Re: Why do you fish?

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Posted by Gary on August 25, 1997 at 10:15:58:

In Reply to: Why do you fish? posted by Hooker on August 24, 1997 at 22:50:22:

> Just curious, because I sometimes have trouble
> defining what drives me.

I enjoy being on the water. I like the thrill of catching fish and it's nice to share a common interest with a friend.

But, there are times, pleasantly unexpected for the most part, when all the senses are recalibrated.

*Chattahoochee River, Island Ford shoals, late afternoon, October, 1994-
The red, yellow and gold leaves are magnified by the low autumn sun in the bright blue sky. The water is still warm enought to wear cutoffs and tennis shoes. The river noise itself, apart from the visual feast, is producing a sensation that some people pay large sums of money to obtain. My son stands motionless, far enough away that we don't try to talk, but near enough that we are together in spirit. We're the only two people on the river. We might have been the only two people on earth.

I'm glad we only caught two rainbows. Just enough color from within the river to complement the show above the water. Any more than the two would have been a distraction from the gift that God prepared just for me and Andy. It was one of those moments, graciously extended just a little longer, that will never ever end.

*Eastern tip of St. George Island, Florida, very early, June 1992-

About every 4th or 5th cast I made from the waist deep water off the beach, produced an 12 inch Ladyfish that would come out of the water, do a 360 degree somersault, and more often than not, would teasingly spit the jig back in my direction. The water was glassy and clear for the time being, but there was a curtain of gray thunderclouds in the distance that acted as contrast for the chartreuse jig shootin out to the sandbar and the obliging silver acrobats. The quietness was unnatural. This is the ocean, right?

A small school of bait fish pittered just under the surface 20 yards away. My gaze was glued to the school, trying to discern the individual minnows. It was a trap. Like being shocked by an innocent looking wire with 120 volts, a king mackerel shattered my gaze and my bladder, arching completely out of the water for no other reason than to yell, BOO! He was gone with his breakfast and a GOTCHA before my heart even thought to stop beating.

It was several minutes before the goosebumps subsided, even in the warm salty Gulf. But, the picture is still there and I'm the only person who can see it. It was another masterpiece created for an audience of one. Thanks, God.

Hooker, that's why I fish.

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