Oh, the smiles of summer.
Just check out the grins on this page. When we ask readers each season to send us their fishing photos, we get an astounding variety. But there’s nearly always one constant: a smile on anglers’ faces.
They’re overjoyed whether they catch a big bass or tiny sunfish, a huge northern or monster carp.
Because fishing is simply fun. Which is why an 86-year-old often gets the same thrill from catching a fish as a 6-year-old does.
Frowns are rare in a fishing boat, even if the fish aren’t biting or the big one gets away.
It’s just good to be on the water. Pole in hand. Anticipating the next bite.
That’s the nature of fishing.
It puts smiles on faces.
FIRST BASS: Susan Hanninen of Crystal caught and released her first bass on Lake Waukenabo near Aitkin while pan fishing with her husband, Bill, and neighbor Tom Fodstad. This beauty was 19 inches and weighed 4.5 pounds.
CARPE DIEM: P.T. Timmons of Fridley caught this monster carp on the Mississippi River near Royalton. He caught it with night crawlers and battled the fish for 45 minutes, using just an 8-pound test line.
YOUNG ANGLERS: Lydia and Annika Peterson of Minneapolis caught this largemouth bass on Sylvan Lake in the Brainerd area. Lydia, 8, caught it with a minnow, reeled it in and her sister, Annika, 6, netted the fish.
FIRST ONE: Forrest Swartz, 6, of Minneapolis caught his first fish, a smallmouth bass, at his grandpa's house on the St. Louis River north of Floodwood. He landed this one mostly by himself, with a little help from Dad. It put up quite a fight, jumping out of the water three times. The bass was released.
NOT-SO-SMALL SMALLIE: Cam Steele, 13, of Excelsior, caught this 20.5-inch smallmouth bass on Grindstone Lake near Sandstone. "I hooked this smallmouth jigging with a gulp minnow," he said. "This fish gave me the best fight. Fortunately, my Dad was able to net it."