Jerod Blagg might ask if you want to keep your fish if he sees you catching any at the Spring Creek Park dock at Arcadia. Jerod, 5, is not shy and his eyes light up when talking about fishing with his dad.

Phillip Blagg and his son, Jerod, fish on weekends at Arcadia Lake’s dock at Spring Creek Park off 15th Street.

The Edmond boy was in bed feeling sick last week but still, he jumped out of bed and ran outside with a fish he caught when having the opportunity to talk about fishing.

“Oh my gosh, my fisherman has arrived,” said his grandmother, Suzanne Harlow, of Guthrie.

His black lab, Harley, whined while pushing her nose through the nearby chain-link fence, trying to see Jerod. Brown hair and blue eyed, Jerod reached for his favorite fishing pole from among the 20 leaning against the garage wall. Father and son have their own tackle boxes. And their Christmas tree is decorated with lures each year.

The fish weren’t biting much at Arcadia Lake on a recent week night, said Blagg, a window and door salesman.

“I hadn’t got a bite,” he said. “And I told my son, ‘Quit reeling your pole up and down so you can catch one. Leave your line in the water.’”

Suddenly, Jerod’s pole bent straight down.

“It went under the dock and I was bending down and I said, ‘Dad, come help. I have one!’” Jerod said. “I saw his tail and said, ‘Dad, it was a Crappie.’”

A good pole and strong line helps to make a good fisherman, Jerod said, and a big fish makes a pole bend, he added.

At first, Blagg told his son there must be a big catfish on his line because the fish almost pulled the pole from Jerod’s hands. He needed help from bigger hands. So Jerod’s father helped reel the fish in.

“That’s a big Crappie you got here son,” Blagg said.

Father and son maneuvered the wriggling 14-inch-Crappie in a net and out of the water. By researching Crappie on the Internet, Blagg learned the biggest Crappie on record was 20 inches long and 5 pounds. He figures Jerod’s Crappie weighs 3 pounds.

The dock at Spring Creek Park is a prime spot for Crappie, Blagg continued. Early mornings or late evenings are the best fishing times, he added.

Father and son prefer using minnows because they never catch anything with jigs, Blagg said with a laugh. Using one or two poles each, they fish near the bottom of the lake by placing a weight on the bottom of the line with the hook about a foot up.

“It’s just a blast out there,” Blagg said. “There’s just a lot of people that come out there.”

Harlow often fishes with them at Arcadia while sharing the $80 cost of a yearly park pass.

“They say, ‘Mimi, come on — let’s go fishing,’” Harlow said. “I go out there — Jerod baits the hooks — puts the minnows on. I just have to walk out there and sit. Grandma is totally spoiled.”

Jerod gets to learn about nature while studying the ducks and different seasonal snakes around the dock in a safe environment, said Harlow, an Edmond hairstylist.

Blagg said his son experienced pure joy when catching a “big old Crappie.”

“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Blagg said. “I’ve never experienced such love and joy in my life than having a little man to share your life with. That’s just a blessing.”

(Features Editor James Coburn may be reached via e-mail at

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