Weather Forecast


Three boys and a dock

The boys spent 14 hours fishing in one day.1 / 3
Disconnect to reconnect and go outside and play!2 / 3
Joseph and Jedidiah Holthaus and Willie Osberg proudly display their catch, a nice stringer of sunnies. 3 / 3

My Uncle has a cabin on a small lake near Aitkin. He and his wife are gracious enough to let us use it from time to time. It's a beautiful log cabin perched on a hill, surrounded by woods. There's no TV, and it's a perfect place to get away from it all. Recently, we invited some friends and their kids to join us at the secluded sanctuary. I wasn't really expecting to relax as there was going to be seven kids to keep entertained.

Upon arrival, my son, age five, asked to go fishing. Luckily my uncle had left a few crawlers in the fridge. We went down to the dock and gave it a shot. We caught a few small sunfish, enough to scratch the itch, and went back up to the cabin once our guests arrived. My friend has two sons, ages 10 and 11. As soon as they arrived, they asked if they could go fishing. I took them down to the dock and helped them get rigged up. The three boys don't spend a lot of time together and have never been fishing together, so I didn't really know if this would work. Within a matter of minutes, they all had a fishing pole in their hands and were engrossed in a combined effort to catch fish. Eventually other kids migrated towards the dock and pretty soon all seven kids, ages five to 15, were on or near the dock. Some went swimming but the boys insisted on fishing. It wasn't long before it was time to head in for the night.

The three boys woke us up at the crack of dawn, asking if we could go fishing. My friend and I grabbed a cup of coffee and followed them down to the dock. It was 6:45am. We watched as they worked together to bait their own hooks, take off their own fish and tried to keep as many lines in the water as possible. Soon we were comfortable enough to leave them down there alone while we went back up to the cabin to make breakfast. We brought some food down to the dock for the boys, but they didn't really seem interested. Pretty soon it was lunchtime; we asked if the boys wanted to take a break. Nope, they wanted to keep fishing. Supper? Well, eventually they needed to eat something.

Long story short, those three boys were on the dock or fishing in some way shape or form from 6:45 a.m. until 9 p.m. that day. That's 14 hours! I can't get my son to sit still or be quiet for five minutes at home! They didn't watch any TV, they didn't play any video games, they didn't text, or use Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. They didn't hold a phone, or DS or iPod or iPad. The only thing in their hands, other than a peanut butter sandwich or two, was a rod and reel, some worms, dirt and fish. They weren't using a big fancy boat or fancy lures or any fish finding technology. And this lasted for three days.

The moral of this story is; we get so caught up in what's trending, that we sometimes forget tradition. Put down the devices, pick up a shovel, dig up some worms, find a dock and go outside and play! Be sure to leave your cell phone behind. Remember, it's not about having time, it's about making time.

To read more stories from the great outdoors, visit