Lake Simcoe, Ontario - Steven Vieira
There are so many memories I have of water. I grew up having a cottage on Lake Simcoe in the 80's. Every weekend was a trek up to the cottage. When I was young and in school, we would spend the summer at the cottage. I remember packing up the car for the big move up to the cottage over Canada Day long weekend for the summer. It was the fastest car ride, it was the slowest car ride, it was the most exciting car ride.
The best part of these summers was when my grandma would spend time with us. I would invite her to stay with us because it was always great having her around. We would go for walks down the road, sit by the water, look at the water, walk up and down the dock, and go fishing. We were happy to just be in each others company.
Her face always lit up to go fishing. She knew that she couldn't go fishing forever because of her legs. Getting in and out of the boat was hard. As a child I couldn't really understand. She would always be the one to ask me. I was always happy to go. I would take my dad's aluminum 16ft boat. It was cute. It had white and red vinyl bench seats, a little windshield that spanned the boat with little cracks in the plastic, and a black steering wheel which controlled the 20hp old black mercury engine.
My grandma and I would go find worms or buy some. Then we would collect our gear and head down to the boat. She would tell me where the fishing holes were. We would never leave the bay or pass the point. We would stay about 500ft away from the shore. The best spots were in front of our own place, down by the end of the road, or in front of the park. I would put this metallic green 20lbs anchor on a yellow nylon line down, or sometimes we would just float about if the catch wasn't very good that day.
It was usually very sunny. She would wear a black skirt below the knee with some sort of a black short sleeved shirt. She was a widow. She also always brought her little straw hat with her to which she attached an elastic along the bottom so that she wouldn't lose it on the boat. This little towel would follow her as well. She would put it on her lap while we were fishing so that she could trap the fish between her knees in order to take the hook out and possibly rescue her worm (and not ruin her skirt).
I remember looking at her while catching a fish. There was always such glee and excitement on her face behind those big dark fun sunglasses. The little white plastic rod would be straining and bending under the pressure of the probable perch at the end of the line. The net would always be on the ready (just in case). We always wanted to get a large mouth bass. Rock bass was a nice catch as well. Sunfish were not highly respected. A catfish was almost bad luck.
We would put all the fish we caught into a bucket with water. It was usually an old white grape juice bucket from the wine making shop. We'd put them there so that we could count how many we caught. Sometimes we would bring them back with us so that we could get the requisite "oos" and "ahhs" from the family. We usually released them all. A few times we ate them. My dad would skin and clean them up for my mom to cook. They always complained about the work it took. Little fried yellow perch was tasty.