My family fishes. The men. The women. Fresh water. Salt water. Panfish. Bull drum. Live bait. Artificials. From the bank. From a boat.
It doesn't matter. We fish, and I have the photos to prove it.
Here are 11 great shots of relatives with fish or fishing.
11. Oliver Wilson, with dinner
Papaw worked hard -- at farming, at construction, at his duties as custodian at the Kentucky State Police barracks in Morehead. But on weekends, work gave way to play, and he'd head from home early in the morning with his fishing pole, and a sleeve of saltines and a can of sardines for lunch.
With any luck, he came back with dinner, as he did on this day in June 1959.
10. Leona Wilson, the family eats again
Papaw didn't always head out to fish alone. Granny went with him quite often, and she loved to fish almost as much as he did. By the looks of that fish she's hoisting, she was no slouch.
9. Whitey, carp slayer
I'm not sure when or where this photo of Whitey Jennings, my grandparents' nephew, was taken, but that's a heckuva big carp he's holding. If he caught it with that whispy rod he's holding, it must have been a heckuva battle, too.
8. Uncle Kenny, off to a good start
Papaw and Granny passed along their love of fishing to their children. Here, my Uncle Kenny has a stringer full that might have weighed as much as he did.
7. Aunt Vada, like mother like daughter
I don't recall ever seeing a photo of my mom with a fish, but this is her little sister, Vada. Fishing, evidently, was dominant in both the Y and X chromosmes.
6. Think how much smaller these fish would look if we weren't so little, too
Evidently, my sister and I decided to rob the minnow bucket on this trip to Papaw and Granny's. Whatever we used for bait, it must have been absolutely microbal.
5. A little bigger (and that goes for the grandkids and the fish)
My Cousin Kevin and I did a little better on this expedition. We didn't have to go any further than the pond in the front yard of Papaw and Granny's house to snare these creek chubs Papaw threw in there a few weeks earlier.
4. My dad, rybak
In case you didn't know, "rybak" is Russian for "fisherman," and this is my dad on an expedition to the Caspian Sea. Seriously, I'm not sure where he got that lid, but Dad is on Lake Murray, in a boat owned by my Papaw's friend and coworker, Sonny. They came from Morehead to Columbia for a winter fishing trip. Not much was reeled in that day, but I think everyone at least kept their head warm.
3. Tommy, engaged in blood sport
So fishing makes its way down to the fourth generation. Here, my son Tommy keeps a close watch on his bobber while fishing for bluegill in a farm pond on Harper family land. ...
2. Tommy got bigger, and his fish did, too
Not exactly a monster. No matter. If Tommy can kill a half hour in a residential pond for largemouth, then he'll kill a half hour at a residential pond ...
1. Tommy, always in search
... And if he can spend a day in or on salt water, all the better.