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Bordens milk striper fishing trip to Lake Mead for all it's worth

Ryan and Laura Borden with their striper haul.

Those who know me will tell you that in many ways, I am tough when it comes to kids.

I am "old school" and don't believe that things should always be just given to kids.

Sure, we as parents, grandparents, and guardians must provide for their basics in life, but when it comes to a lot of other things, I think we have a responsibility to teach the kids about learning to earn what they want. I call it teaching them life skills - they should never expect that the things that they enjoy will be given to them.

I do not agree with this "entitlement generation" mentality, where kids just expect to be given anything they want.

Today's story is about a pair of youngsters from Golden Valley who are learning how life really works.

Ryan Borden is 16 years old. His dream is to work in some capacity with wildlife. His sister Laura is a perky young lady, full of energy.

I met Ryan through the Arizona Hunter Education program. He is a volunteer for the Kingman team of hunter education instructors.

Each summer I am faced with a task of cleaning up and maintaining my homes in both Kingman and Meadview.

I have found that having the assistance of some young folks makes these chores a lot easier.

I offer the kids who help two choices. Help with the yard work and be paid; or work and then go on fishing trips and receiving some of the perks that go with those trips, like owning new fishing equipment.

In the case of the Borden kids, they opted to go fishing. This, of course, was all done with the full consent and permission of the kids' parents.

As part of our latest swap, the kids and I worked in the morning at the house and then headed to South Cove.

The plan was to go swimming and then chase striper boils 'til dark, then maybe fish at night for a few more hours.

The weather was hot, but almost perfect when we got to the lake.

The wind wasn't blowing very hard, so we could see stripers chasing shad all over the main basin of the lake.

First order of business was to take the kids to Sandy Point, where they could cool off by going for a quick swim.

Then it was off to chase stripers.

The fun started when we quietly motored in and around huge numbers of stripers that had pushed up thousands of small shad to the surface and were methodically slashing and feeding on them.

We were using jerk baits, with Ryan and Laura both using new equipment that I had got for them.

The action was fast and furious!

In just 2.5 hours, the kids enjoyed a fishing experience like nothing they'd ever had. We almost filled up two ice chests with 39 of the voracious predators we landed.

Laura, whose previous best had been one or two fish, with none using lures, put nine stripers in the boat.

Ryan, who has been on a number of trips with me this summer chasing boils, put 10 of the silverline sides in the boat.

Several times, all of us were hooked up with a hard-fighting fish.

It was a lot of fun!

After the fishing frenzy was over, it was back to the beach where the kids took another swim to cool off.

We decided that we had plenty of fish to filet so we opted not to do any more fishing that night.

Since the Borden family already has a freezer full of stripers from previous trips, these fish would be given to Dr. Mahmoud Khan, who had asked for some fresh fish.

It was back to the house in Meadview, where we were cleaning fish 'til almost midnight.

If you ask the kids if they had fun on the trip and if doing yardwork was worth it, I'll bet they will agree.

I think it demonstrates to the kids that fun things in life hardly ever come free.

But with hard work, there will still be time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.


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