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Want to go Fishing?

Early on Sunday morning, the phone would ring at the Tremont Island cottage. My husband groaned, “It’s your mother, no one else calls on Sunday at this hour.” Sure enough, my father was going fishing for Perch and, would the grandkids like to go? Only our second daughter Ellen, was keen. But Ellen was keen to fish any time.

She began to fish off the dock, in her life jacket, when she was five or so. Because no one wanted to clean the fish that she caught any more, she was given a kitchen knife and a fish scaler. We should have taken her picture the first time she used the scaler. Fish scales were everywhere, on her clothes, in her hair, even on her eyelids. She loved everything about fishing.

Once when she was very young and was standing on the small dock fishing, we saw huge waves rolling in. “Just sit down”, we called loudly, and she did, riding the dock up and down when the waves hit shore. Her little life jacket was part of her daily wardrobe.

So Papa would pick her up on Sunday mornings, they would bait the hooks with worms and come home with a load of Perch. Breakfast was outside, back at the cottage, and the whole family would enjoy Nana’s blueberry muffins and fresh Perch.

Now, Ellen’s two boys and her husband fish with all the grandkids, from ages five to twelve years old. They tour the properties,on their choice of docks, or a raft, or from the aluminum six horse, the various ages, old and young, mixing up and having fun. Most of the fish go back into the River, only a few are ever cleaned. Now our oldest grandson Jack, cleans the keepers with a fish knife, but no scaler is used.

This year, Jack went Muskie fishing with a family friend. He had a great day on the big water, caught a good-sized pike and was happy and proud.

When” Island Life” magazine featured the cottages on Tremont Island, where we live all summer, Kim Lunman, its talented owner/publisher, took a photo of old Muskie lures that have been hanging on our porch for years. It was a surprise to us that they caught her eye.

We visited the big Bass Challenge, at Joel Stone Park, in Gananoque this summer. The little boys’ eyes were round, as they viewed the prize fish and they learned to hold onto the Bass with a thumb, pinching the inside of the bottom jaw. They were not keen on the “kiss for luck” though. Now they use the thumb pinch, on the fish they catch at the cottage, and hold them up for pictures, before throwing them back.

The worm business is a lucrative one when the grandkids come to Tremont and the bait is kept cold and juicy in the keg fridge for the next day.

Wouldn’t it be fun for Ellen’s Papa, to see what he started. I hope he knows what fun these guys are having, just like their mother did in her youth.

By Jane Taylor

Jane Taylor, a retired teacher, is a long time resident of the area.  She lives on Tremont Island, with her husband John, their 4 children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren, in the summer.  The grandchildren are the sixth generation on Tremont.  In the winter, Jane and John live near Gananoque and travel, when they can, to visit the children and their families, in their various homes, across the country.

Editor’s Note:  I take this opportunity to thank Jane for her incredible assistance in putting  TI Life together each month.  For the last six years or more, Jane has proof read articles and found dozens of mistakes.  Also her granddaughter, Kate Modler, has helped capture summer in the 1000 Islands, in two articles.

Posted in: Nature, Sports
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Nancy Friot
Comment by: Nancy Friot
Left at: 1:50 PM Saturday, October 15, 2016
Having just closed our cottage on Tremont and moved back to Oklahoma for the winter, I am a bit homesick still for our island life. Your article brought to mind the sweet faces of your grandchildren and the kindly sheparding of all the Taylor adults. What fun! See you next summer!
Lynn McElfresh
Comment by: Lynn McElfresh
Left at: 10:05 AM Thursday, October 20, 2016
Lovely slice of island life. Thanks for sharing. Our four-year-old granddaughter developed an interest in fishing this past summer. For her birthday I gave her her own pole and a fishing hat. She named each fish before her father threw them back.
Valerie Michell
Comment by: Valerie Michell
Left at: 8:19 PM Sunday, October 23, 2016
Enjoyed your article, Jane. Such good memories of your Dad for Ellen.
Thank you for sending on a copy to us.
Tom King
Comment by: Tom King
Left at: 2:10 PM Friday, November 4, 2016
Great article Jane. It brings back fond memories of perch fishing with our kids when they were young. I'm not sure if you have noticed it but over the past couple of summers the number of perch that we have been able to catch has dropped dramatically. Not sure if it is because of the pike, the cormorants or the gobies, but we haven't been able to enjoy the perch lunches that we used to. Hopefully things will turn around and the perch will come back in numbers in the near future.
Connie Johnson
Comment by: Connie Johnson
Left at: 10:27 PM Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Great article Jane. Wonderful memories for your families.