I Hate That %$#@ Fish
posted November 16, 2007
Editor's Note: In another article I solicited sad or embarrassing hunting & fishing stories from readers. "Chris" was kind enough to send this one, but understandably asked that his last name not be used.
About 6 years ago, my 11 year old son and I are in a john boat fishing on about a 15 acre lake in southwest Alabama. We fish with worms for a while with no luck and decide to try something new. So, I quickly change lures on both our rods while he steers the boat towards the middle of the lake. I tied up a couple of deep diving crank baits and were in business.
After a few cast my son gets a hit. Out of pure beginners luck he's able to set the hook like a TV pro. Immediately he starts reeling in while trying to hold his rod tip straight up. He's also yelling at his old man to take the rod from him. I'm laughing and completely thrilled for him while I start trying to settle him down by telling him that he's all on his own. He keeps yelling at me and I keep telling not to freak out when that bad boy on the end of the line decided to go air borne. A splash like an old fashion cherry bomb thrown in the water comes exploding out of the lake and flying 3 feet out of the water was a huge fish trying to grow wings. She was bending and twisting and then arching her back as she tries to escape from spending the next 40 years nailed to a board. My son and I were both speechless and screaming at the same time if that's possible. As testified from a semipro bass fisherman sharing the lake with us about 30 feet from our own boat, it was at least a 10 pound and more likely a 12 pound large mouth bass (which means 13-15 pounds once I can cram enough ice and lead weights in her).
Now completely freaked out, my son starts yelling at me again. Not to take over, he just needed to yell at someone. As the rod bends straight down and he keeps reeling, I go for the heavy duty net that we grabbed as an afterthought before going out. The rod tip is switching from left to right and at one time pulls my son's arms 180 degrees around the back of the boat and then back all over again. After about 5 minutes of carefully alternating between reeling and allowing some drag action, that greenish silver beauty comes right along the side of the boat. I'm thinking how in the world am I going to get all that into this net. My son has done everything by the book up to this point and all I got to do is not blow it with the net. Its right then that my relationship with my son comes to a crashing end.
The big fish does a 90 degree straight down and disappears as the last 4 feet of line comes flying up into the boat all twisted and curled like a pretty string on a Christmas present. Speechless, we both just stand there staring at the squiggled up line and the empty net. Almost bursting in tears (I wont say which one of us) we try to make some sense of it all. Do we dive in after it, throw our rod at it, start cussing Poseidon, or just end it all right then and there?
As our boat stops rocking back and forth, those evil words that haunt me to this day were spoken. The semipro who was also completely caught up in the great struggle as he floated with his own son 30 feet away asked, "How did you tie that lure?" I quickly explained how I've been tying knots since I was 11 years old. Figuring once he understood he could tell us how to get the fish back in the boat. My heart dropped when all he responded was, "come round the porch tonight and I'll show you how your supposed to tie a knot." Then with a look of both disgust and sympathy, I think he actually apologized to my son for me, he turned and cast his rod back towards the shore.
As for my boy, he never forgave me. For 6 years I have diligently asked my son to go fishing with me and he turns me down every time. I hate that damn fish.