Fishing has always been a part of my life. My Dad and Grandpa would take me fishing when I was still in diapers. As I grew, I found it to be a fun way to spend time with the two men that I greatly respected and who would influence and guide my life. Today I find it is also a good way to relax and clear my head while having fun. Dad would use it to have talks with me without having to force me to sit down and listen to what he had to say. Instead he would work it into conversations we would have while fishing. Grandpa Z and I had many things in common and fishing was at the top of that list. After a long day doing chores, we would spend time unwinding by wetting a line. Grandpa would tell stories about the past and we would joke and tease each other as we fished. It was hard to keep us apart and away from a fishing lake.
The Lazy Z Ranch was a piece of property that my grandparent purchased in the mid 80’s and built their retirement home on. It also had a half acre lake just behind the house that Grandpa took a lot of pride in. He would make sure the fish had good clean water, plenty of food, and structure for little fish to hide. After several years it was real easy for kids to catch fish, many friends and family members would bring their kids to fish there. The lake had lots of bluegill, a good size range of bass, and several catfish. One catfish weighed in around 15lbs and got the name Mr. Whiskers. It was always fun to watch someone catch him as it would usually take 5+ minutes to land it, if he didn’t break the line or throw the hook. You would get a few minutes of pictures and smiles before you had to put him back for next time.
After about twenty years, the Ranch was too much work for Grandpa to handle and they had to sell. They moved to a lake community and we continued to spend time at the waters edge together just like old times. In 2008 Grandma passed away which really starts to make you think about life and how much you wish you had expressed your love more often. By Christmas 2008, I was wanting to honor my Grandpa for everything he had done for our family, many friends, this great country we live in, and me. I didn’t want him to pass away before he got to see what he meant to all of us. I enlisted the help of my two cousins that also love fishing. We worked for several months and came up with a training program that would not just take kids fishing, but would also teach them the basics needed to fish, as well as, provide everything they need to continue fishing long after the event. We named it the Lazy Z Fishing Experience after the ranch we had many great memories of. We surprised him with our plans for his birthday and had our first event in the fall of 2009. Grandpa was involved in the first two years and decided to just watch the third year. He passed in the spring of 2012 but not before saying many times how proud he was of the event that helps so many kids learn about the sport he loved.
The Lazy Z Fishing Store was started to help support the fishing event held every year for kids in need. We have worked with several organizations in our area to reach those kids that may never get the opportunity to try fishing. All proceeds from the store will go towards the cost of the event until it is fully funded. Then 10% of all sales will be put towards future events and/or improvements that support the event. Thank you for your consideration in supporting this worthwhile cause.