Yes, I won at project mom casting! I was also the master baiter and I caught the most fish during our annual outing to Lake Julian Trout Farm.
This year we tried our hand at the Big Lake, which is really more of a large pond. Unlike the stocked trout pond, which is more like a kiddie pool brimming with hungry fish that are destined to be a hungry person's lunch, the Big Lake requires a real fishing pole. In the trout pond, one merely dips a bamboo pole into the water and raises it out with dinner attached. (You have to buy what you catch---at $6 a pound.)
My family went fishing fairly often when I was a child, so I can deal with worms and hooks and the related mess. When I suggested we stretch our budget by halving the the large nightcrawlers, DH was ready to get out a knife. I showed him how to do it the old-fashioned way, though I'd forgotten how slimy and disgusting it is! Thank goodness by the end of the morning the boys were baiting their own hooks, as well as casting out like pros and dutifully watching their bobbers.
Ultimately, we didn't catch any keepers in the Big Lake, and I fear one of the panfish that we tossed back is not long for this world. Perhaps he made a nice lunch for one of the neighborhood herons? But even if I did impress my boys with my fish-handling abilities, I feel like "catch and release" is cruel.
In the end, we headed back to the trout pond, where the boys each caught a lively one within minutes of setting the pole. (Yes, I see the irony of farm-raised, fresh caught fish.) I think fishing is a good life experience and survival skill, plus everyone benefits from a farm to fork meal.
I grilled up our catch and I'm happy to say our trout made a fine meal; they did not give up their lives for naught.
Photo: The fish formerly known as "Lunch." Note the small container of Purell hanging off my bag.