- Markshire PCs:
Now Iâ€™m gettinâ€™ back to writinâ€™ â€˜bout fishinâ€™. Like I said a page or two back, I ainâ€™t gave up at it and I kept plugginâ€™ away, achinâ€™ back and all, each cast a little better than the last.
Well . . . mayhap not each cast, but I was gettinâ€™ better at it, you know? And thinkinâ€™ â€˜bout how my brother and his friends had schooled me on the arts oâ€™ surf fishinâ€™.
Yup! Over and over they told me things like, â€œListen up Keli! If somethinâ€™ tugs on the string, give a hard yank or two right back and that way yaâ€™ll stick the hook good in its mouth! And remember, always keep the pole pointed up at the sky while youâ€™re fightinâ€™ with that fish! That way, the poleâ€™ll be helpinâ€™ too!
And if ya hooks onto somethinâ€™, back yerself outta the water and up onto the beach! Do your fightinâ€™ on the shore, not in the surf! Watch the waves! Use the â€˜strength oâ€™ â€˜em em to help ya pull the fish in!
And donâ€™t be foolinâ€™ round with no knobs or buttons on that reel! Weâ€™s got it all set up just right fer ya! Weâ€™s even re-wound a whole bunch oâ€™ special heavy duty string on it and what ever you might hook onto, ainâ€™t gonna have a chance in hel of breakinâ€™ it!â€ That last part, theyâ€™d always say with a snicker, you know?
Anyways, my brother was upset with me â€˜bout killinâ€™ all his eels, banginâ€™ and bonkinâ€™ them all over the beach without ever gettinâ€™ them into the water and he wouldnâ€™t let me have no more. Instead he give me somethinâ€™ to fish with called a lure.
A lure looks kind oâ€™ like a little make- believe minnow, mayhap â€˜bout six inches long. Itâ€™s mostly carved outta wood and it has a cluster oâ€™ really sharp nasty lookinâ€™ hooks danglinâ€™ outta the belly oâ€™ it. Lures comes in a bunch oâ€™ different colors, all painted up nice and pretty with fake eyes and everything! He told me the blue colored ones was best for today but I insisted he let me have a yellow one, beinâ€™ as I likes that color more than blue.
Yup! Lures! I figured Iâ€™d be okay usinâ€™ â€˜em â€˜cause heâ€™d already cought a few truly big fish with those lures oâ€™ his, one oâ€™ them weighinâ€™ in at almost thirty pounds! A striped bass it was!
Anyways, lures is easier to throw, beinâ€™ they ainâ€™t nearly as heavy as those damn eels, but the wind would do tricks with mine, blowinâ€™ my pretty yellow lure what had a bunch oâ€™ horse hair stickinâ€™ outta the back end oâ€™ it every which way, spoilinâ€™ my aim!
Besides fightinâ€™ the wind on each cast, I was also fightinâ€™ a terrible throbbinâ€™ soreness what had started the other day in the back oâ€™ my neck and had gradually spread downward, now almost reachinâ€™ my . . . well, really far down. Tâ€™was the price I had to pay from all my castinâ€™ practice! Oh geez! The things a personâ€™ll endure just soâ€™s theyâ€™ll mayhap have a chance to catch a big fish!
It was late in the afternoon with the sun a big red ball sinkinâ€™ down toward the horizon to the right oâ€™ me. A stiff breeze blowinâ€™ all day outta the east had finally let up a bit and I was just standinâ€™ there up to my knees in the surf, the pole sittinâ€™ atop my shoulder. I was breathinâ€™ deep oâ€™ the clean salt air, enjoyinâ€™ the moment, thinkinâ€™ â€˜bout dinner and what my friends was cookinâ€™ in that big barbeque pit what we dug out a few days before.
I was also watchinâ€™ a huge flock oâ€™ seagulls what had gathered out over the water directly in front oâ€™ me. The gulls was dippinâ€™ and divin into the ocean, squawkingâ€™ at each other, makinâ€™ a terrible racket and havinâ€™ a great time oâ€™ things! More often then not theyâ€™d fly up and away after catchinâ€™ a little silvery fish what happened to be swimminâ€™ up near the top oâ€™ the water, sometimes even jumpinâ€™ right out oâ€™ it!
My brother who was fishinâ€™ â€˜bout a couple hundred paces along the beach to the west called out to me, started wavinâ€™ his arms like heâ€™d gone loony, yellinâ€™ somethinâ€™ â€˜bout birds and began runninâ€™ in my direction. What an oaf! Did he think I ainâ€™t seen the damn birds? Geez! They was right in front oâ€™ me! So I ainâ€™t paid no attention to him and prepared to make another cast.
I aimed a good bit to the left oâ€™ those birds, not wantinâ€™ my lure to be cominâ€™ down in the middle of â€˜em, mayhap spookin â€˜em and possibly spoilinâ€™ their dinner. It was one oâ€™ my better casts. My pretty yellow make-believe minnow streaked up and out over the water travlinâ€™ in a huge lazy arc headinâ€™ far off to my left and away from the flock. Then a gust oâ€™ wind caught it and kept pushinâ€™ at it till the damn thing plopped down smack in the middle oâ€™ all the seagulls!
I watched it flutterinâ€™ down outta the sky, finally makinâ€™ a little splash. Tâ€™was not more than a second or two after it hit the water and there was a really big splash in the same spot! My lure, what was made outta wood and was supposed to float on top oâ€™ the water, disappeared and . . . oh geez, all hel broke loose!
Well let me tell you! Whatever the hel it was what sucked in my little yellow lure and swam away goinâ€™ â€˜bout as fast as a race horse, was doinâ€™its best to tear my arms outta their sockets! It also had its own idea â€˜bout how and where this battle was gonna be fought!
Attemptinâ€™ to keep the poleâ€™ aimed up toward the sky like my brotherâ€™d told me just wasnâ€™t gonna happen! Nope! Instead, my pole, string and all, stretched out in a line, straight as an arrow, pointinâ€™ out and down a bit, and directly at the monster what was hanginâ€™ onto the other end oâ€™ it!
Iâ€™d managed to get a good grip on the pole with both hands just after I seen the splash near my lure and now I was hanginâ€™ on for dear life! My grip on the pole was way down toward the butt end oâ€™ it and a good distance away from the reel. It wouldnâ€™t oâ€™ made any difference anyways had I been able to reach it. There was no way Iâ€™d be able to crank the handle what winds the string back onto the spool.
And backinâ€™ outta the water and onto the beach wasnâ€™t gonna happen either! The damn thing kept yankin and tugginâ€™ on the string and was doinâ€™ a good job oâ€™ pullinâ€™ me further out into the water! Now the waves was becominâ€™ a big problem for me, sometimes the breakers smackinâ€™ me right in the face, but I wasnâ€™t givinâ€™ up!
Oh geez! My brother, whoâ€™d been runninâ€™ toward me from a ways down the beach, was closer now and had a really good view oâ€™ the battle. Heâ€™d stopped his yellinâ€™ about the birds and was now screaminâ€™ something â€˜bout the drag beinâ€™ too tight! Sometimes men will say the silliest things, you know?
I guess what he meant was fer me to hold tight onto the pole, which I was already doinâ€™ and to drag the monster what was chewinâ€™ on my lure, closer to the beach, but I was fast loosinâ€™ that battle! The damn thing kept pullinâ€™ hard on the string and yankinâ€™ me out into deeper water!
Now the waves was sometimes breakinâ€™ over my head, givinâ€™ me a real thumpinâ€™ and Iâ€™d swallowed a good bit oâ€™ salt water. My heart was poundinâ€™ with the excitement oâ€™ it. Mayhap there was a good bit oâ€™ fear mixed in with the poundinâ€™ you know?
Yep! The thought occurred to me, I might be havinâ€™ some real difficulties if Iâ€™d soon be havinâ€™ to continue this struggle under those waves!
Funny, the things you notice while your battlinâ€™ a colossal fish on the very edge oâ€™ the ocean. For instance, I took note oâ€™ the crowd oâ€™ folks what was standinâ€™ on the beach watchinâ€™ this epic encounter. Normally theyâ€™s noisy, laughinâ€™ whistlinâ€™ and clappinâ€™, some even jeerinâ€™ when I do somethinâ€™ wrong, you know? Well, they ainâ€™t made a sound throughout the whole ordeal. Not a peep outta them!
And when some oâ€™ the boys in the group realized I might be gettinâ€™ in over my head, so to speak, they began makinâ€™ their way out to me, slogginâ€™ through the surf, clothes and all! I thought that was so nice oâ€™ â€˜em! They got there â€˜bout the same time as my brother arrived. But . . . it was too late.
You see, Iâ€™d already let go. Yup. My brotherâ€™s custom made one piece nine foot surf castinâ€™ rod, and fancy reel what was crafted by some guy named Van Staal, went sailinâ€™ off into the deep, attached to what had to be the largest fish what ever swam the ocean depths! Least ways, thatâ€™s how I like to think oâ€™ it.
My brother and the rest oâ€™ the boys helped me back to shore and I thanked all oâ€™ â€˜em for beinâ€™ so chiv . . . uh, gallant fer rescuinâ€™ me. Than the group wandered off, leavinâ€™ my brother and me alone on the beach.
I told him I ainâ€™t wanted to head back to camp till my eyes cleared up a bit, you know? Uh . . . beinâ€™ they was all red and irritated from the salt water. So, the two oâ€™ us sat there for awhile, on the shore, enjoyinâ€™ the sunset and listeninâ€™ to the surf poundinâ€™ up onto the beach. I said I was sorry â€˜bout losinâ€™ his pole and fancy reel. He just laughed, threw his arm â€˜round me and told me he was thinkinâ€™ his sister was worth at least a couple more pieces oâ€™ gold than an old pole and worn out reel and not to fret â€˜bout it.
Geez! As much as I hates my three brothers, sometimes, they can be really nice, you know? We could see the cookinâ€™ fire aglow, â€˜bout a quarter mile to the east and the wind was waftinâ€™ the aroma from the things what my friends was preparinâ€™ for our nightly feast right down the beach at us.
We was both starvinâ€™ for a good dinner, so we picked ourselves up and started the walk back to camp. We ainâ€™t spoke much along the way. each oâ€™ us alone in our thoughts, goinâ€™ over the days events in our minds . . . and thinkinâ€™ â€˜bout what new adventure tomorrow was gonna bring.