SOME PEOPLE HAVE a whole bunch of grandchildren they get to spend time with now and then, only to send them home spoiled rotten to their parents when the visit is over.

After what most children put their parents through during their growing up years, it’s only right that grandparents should get their revenge every chance they get. My wife and I have no grandchildren of our own. We have grand-cats and grand-dogs, but no children. We make do.

My wife is especially good at spoiling children by teaching them terrible things to do to their parents for the rest of their lives before sending them home wild and boisterous, hyped up with loads of sugar.

I, on the other hand, am a paragon of virtue when it comes to handling children belonging to younger adults who are friends of ours.

Me, I handle the wild little tots a bit differently. First thing I show them is a hickory switch which, I tell them, hurts a lot more than a plain old oak or maple switch. Then, I tell them what I told my sister years ago; a sister who is 10 years younger than me and was a pain in the neck to babysit at that age.

What I tell them is that if they don’t behave I will tie a slab of bacon around their necks, take them out in the woods and leave them where I know there are bears by the score roaming around looking for little children to gnaw on. As an aside, my sister to this day is very much afraid of bears, something in which I take great delight.

Truth is, when little children are foisted upon me for a few hours or days, I simply take them fishing. Some of those children have spent some of their earliest moments in a fishing boat with me.

Last weekend, I got to spend time on a favorite lake with two formerly little children and their two friends, three of us in kayaks, the other two in my Old Town canoe. Case and Jill have fished with me while camping with their family since they were 3 or 4 years old.

Now, 18 and 22 respectively, as are their friends, the fishing was very entertaining, but in a much different way than when they were little shavers.

For one thing, this time I didn’t have to constantly be on the alert for Case and his infamous back casts. I remember a time when he was 5 years old. Case, his dad and I were fishing northern pike on an area lake. Before that morning ended, he had planted the treble hooks of a small bucktail in the back of my shirt and in his dad’s hat; a doubleheader.

When he was 3, he was even more fun. Fishing on a small lake for pike while watching Case was more fun than fishing. With an adult-sized spincast outfit, he was doing his own casting. Sometimes, the casts went in the direction he was aiming, but most of the time, we had no idea where they might end up. Fortunately, none of them connected with our hides.

At an early age, Jill wasn’t quite the fisherman Case was, but she was an all-time talking champ. By the time she was 5, she had told more stories than Dr. Seuss. She could always come up with new ones. Needless to say, fishing with Jill was an adventure in itself.

I will say this in all seriousness; I could not handpick any two children who I would rather fish with or have them as adopted grandchildren. Jill is now two years away from taking the bar exam in Illinois, after which she’ll probably talk herself into the governor’s chair, while Case will begin his college career this fall.

Coming north with them this time were their friends Wyatt and Adriana. The five of us portaged the canoe and kayaks to my hidden little lake for what I guaranteed them would be a few hours of nonstop catching of largemouth bass and sunfish.

They may have had their doubts about my guarantee to start with, but after 10 minutes of fishing saw everyone with at least one bass landed, they started to believe their old guru.

It has been a long time since I’ve had such a fun day on the water. With a pinch of nightcrawler on a tiny jig, a small bobber set about 2 or 3 feet above, the bass attacked us repeatedly.

We started counting early on, but after we got into the teens apiece, we kind of gave up on that. Case, Adriana and I fished from kayaks floating close together, and quite often, all three of us had a fish on at the same time.

Granted, the bass in this lake average from about 9 to 13 inches, but the fight in them is much bigger. Adriana wound up with the big fish of the day, a dandy 18-inch largemouth, while I had the first fish. Neither of us collected the huge cash prizes we demanded.

Our best estimate was that in about four hours of fishing, the five of us caught somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 to 140 largemouth and another 20 or so sunnies, the latter of which we kept a half dozen.

It had been a great day of fishing and for me the bonus was spending it with four pretty darned good kids. If only I could send them home to their parents spoiled rotten.