I don’t know how to fish. My dad was never into fishing. He was more into chauffeuring me to every practice or game and watching NASCAR on Sundays. We spent a lot of time together through both of those activities. However, there seem to be quite a few songs that connect the relationship between a father and child through fishing. Three songs instantly come to mind when I think about fishing. I realized that these three songs tell a whole story. They create a timeline of the father and child relationship through fishing. The three songs I’m talking about here are Trace Adkins’ “Just Fishin’,” Logan Mize’s “Catch a Fish,” and Erik Dylan’s “Fishing Alone.”
It starts when you’re about five years old. Old enough to learn how to do basic things, like hold a fishing rod, and that age when you start to create memories. Trace Adkins’ “Just Fishin’” speaks from the perspective of a dad out fishing with his little girl. He already knows that it’s so much more than fishing, but this sweet, innocent child thinks it’s another day out with her dad. She’s rambling on about everything and easily distracted by the activity at hand. I remember being that little girl. Though none of the memories I have are fishing, they’re all small moments that turned into big memories. Those small moments that made up our childhoods and turned us into the people we are today, yet we didn’t even think twice about them. Then we get older and we start to lose that innocence. It becomes “less cool” to spend time with our parents and our interests change.
Fast forward fifteen years and we get to Logan Mize’s “Catch a Fish.”
Now this child, who was just fishing with their dad, is an adult that knows everything. And just as any 18-year-old thinks, you were right and your dad was wrong. You knew how you were going to live your life and he wasn’t going to stop you. So you left and never looked back. That is until you get to a point when you do start to look back and realize that he just wanted what was best for you all along. Apologies are hard, but time goes by fast. So instead of trying to hash it out, you invite him to go fish. Or some other thing that you two used to do together, where you can catch up for lost time and let everything else go. Come to peace, so that you don’t lose out on anymore opportunities.
Because if you don’t, you’ll soon be in the position of Erik Dylan’s “Fishing Alone.” Life gets crazy. We get caught up in everything we have going on. We forget to call, we forget to visit, we never get around to doing all the things we had planned, and then it’s too late. Our time runs out and they’re gone. When the time runs out, there’s no chance to get it back. Sure, you can still go fishing, but it won’t be with him.
Maybe there’s a bright side here. Maybe you have your own child and the cycle starts over again. You take them fishing and now you’re on the other side. But before it gets to that point, make the most of the time you have on the child side.
As someone who lost their dad way earlier than they should’ve, all three of these songs mean a lot more than they ever did before. I’m glad I have a lot of those “just fishin’” memories to hold on to, because now I do a lot of “fishing alone.”
If your dad is still around, give him a call if you’re far or a hug if you’re near. Take him fishing, or to a football game, or help him with the yard. Spend all the time with him that you can, because once that time runs out, you can’t get it back. I can almost guarantee that he will appreciate it too.
“Life flies by, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye.”