The One That Got Away . . . .

In my post of June 28, 2012, I spoke of fishing for (and cooking) “Walleyed Pike.”   And of going to Minocqua, Wisconsin, to visit my friend Dan.  We were just up in Minocqua again and as in the past Dan and I went fishing and had the best guide in the North Woods, Jim W.  After a day on Trout Lake, we had nearly caught our limit.  But that’s not the story. . . .

Dan and I each had one of those “aha” or “wow” moments while fishing (actually it was more like a “fasten your seatbelt” moment).   It was early afternoon.  Hot sun.  Cool wind.  Suddenly Dan’s line went taut and the pole bent in half.  For a good five minutes, it was reel, slack, reel, slack.  Dan had hooked a monster.  Jim stood ready with the net.  And then – as often happens – the line released.  The monster fish had gone free.   Obvious disappointment. 

Then it was my turn.  The boat was rocking gently.   I was close to dozing.  Thinking of dinner.  When there was this sharp tug on the line.  Eyes  snapped open.   I pulled and nothing happened.  Seaweed I thought.   And I relaxed.  And then the telltale pull.  Then a heavy tug.  And a steady drain of line.  A fish.  A big fish. . . .  And I yanked up the rod to set the hook and began reeling.  For a few minutes.  Reel, slack.  Reel, slack.  And then I saw it.  This huge leviathan rolled upside down.  White belly.   A yardstick away.   It looked to be about six feet long.  No seven.  Maybe. . . . Anyway, I stared at this giant rolling over and thought of the classic line of Roy Scheider as Chief Brody from the scene in Jaws where the big guy makes his first appearance.  He says to Quint “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.   I had seen Jaws.  Right under the boat.  And with that, Jaws reared up, ripped the lure off the line and descended into the deep.   Aha.  Wow!    

One thought on “The One That Got Away . . . .

  1. I’m reminded of an avid fisherman named Carl who could never catch anything much over a pound. And yet, his neighbor, Fred, would come home with a box full of really big fish every trip.

    One day Carl suggested the two of them go fishing together so he could see what bait Fred was using and how he was presenting it.

    About a week later they met at the dock and headed out in Fred’s boat. On the way to the fishing spot Carl noticed Fred didn’t have any fishing poles. All he had in the back of the boat was a cardboard box.

    When they got to the fishing spot, Fred anchored the boat and reached into his cardboard box and took out a stick of dynamite, which he lit and threw in the water.

    Whammo! I mean there were dead fish all over the place. Carl’s eyes grew large as he looked at Fred in amazement and said: “You can’t do that! It’s against the law! Even if you had a permit to possess dynamite, you can’t fish with it. And for sure you can’t take game fish this way!”

    Fred reached into his box an lit another stick and passed it up to Carl who took it reluctantly and just stared at the burning fuze, as Fred was lighting another stick for himself. Then Fred turned to Carl and said:  “Are you going to talk, or are you going to fish?”

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