The last thing my daughter expected to catch out of Grandma’s pond was this mussel.
Sunday was a beautiful evening and the kids requested to fish in Grandma’s pond. What the heck, we weren’t doing anything else. Popo dug up a few worms, my three little anglers grabbed some poles, and we were off the pond bank.
Our youngest chose a Lightening McQueen fishing pole. My older son chose a tried-and-true Zebco. My daughter chose Grandma’s very nice and expensive Shakespeare pole because it was guaranteed to catch the biggest fish (at least according to my daughter).
After just a few minutes, both boys had reeled in some nice, little blue gill and bass. In spite of her desperate desire to catch a fish, my little girl went without a bite for quite some time.
Suddenly, she yelled, “There’s something on my hook. It’s really heavy.” Clearly there was something on her line because she was struggling to bring it in, but there didn’t seem to be any fight in the water.
Once the line was reeled in enough to pull it out of the water, she revealed this big guy.
My daughter was repulsed. She would not touch her clammy catch and insisted that it was “Not fair” that all she could catch was a mussel. She wouldn’t even help me pry it off her hook. That job went to Uncle Glen. (I pried it open and he pulled out the hook.)
My husband, Grandma, Popo, and Uncle Glen were all amazed at the catch.
How many people fish their entire lives and never land one of these babies?
The mussel was as big as my palm and clearly a healthy specimen, but my daughter was not impressed at all. She said, “I’m not lucky. All I catch is bad luck and dumb clams.”
I hugged and reassured her catching that mussel was the coolest thing I had ever seen a kid catch. I reminded her of how happy she was for me when I caught a nice crappie last summer and told her I felt 100 times happier that she was lucky enough to snag that clam.
What are the chances that her hook and bait would land right in that shell and get caught? That takes luck!
Meanwhile, my boys were catching the heck out of perch, blue gill, and bass. It was kind of salt in her wounded prided. Eventually she did catch a nice blue gill, but had no other bites. (The jig was probably a deterrent for most of the fish in the pond, but she insisted on leaving it on. It was pretty.)
She just could not see the good fortune in catching that mussel. It was a missed opportunity for her, not because she didn’t catch the big fish she hoped for, but because she couldn’t see the luck in landing a tough catch.
If you find yourself catching metaphorical clams right now, maybe there is a special reason those mussels are snatching your bait. Maybe there is something you are intended to find inside those hard shells. Keep an open mind and a hopeful heart. You are guaranteed to reel in some big excitement and success when you least expect it.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Take your kids fishing.