Karl Seckinger
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One of the most famous things I ever did was in first grade. Two third grade boys were standing in front of me, telling anybody who would listen how dumb I was for believing in Santa Claus. They were saying how my dad and mom lied to me because there aint no Santa and what a baby I was. I beat those two older kids into the dust.

When I got home my mom gave me the “wait until your father gets home” line. And for the first time in my life I didn’t care if I was going to get an ass whipping for fighting in school, but I did care about the truth. I asked her flat out. Is he real, or not. Mom, set things straight for me at my young age, she said some folks don’t believe in Santa and that was fine with her, but she truly believed in the spirit of Christmas. And I also was told to learn to control my temper and that I needn’t wait until my father got home this time, but there better not be a next time.

Jessup is a very young boy, he sits between what I consider one of the last remaining true gentleman, his grandfather, and me. We’re in a rather palatial portable ice house. Insulated walls with carpet over the ice, aqua view looking over our three baits as were perched on ten inches of ice in nine feet of gin clear water in a labyrinth of fish and floating flora. Its sunnies and small crappies, some whopper perch that we keep and Jessup has landed every fish including a four inch northern he wants to take home for his aquarium.

I think if it was legal his grandpa would somehow make that happen. But gramps tell the kid the way it has to be, and down the hole, goes the baby pike. But me and gramps are in essence lying to the kid. Every fish that wiggles a spring bobber we have Jessup reel up. The kid is grinning and giggling, haven the time of his life and were brain washing him into thinking this is fun, this is how it is, and maybe Jessup being so young will think this is how it always is, and that’s starts to bother me.

But today and every day for a few years me and his grandpa, whenever were together, are going to do everything we can to make sure Jessup grows up thinking fishing is nothing short of fantastic. Something wonderful, no matter where he goes or what he does, its going to be something that nobody can take away from him. We’re making Jessup a believer.

I ask Jessup if he likes this ice fishing, and he says, yes. I ask if thinks this is what he thought ice fishin would be like, he says, yes. I ask Jessup, you think it will always be like this, he says, yes.

And me, sitting there with Jessup, well I didn’t I tell him the truths that may happen in his fishing life.

The trout whisperer