OTTUMWA — When Guy Goddard talks about fishing, his voice brims with a passion that's as genuine as it is heartfelt.
It's immediately evident that Goddard, a universal worker at the Good Samaritan Society's Timber Ridge Assisted Living in Ottumwa, has a deep affection for the sport. This shouldn't come as a surprise when one takes into account his pedigree: His dad, William Goddard and his grandfather, Ray Korschot, were both avid fisherman.
"When I was about three my grandpa used to take to me to Canada twice every year, once in June and once in August," Goddard said, "and we'd always go walleye fishing in Ontario and we would also go to Leech Lake in Minnesota."
To find the fish, his grandpa would scan the lake with a pair of binoculars and look for sea gulls diving to eat the minnows or acting like they were going after something in the water. After he spotted the birds, they would rev up the motor and head over to that spot in their boat.
"Grandpa was the fishfinder," Goddard said. "We didn't have Hummingbird fishfinders, he was the fish finder."
Ever since those early adventures on the water, fishing became a big part of Goddard's life.
"I go every year and I love water so I got addicted to fishing," he said.
And, like any addiction, whether it be good or bad, this one requires a fair amount of dedication to be properly satiated.
"I go river fishing (on the Des Moines River) just about every morning," Goddard said.
Being a firm believer in the idea that the early bird really does get the worm, Goddard arrives at the river between 5:30 to 6 a.m. and fishes until 8 or 9 a.m. Like so many of his fishing brethren, Goddard enjoys the solitude that is a natural byproduct of the sport if one assiduously looks for ways to avoid crowds.