Fishing Adventure

By Alan Golightly

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing rods.

Several years ago, when my group of buddies were pretty green to fishin', we decided to take a trip to a local lake to do a little nighttime cat fishing. We took off to a collapsed bridge "island" in a particularly shallow part of the lake. From that location we could cast to an underwater creek bed.

I had a BPS Pond Prowler, a 9'6" plastic hull boat with a trolling motor, and another guy brought his latex pool boat (that'll do, right?). Another reasonably smart fella' decided to try a double lined trash bag, figuring the crossing was no more than, say, 39 gallons deep. We stopped by the beer store and grabbed a few cases. (Yeah, I know, but it was late and we guessed it would be a short night.) Nothing but the best; Lone Star and Keystone

We had about 100 yard between the shore and the bridge. We hit the shore and loaded up the beer prowler with the cases. A "beer tender" sat in the front, and I steered from the stern.

The trash bag crosser went first. (Obviously, we were not going to miss this by going first!) He was spectacularly unsuccessful. His shoes and the rocks tore the bag to shreds within 10 yards. He returned drenched, demoralized and defeated, but still comfortably drunk.

The "pool raft" guys challenged us to a race, so we took off for the bridge. The shore had been sheltered from the wind, so we were a little surprised by the stiff breeze we encountered. The poor raft guys quickly fell behind.

Did I mention that when we were at the beer store the "beer tender" had to grab some Imodium? He assured us everything was OK. Well, about half way there things changed (or remained the same, depending on whom you ask.) Neither one of us is particularly shy, so he hung his rear off the bow as he clutched the beer cases for counter balance.

Naturally, the wind whipped up a vicious wave that hit us with impeccable/despicable timing. The boat shuttered, lifted, and came down hard. Our beer tender was knocked off balance and, seemingly in slow motion, fell into the water. His pants, formerly around his ankles, were lost in the commotion, but some how he got a hold of his boxers. He heaved the fallen case of beer back on the boat (crisis adverted!) He swam holding the boat the rest of the way to the bridge. I don't suppose he could have gotten back in the boat without a major upset of balance, but I think the real reason he remained in the water was to rinse his boxers. Thank goodness the weather was warm.

The latex "dingy" made it to the bridge some time latter. They were completely exhausted and flat out refused to take part in the ferrying operation. I went and got the rest of the guys, who had a great view of the drama, one by one without any major incident.

The fishing was slow, but the guy that tried to cross in the trash bag was skinned-up a little, but he had imbued enough to not notice much. He'd invited a new guy that we didn't know too well. Apparently our newbie was on Anibuse, a court ordered drug, because of a DWI conviction. After a few drinks he got deathly ill. Mr. Trash Bag took care of him. Hopefully they both were taught a powerful lesson.

I feel the need to mention I was the designated driver. After a couple hours the sick fellow was well enough to ride in the boat without puking. We started to pack up. We had a stringer with a couple fish, but water moccasins had ruined the meat.

The "dingy" sprung a leak in a collision with the bridge (I'm guessing.) The crew made it half way across before realizing that they were taking on water. With the wind at their backs this time, they made it to about the same place the trash bags tore apart before sinking. Since they were sitting at the time it didn't matter. They were wet from head to toe and shaken up with the thought of snakes.

I conducted the rest of the moving. I got 4 of the remaining 6 before my battery was too drained to finish the mission. The two pitiful guys left had to swim. Anyone ever try to swim holding their rods and tackle boxes? None of the equipment made it back. Oh well, the Wal-Mart specials had striped plastic gears and were not even suitable for a cat toy winch. We wrapped the evening up and headed home.

Great memories! Great Friends! I was one of the few that made it back without having to dry out the contents of my wallet.

I can't wait to do a winter trip. Could you imagine us on a deep-sea adventure?

"Many men go fishing their whole lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

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Copyright 2005, 2016 by Alan Golightly. All rights reserved.