Jul 10, 2015

My Fishing Story

By: Max Kindschuh

Hi my name is Max. I'm 14 years old.  I love to hunt, fish, and enjoy being in the outdoors.  When I was 2 years old I was diagnosed with liver cancer.  Two years ago I caught, what most likely, will be the biggest fish that I will ever catch in my lifetime.  Now you're probably thinking, “Why would it take a kid 2 years to write about the biggest darn fish in his life?” Well, let me just say it took a while to find the right words to describe the experience.  Once I got the invitation to write the article; I will be honest, I was nervous.  My dad was there with me, but I just wasn't ready.

Now, once I started to get serious about writing this earlier this year, my dad and his friends told me to base the story off of how I had cancer and how it changed my life, while also teaching me life lessons. I know that it has changed my life, but I don't see the change. I can only feel it and it doesn't affect the way I act except for when I need to talk about it.  So I decided to write the story about the “story”.

3:45pm/August 30, 2013

The Pack Up

“Hey Max! Let’s go. Saddle up.” said Dad.

            “O.K.,” Max replied, in an ‘under the weather’ type of way.  

            “I know… I know… I'm going to miss summer too,” said Dad.

 All summer, Max and his family had been living up at the cabin and now it was time to go home; back to all the aspects of living in a city.

            “No more fishing, hunting, boating, or riding the four-wheeler,” Max mumbled under his breath.  He was going to really miss the cabin. “Until next year,” he thought.

             4:00pm/August 30

            The Call

Max eyed his fishing equipment with a decision to make.  Should he bring it or should he leave it? “Well, it’s too late now,” Max thought to himself as the Kindschuhs started their journey back to the city.

 “DANA NA NA NANNA NA...NA NA NANNA NA,” Max’s dad’s phone went off displaying the wonderful Benny Hill Theme that Max’s family all ‘loved’ as a ringtone.

            “Hey, what’s up?” Max’s dad said while picking up the phone. Max leaned in to hear what all the excitement was about. “A new fishing spot?!” asked Max’s dad repeating what he had heard on the phone. “Tomorrow?..Let me check… NOPE. Max and I are in,” said Max’s dad.

Max’s heart was now racing at a critical speed as all he knew was that they were going fishing at a new fishing spot TOMORROW!  The last day of summer...what a way to end the summer with an awesome fishing trip!

            6:30pm/August 30, 2013

            The Trip

“Max,” called his dad. “Get your gear ready for tomorrow.” 

“Dad,” replied Max, “I...I don’t have any.”

“Yeah, real funny...where’s your fishing equipment?” Max’s dad said with disbelief.

“Uh...yeah about that,” replied Max.

“You left it at the cabin didn’t you?” his dad replied with a scowl on his face.

Max looked embarrassed as he replied, “I didn't think we would be going out anymore this season.”

            “Well then, let’s go. We have to go get you some fishing equipment for tomorrow and some really strong stuff ...Ya can't catch NORTHERN without the right stuff.”

That did it...Max was officially ready to crawl out of his skin he was so excited. “What do we need?” said Max.

“We need spinners.” His dad replied.

“Should I get gold or silver?” Max thought to himself silently… “Both. Definitely both!”

            4:30am/August 31, 2013

            The Wake Up

            “DA NA NA NANNA NA NA NANNA NA NANNA NA” There it was again.  This time it was acting as an alarm though.  Not that Max needed it, he was up and dressed 40 minutes before the alarm clock went off. 

“GET UP NOW!” Max said with as much authority as he could. 

“Beep, Beep.”  Max stole a look out the window to see “Uncle Yooper’s” Avalanche parked in the driveway.

“Dont worry Max!” Dad exclaimed. “You will have plenty of time to fish,” as he climbed down out of bed.

“Well, neither of us are going to be able to have any time to fish unless you get your scrawny legs a movin’!”  Max said with an edge of excitement in his voice. 

As Max’s dad pulled his clothes on, Max ran to the door to let Uncle Yooper in.

            “Hey pal,” said Uncle Yooper.

            “How ya been Uncle Yooper?” Max said as he walked over and turned on the coffee maker.                  

“Pretty good,” Uncle Yooper said with a smile.

            “How’s the kid?” Dad said, lumbering out of his room while still buckling his pants.

“She’s got a cold but she should be ok,” said Uncle Yooper. “Now let’s hit the road we want to be there when the sun comes up.”

7:00am/August 31, 2013

            Lake “Wouldn’tchalovetaknow”

“Max wake up...we’re here!” exclaimed Dad. 

Max stole one look at the crisp, warm, blue water and he knew; catch one or not, this was gonna be the best fishing trip ever.

“Alright Max, jump in the boat and get the docking ropes out for me,” said Uncle Yooper.

“Mike, hold that line tight!” yelled Uncle Yooper, as he backed the boat into the water.

“Alright, that’s good!” yelled Dad to alert Uncle Yooper to stop backing up.

 “WOOSH,” they were off skimming the waves of Lake “Wouldn’tchalovetaknow”.

9:45am/August 31, 2013

            “The Fish of a Life Time!”

After catching a couple of fish that they didn't keep...it happened. There was a tug at the end of Max’s line. His heart was beating out of his chest.  All he saw was a HUGE flash of green and red as the fish took the bait-- almost pulling him straight out of the boat! Then it was gone...no fighting, no thrashing, no nothing on the end of his line. 

By this time, Dad and Uncle Yooper had come over to see what all the ruckus was about.  Then, just like that, it hit the bait again...and this time it wasn't letting go.  Max set the hook and settled in.  Dad and Uncle Yooper were practically flying as they both raced for the net. “Come on you beautiful monster!” Max wailed as the fish wrenched on the rod again.  “Come on...baby!” Max was winning...but the fish was still fighting.  Max was managing to keep at bay while he ushered it to the surface.  “GET THE NET!” Max screamed as the fish jumped only 5 feet from the boat.

Then...there it was, the “fish of a lifetime” was at the surface only inches from the boat.  Max had heard stories, from his dad, of northern surfacing then snapping the line and swimming away.  Max wasn't going to let that happen for a second.  The fish was too late, the net went and made a quick swoop just before the fish snapped the line.  When it tried to swim away it found that it was already enclosed by the net.  The next thing Max knew he was hoisting the fish high and his dad and Uncle Yooper were snapping pictures of Max and his 38 ½ inch northern! …anyway they knew how.

So that’s my fishing story.  The rest of the day, I was in a haze.  I couldn't believe what a catch I had made.  I realized that day, that if I had let cancer beat me like I beat that fish, I would not have been able to feel what I felt that day, and all of my life experiences wouldn’t have happened.  All the people that I love, and that love me, could never have had the chance to see what I've become; they would have no memories with me in them. That’s why this Fishing Story is so important.  In simpler terms, this story represents all of the other stories that have me in them. 

How great it is to be alive.