Fishing Families: Stories

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    My daughter Sophie DiFrancesco, who has been fishing since she was 3 years old, finally landed her first Bass at the age of 5 years and 2 months to the day: Sept. 12, 2006.

    This large mouth was caught on a 6-foot spinning rod and reel rigged with 8-pound test using a living eye minnow on a weedless hook dragged across the weed beds of a local Rock Hill, SC pond. It took her by surprise when all she could do to stay on shore was to fall right back down on her bottom. She landed it within a minute since the bass hit the lure only 4 feet from shore. Our family loves to fish, I guess they get that from dear old dad who was raised on the water.

    Sophie's record-setting catch weighed in at a whopping 2 lbs. 9 ozs., and was 18 inches long. As you can tell, her little brother, David age 2, is already trying to land one of his own.

    Dominic DiFrancesco
    Catawba, SC


    I must say that my continued memories fishing with my father are numerous. But I would have to say that the 2004 Northern Divisional takes the cake.

    As a member of the 12-man state team from Ohio, I was fortunate to be able to practice 6 days in a row with my father before the first day of competition at Lewis and Clark Reservoir in Yankton, South Dakota. After a day and halve of really not catching any fish or putting any patterns together, my father pulled out a black chatter buzz-buzz bait and began throwing it in the middle of the day with blue bird high skies. I said to him, "What are you doing?" He confidently replied they should hit this, the conditions are right. Well, needless to say Dad found the pattern that I ultimately adopted, and which led to top honors for the Ohio team advancing to the 2005 Federation Championship.

    I recently qualified for the 2007 Federation Championship and my dad was with me again, helping me practice and rooting me on. This picture is from the last day of the Northern Divisional in Alexandria, Minnesota, where Dad wore the same shirt for good luck, and it worked.

    Bryan McNeal
    Enon, Ohio
    President, Catchem Bassmasters


    My name is Chris Adams and I am 20 years old. I am from Rutland, Vermont. I'm submitting an awesome picture of me and my father, Don Adams, in our tournament shirts at the 2006 B.A.S.S. Eastern Regional in Plattsburgh, New York, on Lake Chaplain. It was a great time and we were the first father and son duo to compete on the same Vermont State Team in the history of the state federation. We fish a lot of team tournaments together as well as spend many days on the water just fun fishing. I could not imagine my life without fishing with my dad.

    Chris Adams
    Rutland, Vermont


    At the age of 17 my father sustained a spinal injury when he fell from a trampoline. Not much was known about this type of injury at the time, so my father endured many months of operations and was confined to a bed for an even longer period of time. Because of his strong will and burning desire to not spend the rest of his life in that bed, he literally willed himself to walk again, and did so for many years with just the help of a crutch.

    Even with these hardships, my father always found time to take me fishing and camping. We would drive to a small private pond near our town of Chardon, Ohio and he would take the time to teach me how to use his Zebco 33. We enjoyed many hours fishing and talking about the outdoors. He instilled in me a love for a sport that has carried me through the years.

    My father is now confined to a wheelchair. What fishing he does is now done in a small pond by his house. I on the other hand, have been somewhat "poisoned" by the allure of fast bass boats and fishing for money. But thanks to the love and patience of a father who took the time to teach his son how to fish, I am blessed with the memories of that earlier time. I think of my father every time I am on the water. Even though we are many miles apart now, I hope that he knows he is with me each day.

    Keith V. Chapman
    Gainesville, FL