A fun fishing trip with a great lady and her grandson

Kingman resident Linda Kaufman holds one of the striped bass she caught on a recent fishing trip to Lake Mead with Outdoors Writer Don Martin.

Photo by Don Martin.

Kingman resident Linda Kaufman holds one of the striped bass she caught on a recent fishing trip to Lake Mead with Outdoors Writer Don Martin.

I’ve known Kingman resident Linda Kaufman for many, many years and this weekend I got to share a night on Lake Mead with her and her grandson, Matthew Delk.

Going fishing with Linda has become an almost annual affair. We have fished at Lake Mead, and last year we fished a couple of days at Alamo Lake.

I first met Linda in 1984 when she went to work for the Kingman Police Department. After she left the department, she worked in city hall in a number of capacities, including serving as deputy city clerk.

A vivacious and a genuinely nice lady, Linda has made many, many friends in our community over the years.

Linda and I have kept in touch, and when I found out she liked to fish that’s when we decided to try and do at least one trip a year.

Our trips in the past have given us the opportunity to catch up on all the news with our families and mutual friends, and she has even brought home some good eating fish that we have caught on our trips.

Linda is a friendly and spunky lady, and after retiring from the City of Kingman, gives a lot of her time as a volunteer at Kingman Regional Medical Center to help others in our community.

But Linda recently got some tough news. She was diagnosed with breast cancer that was going to require surgery.

When I heard the news I called her to see if she was up for a quick trip to Lake Mead before she went in for surgery this week. She said she was ready to go, and asked if her grandson, Matthew Delk, could go along. The answer, of course, was yes.

I hadn’t seen Matthew in over seven years. The last time was when he was in one of my hunter education classes. I looked forward to seeing him again and having an extra angler in the boat would undoubtedly increase our chances for them to take some fish filets home.

Linda and Matthew met me at my fishing house in Meadview, and after a dinner at the Crow’s Nest restaurant, we loaded up the jet boat and headed to the lake.

We got to the lake just after sundown, and the lake was calm and the night sky as beautiful as I have ever seen it. It was like the Good Lord had wanted to make the conditions perfect for Linda and Matthew’s fishing trip.

We had an awesome boat ride up the lake and got to the spot where I wanted us to fish.

We weren’t going to be able to fish all night like I normally do on a striper trip because Matthew had a commitment that he had to be at early Saturday morning. Despite the fact that our fishing time would be limited to just four hours, it would a good time for us.

It was Linda who had the hot hand when we started fishing. She had three fish in the boat while I was still waiting for a bite.

As the night wore on, Matthew and I both figured out what we needed to do, and the fish were very cooperative. There was lots of action and we put a lot of fish on ice. We ended up catching 62 stripers and eight catfish. Linda’s fish count was in the double digits, and Matthew added a lot of fish to the count as well.

After we came back off the lake, we filleted the catch, bagged them up, and got them on ice for the trip back to Kingman. It was a fun time and as always when Linda has a trip, it was one full of excitement and just a tad bit of drama.

On a serious note, I’m sure that I speak for the Kingman community when I say we are all praying for a quick and successful recovery from her surgery. Linda is a true asset to our community and a great lady. She is a mother, grandmother, volunteer and friend to many.

People like her are great to be around and are always uplifting. I’m happy and proud to call her my friend.