OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - On the Ocean Springs fishing pier, those casting a line come in all age groups. Some are a little more experienced than others.
Everyone enjoys it though, including Johnny MItchell, who is teaching the finer points of fishing to three grandchildren.
"When they're down here, we bring them fishing and crabbing and they have a good time with it, whether they catch anything or not," Mitchell said. "They always talk about it for days after, so we enjoy bringing them."
Catching fish can be done several ways, on the pier, by heading out to the open water, or even donning a pair of waders and taking a stroll into the water. No matter what method is used, fishing together is a bonding experience.
Josh Stevens was out Monday with the kids.
"Bringing the family out and giving them something to do," Stevens said. "Now that the kids are out of school, we need something to do besides sit at the house."
Spending an afternoon fishing and bringing up the big catch of the day is especially meaningful on a day like the Fourth of July, when you can spend it with family.
Mitch Easley is another fisherman with a special message for his children.
"Kids at this age are impressionable... and they need to understand exactly why all of this is going on," Easley said. "Not that Mom and Dad have a day off work. They need to understand the people that fought for this country to make us free and our nation's independence. They need to understand that."
What's easy to understand is walking down a pier on a beautiful day, pole in hand, well, it just doesn't get much better than that.
By the way, Monday was a free fishing day, another annual tradition in Mississippi. People did not have to have a license to wet a line on this Fourth of July.