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Sharpie and Sharpie-Fry

Sharpie and Sharpie-Fry by Gretchen M. Everin

I'm a striper fisherman's wife and a striper fisherman's mom. In the land-locked world, that would make me "Mama Bear." On the New England coast, it makes me "Mama Fish" or a cow. I'm okay with it; it's something I've come to accept. From my experiences raising my little sharpie fry, I've been able to draw parallels between him and my big catch. Here are some things I've leaned in my watery pasture

Fishing with a child has many benefits. It engenders respect and love for nature, fosters patience, and may even contribute to the development of coordination and physical strength. Most importantly, though, fishing is a time for parent-child bonding, the stuff memories are made of.

But is that 3-foot angler living under your roof more than just a recreational fisher? Do you need to order custom-made waders and a tiny life jacket? Maybe. Let my voice of experience help point out some warning signs.

You might be raising a future sharpie if you child:
1. Believes Daddy's claim that "Mommy was a mermaid before I caught her,"
2. Thinks everyone receives a Van Staal for their second birthday,
3. Tells the fabric store clerk that her tape measure is supposed to be used for fish,
4. Takes a fishing pole into the bathtub,
5. Has a catch-kiss-and-release policy (and you could kick yourself for not taking a picture of the first salty smooch he planted on unsuspecting skate!),
6. Thinks fishing shows are just parties with lots of pamphlets and lousy food,
7. Expects to go to the beach every Saturday, even in rain or snoow (after all, the fish still live out there, right?),
8. Thinks carrying a newly purchased bag of eels ("Daddy's snakes") is a status symbol,
9. Had his first learning experience with a hook as a toddler

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