clarence Seguin, and many of those outings remain the most memorable fishing days of my life.
Clarence Seguin, called Poppy by his grandchildren, was an avid and highly-skilled angler. My youthful outings with Poppy consisted of fishing bullheads after dark from his camp dock, fishing yellow perch with cane poles after ice-out at Drummond Island, fishing smallmouth bass at various points along Big Island, catching rock bass to fillet for his cat, trolling for northern pike in the bays at Red Mills, and ice fishing those same bays for perch and pike.
One of those ice fishing trips resulted in my first fishing injury as my right hand ended up in a pikes mouth during my novice handling of the fish.
One summer my cousin, Paul Seymour, and I spent a week at Poppys camp, and that was fishing heaven.
Trips with Poppy often began by collecting minnows from his wire traps in farm creeks in Lisbon or from glass traps set near St. Lawrence River islands. During the winter, he kept minnows in a cement tank in his cellar. Trips with Poppy, especially outings on cold, windy days in the spring and fall, would end with me huddled in the bow of his aluminum boat for the ride home, and once back at camp, the standard table fare was boiled hot dogs.
Like many readers, I was blessed to have had a father and fathering individuals who nurtured my love for fishing. On this Fathers Day, Hooks and Antlers salutes all who have fathered youngsters by providing them with angling opportunities.
Monday: Trap and Skeet Shooting at Lisbon Sportsmens Club (Pray Rd.) at 5:30 p.m.
Monday: Trap Shooting at Moose River F&G Club (Davis Bridge Road) at 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: Lisbon Sportsmens Club meets at Lisbon Library at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: Howies two-person-team Bass Tournament in Ogdensburg (393-3669).
Wednesday-Thursday-Saturday: The Black Lake Fish and Game Association has begun the seasonal trap shooting every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.
Sporting Clays are shot every Thursday at 1 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m..
June 26: Annual Wilson Hill Goose Drive.
June 29-30: Free Fishing Days on NYS waters.
July 12-13: Hunter Education Course at Stillwater Club North Branch in Russell (Pre-register after 6 p.m. at 386-4617).
July 21: Trapper Education Course at Harrisville R&G Club (Pre-register at 644-4643).
July 27-28: SLCTA hosts annual Trappers Rendezvous at Massena R&G Club.