May 1, 2011
February 16, 2009
Tom and I were driving back from Maine where were were staying with our families and doing as much fishing as possible when we were able to escape the aforementioned families. We were in a good mood because we were on vacation, the weather was beautiful and for a moment we had not a care in the world. We were playing a tape, (yes a cassette tape), of the Kentucky Head Hunters while singing along like we were personally starring on the Grand Old Opry.
At that moment all was good with the world – at least up until the point where we saw the lights and heard the siren! What they heck? I didn’t think I was speeding as I sure wasn’t in a hurry. Either way Barney was approaching my door with an angry look on his face.
Handing over my license and registration I ask “Was I speeding sir?
He snaps back – “Why were you screaming at those girls?”
Now even on good days I have a look upon my face that screams clueless but on this day I perfected the face! “Err.. What girls officer?”
“The two girls that were crossing the street! Why were you two screaming at them?”
“Ahh- Officer all were were doing was singing to the Kentucky Head Hunters. We didn’t even see any girls.”
“What are the Kentucky Head Hunters?” Was his reply as he started to mirror my clueless facial expression.
In response I turn the cassette tape up loud to let the Barney hear a refrain or two of some down home country twang!
Barney’s face starts to blur between a state of confusion and disgust as he simply hands me back my credentials and just walks away. He jumps into his cruiser and drives off leaving us sitting there just looking at each other in disbelief!
Imagine if we had indeed gone to jail. Imagine if we had to call our wives and tell them that we needed bail money because we had been incarcerated for bad singing? They would have certainly believed it for they had heard us sing. We would still be there until this day.
Ok – so my fishing buddy Tom and I have gone fishing together many times through the years. Tom is a hard core fisherman who like to research, plan and think through the fishing experience. I on the other hand just simply like to get out and fish. My level of planning is limited to opening a tackle box and finding what lure looks cool and trying that one!
What Tom and I have come to realize over the years is that there is rarely a time when we fish together that we don’t come away with a bizarre story or experience. To that end I am going to start documenting some of these stories so that they will forever be immortalized long after we’ve worm food. I will write these as time allows and as the first installment I’ll tell the scuba diver story!
Tom and I were vacationing with our families in York Maine a few years ago. Tom decides that we will do some surf casting off of the rocks at Nubble Light. I’m new to this so I of course just take his word for this and follow along for fun and adventure.
Tom produces these rod/reel combinations that are huge. He also provides me with a lure that is huge and shaped like a fish. The multiple treble hooks remind me of the grappling hooks that are used to recover bodies from under water. How prophetic that analogy would become!
Well the area of rocks that we are fishing off of is shared space between scuba divers and fisherman. The area to the left is sectioned off with markers in the water for the scuba divers and the area to the right is where we are allowed to fish. Tom gives the instructions to cast as far as you can and retrieve the lure as fast as you can causing it to skip over the top of the water like a fast moving fish.
I cast as far as I can and follow his instructions reeling in as fast as I can. I’m on my second or third attempt when directly ahead of my lure’s path are a lot of bubbles rising to the surface. Before I can process this bit of reality time starts to slow down as a scuba diver surfaces directly ahead of the path of my rapidly approaching lure.
As fate would have it there was no time to lock up the brakes on the lure and sure enough I became the only person that I have ever heard of who has caught a scuba diver when fishing! Not only did I catch him but I got him right in the butt- and boy did he put up a fight! The hook was firmly lodged in the gluteus maximus portion of his wet suit. As it turns out wet suits are expensive and divers can get quite animated about their destruction!
Great drama ensued as the diver couldn’t unhook himself- mostly because he he’s too busy making rather rude comments about my mother! Other scuba divers had to swim over into the fishing area which is now completely safe for them because all the other fishermen have stopped fishing to take in the spectacle playing out before them. After much effort the other divers are able to release the treble hooks from the guys back side and they all returned to their rightful side of the rocks with pride and wet suit worse for the wear.
As I look back on this experience the diver has much to be thankful for. Despite the damage to his wet suit he should be thankful that I practice catch and release. He should also be thankful that even if I did spend the bucks to bring him to a taxidermist my wife would have never allowed me to hang him over the mantle!