The Heated Dock…

When I was between 10-12 years old, my father used to take me to some of the heated docks to fish during the winter. We would fish all night and try to catch Crappie…when you needed a “fix” that was an easy way to get it.

The wood burning stove helped keep the enclosure relatively warm but you could always feel the cold coming off of the lake. Whoever got up to stretch was usually the one who would feed the stove. I do remember curling up on that nasty carpet and sleeping til sunrise. You do what you have to do.

I distinctly remember my dad had a Daiwa ultralight setup that I believe he had picked up in Okinawa when he was stationed there. I thought it was the coolest thing ever when compared to my Zebco 33 combo. I rarely if ever got to fish with it but I always admired it. This was long before I knew about JDM tackle.

I’ve never been known as someone who had patience, but when fishing, I could sit there and watch a bobber or rod tip for hours. My job was usually to retrieve a minnow from the minnow bucket and hand it to whomever was baiting their hook. Or to bring them a cup of coffee.

On one particular night I remember re-baiting the hook on my dads ultralight when I got a bite on my rod. I set his down and grabbed mine to start reeling in a fish when all of a sudden, his rod leaps off the railing and plunges into the lake. I watched in hopeless horror as it sank out of sight. I had forgotten to secure the rod handle with one of the rope loops that were affixed to the railing.

Talk about feeling bad! I was so apologetic and at the same time worried that he was angry. To my recollection he wasn’t overly mad. Disappointed I’m sure, but he didn’t seem as upset as I was.

I have searched and searched for any information on that rod and reel and have yet to even locate a picture. I remember it was green and white with a cork handle and came with a matching push-button reel. To this day I thought it would be cool to hand him a replacement…even if it’s for the sake of nostalgia. So yes…after 40 years I still feel guilty for losing that rod. I’m still sorry Pop!


  1. William Pennington says:

    Love you son!!!


  2. William Pennington says:

    Love you lots don a rod and reel doesn’t come close Appreciate the thought


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