Does anyone else like to fish? I will tell you a secret – I love to fish without catching anything. I put nothing on the hook, cast it out, reel it in – or just let it sit and watch the ripples. I’ll put a little bobber on the line and let it float. I’ll sit on the dock, my feet in the water, and I’ll watch the clouds’ reflections.

I suppose I have to say that my dad was a fisherman. He built fishing boats and loved to fish. He caught a coelacanth once in Samoa – it was the third recorded catch of a coelacant and the Smithsonian wrote and asked him to keep it for them – too late – we’d eaten it for Thanksgiving.

My daughter once caught 123 fish in one day, on the 4th of July. Her record stands in Lake Bonaparte – so far some have come close, but none have surpassed her record. 123 striped perch, black bass, and pumpkin sunfish – carefully caught, counted, and released. It is possible she caught a few of them more than once – but since it’s hard to tell, we let her keep her record.

My son Alex loves to fish, and spent an entire summer in Normandy catching the goldfish that lived in the three large ponds at our friends farm. At the end of the summer, after catching (and releasing) yellow, black, silver, white, speckled and dappled goldfish, he caught an enormous eel. It was four feet long, as thick as a man’s forearm, and furious at being caught. It twisted this way and that, hissing and snapping its jaws. Alex left it in the middle of the lawn, and it before we knew it, it slithered back into the water – never to be seen again. It put a damper on our swimming in the ponds that summer.