Stillwater News Press

March 29, 2014

Guy’s night out

By Jon Kocan
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Since my son and I were abandoned by the large ladies event Thursday night, we decided to make it a guy’s night out.

Easton, 3 years old, requested that we go to the woods, and I felt obliged to take him. He wanted to go shed antler hunting, but I could not see him walking large tracts of woods, so I brought along a fishing pole, bottle of water, bag of cookies, and away we went.

I had ulterior motives for the trip. We would fish and walk some, and I was going to keep my ears open in case the turkeys got vocal as the wind died down.

A day that had been dominated by strong winds gave way to a classic Oklahoma sunset and beautiful evening.

The first pond we checked out was an old standby for larger fish. Right off the bat he tied into a nice sized bluegill. A few casts later the rod doubled over in mid-retrieve and a two-pound largemouth came out of the water a few feet off the bank.

A short fight led to the bass getting away before a picture could be taken but spirits were high and we continued to cast. That would be all the fish the first pond would produce and it was time for a change of venue.

The second pond was a better option. While it is loaded with bass, none of them were more than a pound. As we approached it was clear the fish in the pond were in the middle of the evening feeding frenzy. The surface of the pond was buzzing with activity. Something was hatching and the fish in the pond were bellied up to the dinner table.  

Cast after cast we hauled in small bass. We repeating the process of unhooking, transferring fish to Easton and him letting them go back to fight another day. Occasionally we would stop to take a picture.

Somewhere in the middle of our adventure I saw plainly that Easton’s eye for discovery is wide open. From the wind creating ripples on the water, to bass jumping when we held their head up next to the bank, it all seemed brand new.

The fishing couldn’t have been better. No monsters were landed, but his attention span was perfect for the fast action the pond provided. And I remembered that I too had started out this way.

For me it was a bluegill pond off Mehan Road, fishing with my brother and dad during a guy’s day out. We also caught fish one after another, and the newness of it all was the same for me. The reel spinning as the lure was retrieved, the smell of the slimy fish and the investigation of the boundary created from water meeting land.

These were not great forays in to the back county or trips across borders, but they were the foundation for what would become a lifelong passion of my own. Those who hunt and fish have planned and executed many great adventures, myself included, but passing that on to the next generation requires nothing more than a few hours and the muddy bank of a pond.  

So thank you ladies for your night out, because ours was great.

Jon Kocan is an outdoor columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Kocan is a long-time local hunter. Email Kocan at