Lake Merced is one big hazy memory... The dates and times, trips and treks, all seem to blend together...
We rode our bikes there, often, fishing from the banks, the pier, the bridge, or boats... getting hooks caught in the tulies... I don't remember the age requirements for renting rowboats, but it seems we were out there awfully young...
It was always an adventure, crawling along the banks, trying to find that perfect sweet spot where the fish were biting - and falling in once in a while and getting soaked. It was all part of the experience.
I do remember one particular day, though... they were stocking the lake with trout and we were catching them faster than they could dump them in. Literally snagging them with bare hooks.
We brought them all back home and had a neighborhood fish fry across the street out in front of Sonny & Jr's house on 46th. It was pretty spectacular. We brought out electric frying pans and extension cords and a bunch of 10-12 year olds gutted, cleaned, and cooked fish for the entire neighborhood - knocking on doors and passing it all around.
We probably had close to 75-80 fish - or more - and it's still one of those great childhood memories.
I really am thankful we were raised in the times we were - where we could go out and be kids without being tethered to our parents.
We had fun.