Friday, June 27, 2008

A-Fishin' We Did Go

The Hillbilly Family went fishing this morning. We had planned the trip the night before, if by planning, I mean not loading the poles in the truck, not having any bait, and not setting an alarm. I woke HH, who loaded the truck, and I woke the boys and told them what to wear. It would be my first time using my new pink-and-black Shakespeare Ladyfish rod and reel that HH got me for Christmas. Except that he forgot that he got if for me, and several days after Christmas, he said, "DOH! #1, go get your mom that present that I put over in the BARn."

Since HH had not thought out the bait issue, it was decided that we would make a trip to town for some worms from Casey's. HH thought the store by the lake would not be open. DUH! What convenience store in the middle of nowhere is not open at 7:00 a.m.? The hicks need their coffee and soda and donuts on the way to work, people. So instead of just taking the country roads out past our house, we drove to town for worms. It never entered HH's mind to dig for worms somewhere on our 20 acres, even though when we lived in town, I was awakened many a day by strange men digging in the ditch by our driveway. Only the best store-bought worms for this Hillbilly family to feed to the fish.

I offered HH $20 of the vacation money for the use of his truck for the fishing trip. He snapped that right up. It took him all of 3 minutes to pump that $20 worth of gas. I imagine that gave us about 50 miles, what with the appetite of the truck, and the lead foot of HH. The boys clamored for a donut, but neither would go in with HH. He returned with a white-rosting donut for The Pony, a chocolate-frosting donut for the #1 son, and a cinnamon roll and Diet Coke for himself. It seems that children don't have a thirst early in the morning after eating donuts. HH had offered to get me something, but I had already eaten to take my medicine.

We got about 5 miles up the highway, on our alternate route to the lake, and I asked, "Where's the worms?" HH looked at me. Uh huh. A trip to town just to get worms, and HH forgot the worms. "It's almost 8:00. I'm sure that little store will be open." Indeed, there were about 7 cars there when we pulled in to the little store at 7:50. While we waited for HH to purchase the gourmet worms, a mosquito buzzed its way to the inside of my window. The #1 son, sitting behind me in the club part of the club cab, quickly dispatched it with a 'THWAK' of a stuffed Dracula doll. Of course he argued that it was not 'Dracula', but rather 'The Phantom of the Mask' or some such label on the stuffed, caped, masked, bug-thwakking fellow. The Pony had won it in a grabber machine last year, and HH wouldn't let him throw it away. It went where all unwanted toys go to die: Club Ford.

We staked out our regular fishing spot on the dam of a small pond within the lake development. The #1 son caught a nice 18-inch catfish within the first 5 minutes of our arrival. I, on the other hand, had one nibble in 90 minutes. I can hardly tell the rest. The sting of injustice is lurking just behind my steely hazel eyes. I asked the boy to take my pole around the pond and have HH put another hunk of worm on the hook. (Shhh...when I was without an HH, I used to bait my hook by myself. Now, I have an HH, and I'm not letting him go to waste). I told #1, "I just got a little bite right there. The first one all day. If you want to throw your line in, I will watch it while you take my pole." He agreed. He cast in---"HEY! I've got another one!" And he reeled in the 16-inch catfish that was rightfully mine. I almost cried. He took his fish so HH could remove it, leaving me sitting with my worm skin to practice casting where my fish had once been.

#1 came back with his freshly-baited hook and the worm box. Using my thumbnail, I severed a fat wiggley front end from a thin wiggly back end, and baited my own hook. I left my newly-fishless location, and walked down to the shallower end of the pond. Since I'd had no luck with a bobber, without a bobber, or letting the worm lie on the bottom, I cast in and reeled back immediately at a moderate pace. On the second cast, I caught a 10-inch catfish. I'd been hoping for a bass, but any fish was better than no fish. It was not received with much enthusiasm. Even HH said, "Do you want to keep him?" Of course I didn't. We tossed him back, as we did the other two before we left. The Pony caught a 4-inch bluegill, also not a keeper, and that was the meager sum of the fishing trip.

I don't mean to brag, but I have 8 fat nightcrawlers on the top shelf of my refrigerator.

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