Anticipation was the reigning emotion aboard our newly acquired first vessel. It was a dream come true, something we had talked about buying for a long time, and on this day, we and our dream were afloat.
Sixteen feet of molded fiberglass as our vehicle to excitement, relaxation and of course the opportunity to haul in some of the biggest fresh water fish of the great lakes. We were psyched, we were ready, we were hooked!
Seasoned fisherman had told us what to look for, what to listen to, and what to do when that fish took the lure.”you’ll hear it first” they said, “The minute that salmon grabs what he thinks is a bait fish, you’ll hear the whirring sound, kind of high pitched, as he dashes away pulling your line from your reel with his weight and momentum. The tip of your pole will bend as though it might crack in half, but a good pole is strong and flexible.Then the fight is on.Hold the tip up always, keep the tension on that line, hold the reel close to your body and wind it in at a constant pace. You will see him in your minds eye, battling to get free. He will gain speed as he swims for the surface and then he will break water just long enough for you to get a glimpse of him. Your arms and hands will get tired, but hang on, because with just a hint of slack he will pop that hook and be gone.
Yes, we knew this all by heart now and we were ready to put it all to action.What a crew. My husband the captain of this maiden voyage, feeling unfamiliar with all the ins and outs of lake fishing and a new boat.Our two young teenage sons Chris and Jay, huddled in their warmest winter jackets and woolen hats and gloves, yet all their concentration fixed on the tense lines that trailed behind our boat.Their eyes darting from one line to another waiting, almost patiently, for that first hit.
But teenage patience can only be maintained just so long without a sandwiches or cookies. My job as first mate was to keep that patience in tact by a continuous supply of food and drink.
Well nothing could have prepared this crew for that first hit. The sound of line screaming from the reel of the pole bent from the strike.All hands were ready as Chris grabbed the pole and started the scene on board into action.Jay and I were busy trying to reeling the other lines as the waves tossed us about, when all at once whammo! another hit on Jays line.
Our organized crew suddenly became a jumbled mass of excited novices. Arms, feet, four bodies and one huge net vying for space on our small craft. Lunch sandwiches were forgotten and crushed , cookies, wrappers and all were smashed into the floor of the boat, but nothing mattered…except our catch!The closer the fish were brought to the boat, the louder and more out of control the action on board became. As the boys manned the lines, Jerry stood armed with the huge net.
What a moment, what a memory in the making, what the heck?!….I said, as I glanced to see the shoreline fast approaching. In all the quest for landing our fish, no one was manning the boat….There we were heading a trolling speed right for the rocky shore…I yelled… Jerry grabbed the wheel. but not without first netting the fish. Barely beaching the boat, we managed to bring in our very first catches.
If voices carry on water as clearly as they say, then I am darn sure others shared our adventure and excitement that day, on that cold misty april morning aboard A LITTLE AWESOME.