I know, I know, not another fish tale. Sorry, but that’s kind of life out here right now. In the midst of painting the house, adjusting to public school, networking with church leaders and jiu-jitsu practitioners, and having fun with some of our best friends (read, Ross and Suzanne Harper and their girls), fishing has become kind of a thing. In California we had to pay for a license. Then we had to pay for tags – multiple poles, ocean fishing, etc. Then you had to pay to get into the park. Then you had to pay to fish in the park you just paid for. Then there’s the whole thing with the drought. I’m not sure there were any fish in the lakes before that. (The ocean, that’s another tale.)
We tried the boat thing. Well, sort of. We bought a peddle boat on Labor Day. It was beautiful. We named her Jamaican Mahogany. She had five seats, a canopy, a built in cooler, cup holders, fishing pole holders. We were going to catch a lot of fish as we peddled around the lake. Alas, after 30 minutes on the water we discovered her fatal flaw – she hadn’t been sealed properly at the factory and we began to sink. Ross, Suzanne, Zaccai and I bailed out and pulled her to shore. Fortunately we were only waist deep. So, the old joke proved true that the best two days in the life of this boat owner was the day I bought it and the day I got rid of it.
Anyhow, back to fishing. To date we have landed 15 different kinds of fish. Our list includes large mouth bass, small mouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, cherokee bass, rock bass, channel catfish, yellow bullhead catfish, brown bullhead catfish, skip-jack hearing, drum, blue gill, green sunfish, crappie, gizzard shad, and asian carp. They’ve ranged in size from maybe an ounce and the size of your thumb to 20 inches and two pounds. Of course, there are the ones that got away … my fault, I forgot the net.
One thing I’ve learned about fishing is that there are no guarantees. One day we can catch a load of fish and the next three weeks not one bite. You just never know. One thing I’ve learned from the fish is that it doesn’t pay simply to act off instinct. By nature, fish are greedy little creatures. I reeled one fish in on a crank bait lure. Turned out the lure was bigger than the fish, but he thought he could go for it. At first I admired that little guy for tackling such a large foe, but when I went to remove the hook I noticed something in his mouth. He a giant night crawler in his mouth. It was so large he couldn’t even swallow it all. There is no way he was hungry. Greedy little fish. So, the lesson is this – greedy instincts just might get you hooked, so be careful.