Contest Winning Entries

Scenic photo

photo-Charles W. Slaw

Autumn Fishing Reflections

by Charles W. Slaw

During the summer of 1996, my fishing partner Jess and I have had a few days fishing on Lake Nockamixon that were quite exciting, and for us could be called spectacular. For example, the morning we caught and released three large catfish, the total weight of which was 28 pounds. One was six pounds, another nine, and then a 13-pound catty, and the big one got away.

But there was another day in our future that we didn't know about. On the 17th of October, we planned to go fishing and I was getting ready to hitch the trailer and boat to the auto when suddenly I thought that this was the day I should take the camera. I hardly ever take a camera fishing because I get involved in fishing and never even take it out of the case. This time I took the camera and put it on the boat, after my wife cautioned me (it's her camera) not to get it wet or drop it overboard.

We started out about 9:30 in the morning. It was a clear day with not a cloud in the sky. We arrived about 10 a.m. to launch the boat. This was the beginning of the day never to be forgotten. This story is a little different from most fishing stories because it does not have trophy fish or any unhappy incident like falling in the water. It will be remembered because it was a perfect fishing day, whether you caught fish or not.

The sun was quite bright because the air was so clear and there was absolutely no breeze at all, a completely calm day. There weren't many fishermen moving around at that time, so the lake hardly had any ripples on it from boats. As a result, the lake became a perfect mirror.

The trees were in their peak autumn foliage and never before have I seen such brilliant autumn colors. In previous years, the leaves either turned brown and fell off an few at a time or were blown off by high winds, or for some other reason unknown to me, the leaves were never as colorful as they were this day.

I immediately started to take pictures even before we launched the boat, and for some time thereafter.

We caught a few fish that day, but our minds were not on fishing. They were on the day the Lord had made, a day never to be forgotten.

Fishing with My Dad

by Tom Walton

My name is Tom Walton, and I am from Pittsburgh. My story is about fishing with my best friend, my Dad.

When I was about 10 years old, my Dad started getting me interested in fishing. He would take me to the wharf on the Monongahela River, Panther Hollow Lake in Oakland, and our cottage on Slippery Rock Creek, just to name a few places. No matter where we went, just before we would start fishing, Dad would say that we were going to have a fishing contest and the person who caught the most fish would be the winner.

Well, I won all the fishing contests. I thought I was winning all the time, because I was a good fisherman. It wasn't until many years later that I learned that Dad was letting me win our fishing contest by not putting any bait on his hooks.

Because of Dad letting me win all the fishing contests at such a young age, my enthusiasm for fishing grew and continues today. I will always treasure the great times I had fishing with my Dad.

Dad and I still go fishing together, only now he puts bait on his hooks.

September/October 1998 Angler & Boater

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