Carter Lloyd Lozier of Hermon is just 2 years old, but he has already shown an interest in all things outdoors.
You can often find him looking through a pair of binoculars, spotting a variety of critters. At his great-grandmother’s home on Hermon Pond, he’s always on the lookout for a nearby eagle. At his grandmother’s home in Southwest Harbor, it’s seagulls that catch his eye. And in his own backyard, his mom, Laurie Lozier, said he often sees distant deer, which he always refers to as “big buck,” whether they’re actually bucks or not.
On Saturday, Carter had a milestone outdoor adventure on his dad’s birthday: He went ice fishing for the first time.
“[Joe] grew up hunting, ice fishing, right in his backyard,” said Laurie Lozier, a regional sales manager for the Bangor Daily News. “[Saturday was his] birthday, and he said, ‘I want to take [Carter] ice fishing.’”
Laurie and Joe Lozier decided to make it into a big family event, and invited his mom and stepfather, Lori and Joe Morneault of Southwest Harbor, as well as his grandmother, Carlene Robinson of Hermon, to tag along on a cold Saturday morning. Family friend Jason Clark of Bangor and his daughter, Olivia, also came to fish.
“Even at two years old, Carter is very engaged in the outdoors, always wants to be outside, wants to jump in the mud, wants to do what dad does,” Lauire Lozier said.
The group met up at Robinson’s home on the shore of Hermon Pond, and Joe Lozier headed out early to drill holes and set up a pop-up ice shack. Then he fired up the aging snowmobile — or something like that — and headed out to fish.
To be clear, Carter hasn’t exactly mastered the word “snowmobile,” but he gets his point across just fine. Laurie Lozier said he calls the machine a “snowbubble,” and had quite a time riding it onto the pond with his dad.
He had such a good time, in fact, that his parents have had to hide the snowbubble as well as Carter’s snowmobile helmet (which he now wants to wear to bed each night).
Laurie Lozier said the group didn’t stray far from Robinson’s house, but still had a great time. Carter spent time waddling around in his bulky snowsuit, and practicing the lessons his dad had taught him.
“The first thing Carter does is he goes and checks all his traps for fish,” Laurie Lozier said. “[He said] ‘Checking all the traps, mom!’”
Then, things got even more exciting.
“We saw a flag go up,” Laurie Lozier said. “His grandfather taught him to say ‘Fish on’ [when that happens], so he says, ‘Fishies on! Fishies on!’”
Carter, with help from his dad, caught that fish — his first through the ice — and quickly released it. That’s another of the lessons Joe Lozier is teaching his son.
“My husband does a great job of explaining how to be safe around the ice fishing hole and around the traps, and about being mindful of other people [who are fishing], and what to do with the fish. We put this fish back,” Laurie Lozier said. “Carter goes, ‘Bye, fish.’”
The family didn’t stay out too late — Saturday was cold, with temperatures in the single digits — but Carter did get a chance to eat lunch in the popup shack. Then, after leaving the pond, he fell asleep for three hours, his mom said.
But he’s not done fishing. Not even close. In fact, he has already learned the expert angler’s skill of good-natured exaggeration.
When Carter returned to day care on Monday, he announced that he’d been fishing. Then he held his arms wide apart to show how monstrous his five-inch fish had been.
“It gets bigger every time,” Laurie Lozier said. “It was a great experience for him. We’re excited to go back out. I think we might go back out this coming weekend.”
That spot on Hermon Pond is special to Joe Lozier. The ashes of his late grandfather, Joe Robinson, are scattered nearby. There’s a stone in his memory on the shore, and Joe and Carter made sure to stop that memorial by for a minute, Laurie Lozier said.
Joe Lozier was very close to his grandfather, Laurie Lozier said. And though Lloyd Robinson never got to meet Carter, she’s sure he would have loved the fact that the 2-year-old was learning to fish in the same spot that Joe did.
“It was nice that they got to go visit him. That was an important part of our ice fishing trip,” Laurie Lozier said.
And it looks like the trip might become an annual tradition.
“Joe said it was hands-down the best birthday of his life, so now we have to go ice fishing every year,” Laurie Lozier said.