Something that I added to my summer activities this year is fishing. Well, at least I went for my third fishing outing with my husband this past weekend. Yes, it is very nice of him to let me tag along. I am not the best fishing partner as I don’t know how to set up the line, don’t handle the bait, don’t know how to get out of a snag, and I lose a lot of bait. But, I love being outdoors and am pretty low maintenance as I quickly get caught up in the moment of staring at the water waiting for the big win.
After two previous outings of not catching a fish, I went out last weekend knowing that today was the day. Things seemed to be on the right track as I hit the jackpot 30 minutes into our fishing day. I had found what must have been a fish village. Every time I threw in the line I was getting a nibble. But, every time I threw in the line I was also losing the worm! Those fish were quick and clever. I would have jerked the rod harder when I felt the nibble, but I quickly remembered that when I aggressively jerked the rod on our first fishing expedition I almost knocked my husband out of the boat.
Well, even though I wasn’t actually catching the fish I was having a ball and I could still feel success a moment away. In hindsight, I realize now that it could not have possibly been fun for my husband. I had now been on my fourth round of bait after finding the fish village. I had lost the bait so many times that I was now in a rhythm of casting with one rod, feeling a nibble, reeling the line in, and handing it to my husband to have him re-bait the line while he would hand me the second rod (his rod) which was already set up with the worm.
As this process continued, I began to lose hope. Maybe today would not be the day after all. It was just then that I felt another nibble and felt a constant weight as I continued to reel. Maybe this was it and hopefully this time it wasn’t another tree or brillo pad – yes I caught a brillo pad. Anyhow, I continued to reel and then with utter surprise and excitement I saw a fish on the end of the rod.
And it was a cute fish! I was expecting an ugly catfish as this is what it seems is usually caught in this area of the Potomac. But no, it was a cute fish. I’m still not sure, but maybe it was a perch. Anyways it took me by such surprise that I screamed. The scream echoed so loudly under the bridge that it sent my husband jumping and I almost knocked him in the water again.
At first when I turned to him I thought the disappointment in his face was because of my screaming. However as I swung the rod around for him to grab the little fish it was a different kind of bad news that caused the look on his face. He said, “I think I have bad news”. It looked like the little fish with the big eyes and wide open mouth had swallowed the hook. At this news, I immediately welled up with tears. I knew this meant that the hook would sit and rust in his tummy and kill him.
I didn’t expect the tears but I was out to fish for sport not for dinner. I thought I would catch and release. Isn’t that what they do on TV? ! The tears became bigger as my husband cut the line and the hook remained in the fish. But wait, just then my husband (my hero) magically got the hook after pulling with pliers. At first I smiled and slightly cheered in relief, but when he was thrown back into the water the tears quickly came again. The little fish flipped and flopped trying to swim like fish are supposed to swim and it didn’t look like he was going to make it.
But just then he got himself off of his side and at the same time my husband said “see he swam away”. Needless to say, that was the end of our fishing day. We packed up and I sniffled a few more times and realized that maybe I’m not cut out for fishing after all.