In Minnesota to have a keeper, or a jumbo perch, it needs more than seven full black stripes. Not many would argue a muskie should be over 55 inches. Walleyes oughta be over ten pounds and not to many five year olds care. This one went about forty pounds and forty some inches I guess. A keeper in any case and I like fishing with kids. Some kids I fish with are over fifty years old, two hundred fifty plus pounds, and some kids are young. But the kids who don't care about weights and tape measures give me a much better day on, and then eventually off the water. This weekend we caught a bucket load of perch that in the end, we filleted plenty. But we dumped back down the holes according to one little red faced darling, we dumped back hundreds of millions. And with her hundreds of millions estimation told to her mom during dinner, I think she will grow up to become a fine angler. She liked lunch. She loved her dad. I was a good guy. When she wandered around from ice hole to ice hole, the shuffling noise from her blue pink snow suit made me smile. Shuffle, big deep breath, a couple of looks down the hole, and more big deep breaths. She tugged fish out of the ice water. Flopped down on them and towed the line hooked to the rod through the snow to her dad who unhooked the fish, sorted out the mess, decided if it was keeper, most of the time. Sometimes she told her dad, that's a keeper, in louder fashion. So he would add it to the bucket. She would take her hood off and every time she walked by him, he would put it back on. She asked how "waxies" got there name. Her dad and I didn't know. She just said oh. She asked if the other people fishing were catching fish. They were quite a distance away so her dad said he wasn't sure. Then she asked me and I said I don't know honey. She looked at me and her dad and said she thought they were catching tons of fish. Walking back in the afternoon that March sun was on your back warm. Her hood was off, her dad put it back on and we adjusted some gear, stowed her, and towed her off the lake. In the truck driving home she didn't last long. Out like a light with her hood off. The trout whisperer

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