A Good Luck Fish Tale
All of us have known someone in their outdoor adventures who possess luck beyond any prowess they ever exhibited in the pursuit of fish, fowl and game! In fact, this luck factor will catapult them into success over any learned behavior. Remarkably some possess both skill and luck in their activities giving some credence to the old adage “Preparation and hard work will make your luck.” I fit into neither of these categories! Barney Fife and I are both in possession of rotten or no luck at all! Like Barney, I would pull the hat size tag from the hat full of same number tabs!
A Hunting partner excused himself from the blind to visit the tree line a hundred yards away to answer the call of nature and returned with two banded Honkers shot with his pants down as the flock flew straight over him! Another Hunting Partner climbed from his tree stand to catch a nap and while lying prone on the ground soaking up the sunshine in a deep sleep and is rewarded with a massive ten pointer sauntering by slightly disrupting his slumber! One of my Goose Hunting Partners once shot two Canada Geese by loading his gun while a flock of approaching Geese flew over while he held the boat at the boat launch!
The rookie hunter is given the worst of the Hunting Clubs’ Stand sites and is rewarded with the largest Buck of the season as the Buck knew where all of the so called experienced hunters would choose their stand sites and purposely avoided them! How is it that although both of us are using the same Crappie jig within feet of each other and my partner catches all of the fish and the biggest?
While visiting the local Taxidermy shop, always curious of those bringing in their big Deer and the story behind their success, I am often told a tale of pure unadulterated good fortune – in fact if I were the story teller, I would recommend a more exciting story be manufactured, “A Good Fish Tale” so to speak to enhance the prowess of the teller!
While I have never concocted a tale nor embellished my meager accomplishment while afield, I implore you to not ask my spouse to substantiate my stories as she will jump at the opportunity to deflate my ego and she is a known to fib on such matters! She is the Ellie Mae Clampett thorn in Jethro Bodine’s side always pointing out the idiocy in Jethro’s adventures.
This spring has been a busy one as being retired makes me the official Groundskeeper, Housekeeper and Taxi Service for the family. My pleas for approval to paint my old Blazer to my spouse where met with resistance until I agreed to paint the interior of our home in a “quid pro quo” agreement. In the end, I got the worst end of the deal as new curtains, bed linen and pillows were also added although not part of the original agreement!
Finally, a day was available to go Bow Fishing. The spawn over and water levels super low on Lake Shelbyville, I readied my gear and went forth. Wind and low water made the normally flooded grass along the lakes’ edge unavailable to the feeding carp. Contemplating seeking opportunity elsewhere or accepting failure on my first trip was the question when I heard the slight splash of water nearby.
The bow in hand, a stealthy approach to the spot where the surface indicated fish activity was made when to my surprise, the clearly visible scales of a huge carp were visible just below the water surface. Noting the size of the fish, I knew there was no room for error as this old boy could see in the fairly clear water of the lake and sense ground vibration if I hurried. He rolled over onto his side and propelled himself into the shallower water in order to feed on the grass growing along the bank, fully exposing himself and providing confirmation of his size.
I made sure to not allow my body to create a shadow in the water where he may discern danger from above. I drew back slowly and aimed through my peep but my eyesight not being what it used to be was weak in clarity on the fish now just below the surface! Heck, as large as he is how can I miss! Any bow hunter knows this thought is asking for trouble, but I triggered my release and the water exploded!
A bow fisherman will attest – this is the moment of truth as a fish will thrash at near miss and disappear into the depths unscathed but in a millisecond, my line was moving away from the shore confirming a connection with the target. I hoped my fish point was successful in penetrating the fish and would be able to hold as I pulled and wrestled the line back to my location. All worked perfectly and my prize was brought to shore and landed albeit coated by sand!
Just a few moments earlier, I was walking back to my truck in despair from the lack of fish opportunity when the one and only fish heard and seen provided a successful trip! My hope is my luck will continue into the fall where I too may score on the big whitetail of my dreams or will it leave me with only a taste used on this fish. Time will tell!