Fishin’ in the City
Leake Park, Tulsa
By Missy Boudiette
Confession: I am not a fisherperson. I had literally never, in my 30 years done it until recently. In fact, I have never been particularly interested in the sport: sitting, waiting, having to be QUIET. Most who know me know I don’t really “do” quiet. I’m not really interested in golf much either (unless it’s mini-golf); there might be a connection there. I digress…
I’m such a non-fisherperson that my boys asked for Sponge Bob fishing rods for Christmas of 2009, and they are definitely still in their packages, though they’ve begged on many occasions to go. Bad Mom award goes to me for sure, but in my defense, I don’t know the first thing about fishing! Worms? Gross. Pulling the hook out of the fish? No, thank you.
Marc, my fiancé, on the other hand grew up in the woods. Not the country, but the woods (think Ocala National Forest, literally), so he knows a few things about fishing. Actually has caught, cleaned and cooked fish. This is a good sign for children begging to fish!
He introduced me to Leake Park, where the pond is teaming with fish, and it’s actually pretty easy to catch them! Marc has two children, 8 and 10 year olds, and I have two children, 4 and 5 year olds. We decided to check out what was going on at the pond (and teach me a thing or two about fishing) with just the older kids first. So, one weekend while the littles were at their dad’s house, we packed up and headed out!
Here’s a website with some pictures of our location. What I love about Leake Park is it’s central for a lot of people, right near 71st and Memorial. It’s not overcrowded, and easy to get in and out of. Your fishing adventure can be pretty quick and painless! As a busy parent (aren’t we all?) I love activities that can be thrown together at the spur of the moment and still feel adventurous. Our whole outing took under 2 hours, driving to and from south Broken Arrow.
Corrinne taught me lesson #1 about fishing, “Be very, very careful with the hook! One time, Carter got me with his hook and almost pulled my eye out!” True story. Marc reiterated this rule to me several times as well. Youch!
So here’s what I came away with:
- Be very, very careful with the hook! Only grown-ups get to touch them and cast into the water!
- It sure helps to go with someone who knows what in the world they’re doing. Take someone who does if you don’t!
- You don’t have to use worms (this is my favorite of all)!! White bread works – we used the soft non crusty part of hamburger buns. Just a teensy little ball, smaller than a pea, mushed onto the very tip of the hook.
- Be patient with the kiddos. You won’t do much fishing. You will mostly be putting new bread bits on their hooks and recasting for them.
- Bobbers are great. You don’t have to be quite as much on your toes – watch for wiggles and ripples in the water, and only start reeling in if that bobber goes all the way under!
- Little hooks catch little fish, and there are LOTS of little fish in this pond. YOUR littles are guaranteed to catch at least one.
- Lastly, if going as the only adult, make sure you know how to pull that hook out of the little fishy mouths. I did not learn how. Marc did it every time; I’m still too squeamish. Apparently you can get away from the worms, but not from unhooking the sealife!
- I actually had fun, and would like to go again. It is a great feeling to finally reel that line in, knowing there’s a fish on the end of it!
We had a blast, and plan to make it a regular outing. We packed drinks and chairs; maybe next time we’ll picnic and make an afternoon out of it. There’s a great playground area and paths to walk or ride bikes if you strike out with the fish! Better yet, it’s free (minus fishing gear of course)!
Here are some pics from our outing, and proof that we all caught fish!
Daddy, so proud of Carter!
Auntie M, who almost didn't come. She ended up having a blast with us!
Marc may have caught the smallest fish of us all, but it still counts!
And me, the very last to catch something. Maybe because I was so busy taking pictures?
Where are your favorite places to fish? I'd love to know!
See you around town!