08 November 2010

Go Fish. I'll Stay Here.

I hate fishing.  Always have.  I hate baiting a hook with live worms because it seems odd to me to kill one animal to maybe catch another that I have every intention of then immediately releasing back into the water.  Plus, unlike artificial bait, the live ones squirm, making it all the likelier I'll injure myself.  I can't get mad at the worm, of course; I'd try to make the guy impaling me hurt himself, too.

Beyond this squeamishness, there's the fact I just don't care about fishing.  Committing oneself to a singular stationary place around a body of water doesn't do it for me.  It's not that I'm an impatient person that's the problem; it's that I'm entirely uninterested in the task of fishing.  I have no problem being in quiet isolation for hours on end.  It probably hasn't helped that I've never been lucky with fishing.  Allow me to regale you with my last attempt, circa summer 2002, that serves as a perfect microcosm of my failed experience as a fisherman.

My brother was fairly excited to go fishing one summer afternoon and I decided I'd give it a go.  Just him and me; we'd never done that before.  Previously, there had always been someone older around supervising.  Enough years had passed, though, that we were long past that point in our lives.  He had gear enough to spare, so I grabbed a ballcap to keep out the sun and away we went.  I was somewhat whimsical when I selected my Brad Paisley cap, as he was riding high on "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)" at the time.  We headed off on a high note.  This time, I was gonna enjoy myself.

We trotted on over to a little pond nearby and set up some folding chairs.  The line on one of the rods was severely tangled, so my brother handed me the one that was ready to go--kindly enough, he baited it for me--and I was in the water.  It took him probably ten minutes to completely untangle his line and get it baited, during which I had failed to elicit so much as a ripple from a fish aware of my bait.  Oh, well, I figured; it was late afternoon and maybe they just weren't biting.  Fine with me; I could just chill in the foldout chair for a bit.

If you don't see where this story is headed by now, I'd advise you to stay away from Scooby-Doo; those plot twists might blow your mind.  Within a minute of casting his line, my brother had a bite.  He reeled in a bass, I believe, roughly about 8-10" in length.  To his credit, he said nothing to me about it.  He just unhooked it and returned it to the water and began to bait his hook.

A few moments later, I had one.  I reeled it in, and knowing I was too inexperienced at actually catching a fish to know how to handle it properly, Adam intervened once I had it out of the water and spared me the hassle of removing it.  I figure his graciousness had earned a moment of humor so I (jokingly) complained, "You know what pisses me off?  I was in the water a good ten minutes before you, and you've already had one by the time I got this one."

Without hesitating, my brother added, "Mine was bigger, too."

What could I do but laugh?  Mercifully, rain began to fall about fifteen minutes after that--during which he'd caught a second fish and re-tangled his line--so we called it.  I haven't picked up a rod since, and frankly can't imagine doing so unless I find myself in some kind of strange post-zombie survival situation.