Kids fishing stories are the best

I started fishing at a very young age, thanks to Dad, and enjoyed introducing my children and grandchildren to fishing. My kids caught buckets of spawning white perch at the inlet to Maranacook Lake, the same place I caught them when I was a kid.

I can still see the kids’ bobbers popping up and down, and Josh and Hilary screaming in tandem, “I got one!” The swift retrieve, little hands winding the Zebco for all its worth. That was real fishing!

At the Maranacook inlet, crowds hugged the shore, a half-dozen bobbers clung to the electric wires overhead, and chaos reigned when the perch were running. It was strictly hook, line, and bobber, with nothing as productive as a succulent garden worm. My role was official wormer, inserting the hooks into those juicy worms.

At the age of 7, Josh was casting well, but 4-year-old Hilary wasn’t quite ready, so I cast for her. But make no mistake – she didn’t need help reeling in those fish. Any offer from me in that regard was swiftly turned aside with a firm, “I can do it myself, Dad!”

As their bucket was nearly full of fish, all of which were flopping around, Hilary asked, “Will you shoot them when we get home, Dad?” I explained that shooting would not be necessary!


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.