We pulled into Frenchman Lake campground late at night to find it full. The day was like every other Friday, too busy to take care of camping preparations. We decided to move on to Nanatuk and luckily found the last spot on the water still open. I was behind the rest of the camping pack because I assumed most of the gear was in the camper, which it wasn’t.

The next morning we woke the girls up early to go fishing, and they were not very pleased to be dragged out of bed. They got tired of “wasting” time pretty quickly.

It was our first time on Frenchman Lake with our new boat and I can understand Hayley (eleven) and Janessa’s (nine) impatience; as a new boat operator and inexperienced lake fisherman it was difficult. I pulled in and out of bays, trolled what looked like deep water, but 100 yards away it was five feet deep and my rod would bounce like there was a fish.

We caught lots of reed beds that morning. It was comical for the girls to watch me stumble with the setup, but that got old as the morning went on.

Heather and I explored more bays after the girls went in for a bit, and we caught the odd fish.

We found pike congregated in a spot about 8 feet deep, and you could see them lying on the bottom. I was so excited to finally find a spot with fish, I fell all over the boat in a rush to get the rod and throw a cast.

After a few hours of playing in the bay we went back for a late lunch and told the girls of our find.

Janessa has never been one to get excited about fishing, but wanted to come see fish chase the lures.

When we returned Janessa put on her polarized sunglasses and could see them lying around. She was so excited — “there’s one, and another over there.”

Turns out we weren’t wasting her time anymore. We threw a few casts and Janessa could see the pike following our hooks. She borrowed Heather’s new mothers’ day/birthday present — it was the first expensive rod we had ever bought.

On Janessa’s first cast there was a little fish following her hook, she was so excited she reeled the hook in too fast. The next cast was similar to the first; excitement got the better of her again. On the third cast she slowed down and gave the odd jerk to tease the fish. It hit her hook and then she reeled as fast as she could. By the time we could tell her to slow down, it was too late. She had her fish in the boat and the rod tip was broken.

There was so excitement that she caught the fish we didn’t notice the tip for a few minutes. Turns out that it broke just below the part where it could have been salvaged.

Heather got a new rod out of the deal and Janessa caught her first fish.

The weekend was enjoyed by all, even the black bear that visited in the night to lick the tables clean.