When I was a kid, my dad took me fishing for the first time. I remember, the day before we made a lot of preparations – we bought groundbait, baits, hooks. In the evening, we collected earthworms which area delicacy of fish.
We got up very early, got into the car and drove to the Barycz to Odra river estuary. It was a warm, summer morning. We got out of the car, took rods and went to a river’s spur.The role of spurs is to regulate the river’s course, It is also a great place for anglers.
Bonfires were fading on other spurs. My dad explained to me, that there are other anglers who spent the night by the water, waiting for big fish.
Because night is a time for a really big fish. Specimens, which you proudly talk about, and you get get an awards from Polish Fishing Society.
We set up our rods and prepared the groundbait. My father told me how to properly prepare it, to make sure it will work properly in the water and attract fish.
Then he took out matches from his pocket, collected the brushwood and branches, and lit a bonfire for us. He took out a knife and sharpened a sausage stick. Nothing tastes better, than a sausage out of the bonfire.
At the very top of the spur, in the shallow water, I heard a loud splash every now and then . Dad explained that it is an asp – a fish that loves such places, because they can find smaller fish there – it’s food.
I heard another splash from the cove – “it’s a pike”, my dad said. I quickly figured out that that I know what fish he is talking about. He used to show me some big pike heads in a fishing shop.
The fires on the neighboring spurs were dimming. Dad seeing how much joy the bonfire was bringing me, kept adding more wood to keep it alive.
After a while, a fish took the bait. Dad struck it, and after a few minutes a beautiful bream laid in the landing net. Dad showed me how to took the hook out in a way, that it would suffer as little as possible, and then quickly put him in a net that landed in the water. The situation has repeated itself several times and even I caught my fish!
When we have been returning home, I have asked – when we will go fishing for the next time, and of course when we will stay for the whole night. I remember that I was very surprised when my dad said it was too early for the night fishing. I did not understand why. It was hard for me to accept it but my dad added, that we will go for night fishing when I grow up.
I loved fishing, and that day was one of the coolest things a child could have.I went fishing with my dad, we had a bonfire, we had a campfire sausages, and at the end we caught the fish that my mother prepared for the dinner.
A few months later I had my own fishing licence. I was taking part in school competitions, and we went fishing almost every week. However, I was already a teenager when we had gone to the first night fishing.
My dad was not a hunter, he was an angler who knew he could show his child what fishing is all about. He taught me respect for nature, animals and from where meat comes from. He did not draw fish next to me, considering that I had more interesting views as a child than fish entrails.
These were the times when there was no Internet and millions of people who told others how to live, forcing their own, not always good and healthy standards.
When I look back, I envy my dad, who could educate me in respect for the nature. As a responsible adult, he knew that he could not take me for a night fishing when I was too small, or kill a fish next to me. He showed me the fishing in the way that a child should see it.
I became a hunter. Today, every meeting with my dad begins with his question “How was your hunt?”. We talk while watching photos and tasting personally hand-smoked venison or wild boar pate.
I’m afraid I can’t be like my dad. As a hunter, I will not be able to take my son for a hunt because changes in the law. I believe that children or teenagers from a certain age are exposed to much worse views, even at home in front of the TV or computer, than in the forest while hunting, which I will remind – does not have to end with a shot to the animal. No parent wants to hurt their child’s psyche.
People think, that I am a beast who is just waiting to kill every animal. They say that while wearing leather belts, shoes, or eating a pork chop on their leather sofas.
I would not pull the trigger next to any child. I would not ask a child to gut a wild boar or show my son how I am doing it to my son. I am an adult, responsible person just like my dad, who can not wait to go hunting with me. I want to decide if and when to take my son to hunt.
I am against changes to the Polish hunting law that will prohibit hunting with children up to 18 years old.