Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Fish Story - Sort of

Labor Day weekend has been fun so far.  Lobster and Steak bake Friday night with a live reggae band - and right in the neighborhood, which is rare.  Saturday we got up pretty early and had breakfast in the gazebo.  Walked around a little bit looking at the frogs and turtles in the pond.  We saw some fish jump and remarked about how some of the neighbors had gone fishing in our pond, but we haven't yet.

When we walked back to the house, Scott went into the tool shed and came out with a fishing rod and an assortment of hooks and lures.  He said we could thank the former landlords for leaving them behind.  I looked at the size of some of the hooks - WTF did that guy think he was going to catch in this little pond?  The hooks were bigger than most of the fish in the pond!

We opened a package of shiny red worms and after many adjustments and some WD40 (the rod had been in the shed a while) we practiced some casting in the yard (being ever the knitter, I kept calling it "casting on").  We felt pretty confident and headed for the bridge.  I know we had a lot of work to do, but it was beautiful out and the work could be done later.

I liked to fish, but I hadn't done it in years.  My grandparents used to take my brother and I fishing when we were little.  Grandma would pack a lunch and grandpa would get us set up with fishing poles and bait and everything we needed.  The only thing I ever caught were small sunfish, but my grandpa would always say something like "Sunnies are good eating!" to make me feel better.  I would be so proud of it that when I got home I would sit on the garage apron and scale and clean my fish and give it to my mom to cook.  And she'd return the plate to me with a little piece of cooked fish the size of a quarter.

When we got to the bridge, Scott cast the first line out and waited.  The current gradually sent the bobber toward us and he reeled it in and it was my turn.  I cast the line out and waited.

Scott: I know this is kind of boring.  It's not like fishing with a lure where you're constantly casting out and reeling it in."
Me: "I think it's nice and relaxing.  Until somebody bites your worm."
Scott: 0.o

He was getting antsy, so he went off with a shovel in search of some real worms while I cast on again.  (Oops!  You know what I mean).  Of course, the second he walks away I got something.  It was like the hook with the worm on it landed right in a fish's mouth while he was yawning.  The bobber went right under the water.  "I got something!"  Scott came running back and took the rod, but I guess I didn't set the hook properly, because we reeled it in and the hook came up with the worm still on it, but no fish.  Scott laughed and said "That's why it's called 'fishing' and not 'catching'."

So he went back on his worm hunt and I tried again.  And again.  And several more times.  Nothing.  Except for catching the tree limbs overhead twice.  The fish were laughing at me.  I just knew it.  The sun went behind the clouds and with the overcast sky we could see under the water.  Two fish were looking directly at the worm on my hook - just sitting there staring!  They were probably saying "She thinks we'd eat that?"  "What a dumbass!"  Then they got bored and left.

The sun came back out and we walked over onto the bridge this time.  I cast on (HAHA!) several more times with no activity.  At least not near my hook.  Fish were jumping completely out of the water all around the pond - again laughing at me.  And then I jinxed it.

I said "One more cast-on and then we'll go in and work."  You know when you say "just one more" is when you run into trouble.  So I cast the line and waited.  And waited,  The bobber was moving closer and I was just about to reel it in when I saw it get pulled under.  "I got something!" I yelled to Scott.  I was trying to give it some line and then reel it in a little at a time, tryng to set the hook so I wouldn't lose it like the one earlier.  But when I reeled in I felt like nothing was happening.  Did I hook something on the bottom?  It couldn't be - the bobber got pulled under.  It had to be those damn fish again!  They grabbed the hook and tied it around a log at the bottom of the pond and they're sitting there laughing at me!  >:(

Scott came over and asked "are you reeling it in?"  I said "I'm trying, but I think it's caught or something."  He took the rod from me and tried.  "Wow, Hon, whatever you caught is BIG!"  What could it be?  I didn't think there was anything that big in this pond.  He kept reeling and reeling and finally I saw a big, red mouth coming toward us under the water.  WTF is THAT???  He reeled some more and I saw it was a turtle.  But not just any turtle - it was the biggest, most prehistoric-looking snapping turtle I had ever seen!  HOLY SHIT!  What are we going to do when that thing gets out of the water?  It looks MAD!  He kept reeling and the turtle's front legs were on the shore and I could see the entire shell, which was about the size of a car tire.

Scott said "I'll have to try to hold his head with one hand while I take the hook out."  I  said "How are you going to do that?  His head is bigger than your hand!"  While I was fearing a trip to the emergency room, SNAP!  The line broke and just as quick, the giant turtle disappeared under the water.  I felt bad for having hooked him, but the hook was small enough that I'm sure he'll be able to dislodge it on his own.

As Scott laughed and said "Leave it to you to catch the biggest thing in the pond!",  I gathered up the rod and the rest of the bait and we headed for the house.  I smiled and said "That's why it's called 'fishing' and not 'turtleing'."

1 comment:

Sethwoman said...

Good story. I still can't get past you scaling and cleaning your own fish as a child. Very impressive!