Rural Missouri - September 2011 - (Page 32)

N E I G H B O R S by Heather Berry hberry@ruralmissouri.coop rady Hunt puts on his life jacket and hops behind the steering wheel. Slowly and skillfully, he guides the 18.5-foot Skeeter bass boat alongside the dock. Brady quickly moves to the passenger seat as his dad takes the wheel and guides the craft out into deeper water on Stockton Lake, west of Bolivar. It’s 4 o’clock one late July afternoon and the temperature is still hovering around 100 degrees. The breeze gives a light chop to the water and makes the boat bob on the lake like a buoy, but the two fishermen aren’t deterred. Brady’s father, Billy, guides the boat toward a stand of dead trees breaking the water. Moving closer, he completes his approach with the aid of a foot-fed trolling motor. “We’re at about 42 feet, Dad,” says Brady, reading the depth finder. Quickly, the poles, jigs and plastic worms come out. Lines are strung, and father and son simultaneously cast their lines toward the shore. At age 11, Brady already has been fishing with his father for nine years. When he turned 8, he began fishing tournaments with his dad on Fridays in the Pomme Bassin’ Nights on Lake Pomme de Terre. “So many kids stay at home and play video When Brady Hunt hits the water, he stays until he reaches his goal. He caught this 5-pound largemouth bass at games or sit around the house all summer,” says Stockton Lake in late July after four hours of catching and releasing smaller bass in the 100-plus temperatures. Billy, looking proudly at his son. “Not Brady. He’d rather fish any day.” Billy says a piece of advice from another angler helped him get Brady hooked on fishing. “He said if you ever want your kid interested in fishing, take them out and fish for something that always bites, like perch, where there’s lots of action,” Billy says. “I did that a few times and Brady was hooked.” Brady’s first pole wasn’t expensive — it was baby shark,” says Billy, adding that the experience far today are too small in their opinion — 3 to 4 a Snoopy rod, but it did the job. One of his first only whetted Brady’s appetite to go deep-sea fishpounders. So Billy moves the boat a final time, catches was a carp that stretched from the 3-yearing for a bigger shark next time. knowing that as the sun sets and the temperatures old’s shoulder to the ground. Since the Friday night tournaments started drop, the fish will come out of the shadows. While Snoopy’s been retired, later this year, Brady and his dad haven’t fished While he exudes a lot of patience for an Brady doesn’t waste money on many. The season continues until late September 11-year-old, Brady realizes time is getting cheap fishing gear — he’s a frequent or early October and they’re ready to compete. short for this weeknight fishing jaunt. shopper at Bass Pro Shops and other In the three years they’ve fished tournaments He just wants to catch a big bass again, sporting good stores. together, Brady’s raked in a more than $1,200, like the 5-pound, 8-ounce bass he “He’ll ask me what I think about a • Bolivar which he saves to buy more gear. caught here on the Fourth of July certain rod, reel or lure when he’s shop“It only costs $20 to have Brady fish with me weekend — his largest bass so far. ping,” says Billy. “He buys good gear, in these Friday night tournaments,” Billy says. This day is like so many others like Pflueger or the U.S. Reel he has got “Getting to spend four hours on the lake with for the pair. his eye on now. I make sure he doesn’t your kid for that amount is worth everything.” Billy, who works as the member services and invest in junk.” For now, Billy and his other fishing partner, safety representative for Southwest Electric CoopIt’s now 5:35 p.m., and while he’s caught a Rodney, compete in the daytime tournaments. erative, has been tournament fishing since he few bass, none have been the legal length of 15 “My partner jokes about being replaced by Brady,” was a teenager, and he’s excited his son is enjoyinches, so Brady’s viewing this outing as fishing says Billy, “But we both know that sometime ing his pastime. He and his fishing partner, and practice. He wants to catch a big bass before headsoon, it will be reality.” former tournament competitor, Rodney Edwards, ing home. According to Billy, a big bass would be Brady says he likes the prize money, but it’s compete in the Joe Bass Circuit and Bass Angler’s anything more than 5 pounds. still all about fun and fishing with his dad right Tournament Series each month. They’ve taken Slowly Billy moves the boat around the lake, now. Back on Stockton Lake, the fishing goes on first place the past two years and are currently at and the pair continues casting, the air heavy with in earnest. Brady adjusts his worn brown ballcap the top of the standings for this season. anticipation, the conversation at a minimum. that reads “Born to fish.” It’s 8:15 and he casts the Extremely dedicated to their hobby, Brady and Like his father, Brady doesn’t do much talking, line for the last time before they head home. Billy will fish year-round if the water isn’t frozen. breaking the silence only to discuss lures, ask for Suddenly, the rod bends and Brady sets the “I think the coldest we’ve ever fished in was 20 or help untangling an unruly line or to tell his dad hook. “Dad, it’s a big one!” he excitedly says. 30 degrees,” says Brady, adding that to do so, he he’s “got a good one” hooked. Net in hand, Billy watches as Brady brings the usually wears a long-sleeve shirt over his pajamas, “He says they’re all ‘good ones,’” says Billy, rod around the front of the boat and reels in the two hoodies, a coat, jeans, boots and gloves. laughing, then winking at Brady. With a gentle biggest bass they’ve seen tonight. Even when the family goes on vacation, the and rhythmic lift-and-lower motion, Brady conIt’s a 5 pounder that’s 19 inches long — a nicefather and son bring along their fishing rods. On tinues slowly reeling in the line. Sometimes, he size bass. But is Brady going to keep it? a family beach vacation to Alabama this summer, hooks and releases a small catch. “Nope, it’s not big enough.” Then he smiles. Brady spent nearly every day fishing by his dad’s Brady sighs. It’s 7:30 and the sun is starting Another fine day of fishing completed. side. “Just about everything he reeled in was a to quickly sink. All the bass they’ve caught so B 11-year-old Brady Hunt wets a hook for fun and money Gettin’ Reel 32 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2011

Rural Missouri - September 2011
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
The story behind the stories
Hemp bales and history
Bear necessities
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Open up and say ‘neigh!’
Back to the one-room school
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The Missouri artist
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - September 2011

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