45. Fishing, Worms and All

27 Jun

"Live Bait" by Pierce Place

Sure, you can buy fish in the South, but what’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t you rather sit in the heat (and humidity. Can’t forget the humidity.) skewering live worms and waiting for a nibble that might never come? Now before y’all go all PETA on me talking about the inhumanity of using worms, crickets, and minnows for bait…saying “if only you knew how it felt to be stabbed with a hook.” I will say this: “I DO know!” If anyone who’s ever fished has not been accidentally hooked by their companion’s (or worse: their OWN) fishing line at least once, I will eat a scummy, fresh-water catfish. As long as you serve it with hushpuppies.

I should add that lots of folks fish with tackle these days, though I don’t suppose that placates PETA seeing as the goal is still to kill and eat fish (or sometimes merely to wound them and toss them back).

"Eric's Tackle Box" by jordansmall

Y’all might be surprised to know that I did a fair amount of fishing as a child. I even won a prize at a local “Fish Rodeo” once. No, this did not involve roping or riding fish. Don’t ask me why they called it that or what I won the prize for. A. I don’t know and B. I don’t remember. I do, however, remember the prize. It was a plate of gummy worm lures, alas, not the edible kind. Now that I think of it, this is the only competition in which I have won a prize. Perhaps I missed my calling. Wait, on second thought, I’ve won a bunch of awards for advertising. Which is almost as impressive as winning a prize for fishing. Almost.

I might get retroactively disqualified for admitting this, but I never baited my own hook. I can’t remember ever actually touching a fish. Where I excelled was sitting patiently and reeling them in. I am a champion delegator.

What I liked best about fishing was that first moment seeing the buoy sink. The excitement! The elation! The hope! I must say, I was always a bit disappointed upon reeling it in to discover I’d caught…a fish. I think after years of watching cartoons, I was hoping to snag a tire or old shoe. Some kind of sunken treasure like that.

My most unsuccessful fishing trip was the time some friends and I crafted homemade poles and went fishing in the drainage ditch in their front yard. Would you believe I did not catch a thing?

What are your favorite fishing memories?

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6 Responses to “45. Fishing, Worms and All”

  1. The Florida Blogger June 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    I don’t know what I’d do without fishing. It has and will be a prominent part of my Southern life.

  2. Sherry June 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    My summers were spent wherever dad thought the fish were biting. Most of the time they were biting in Arkansas, so we packed up the car and boat and headed to Bull Shoals, Lake of the Ozarks or Table Rock Lake. I decided to revisit my childhood 3 years ago and go back to see Table Rock Lake. Whoa! They built a city where a little diner used to be. They call that city, Branson. What a shock. Las Vegas in the middle of my fishing resort. What were they thinking??? Besides the tire blow outs we always had and the bears shaking the boat while we slept in it at the campground, my favorite memory was watching my mom’s face after I eagerly baited my own hook with a worm or a minnow. PETA, shemeta. It was fun!! No girly girl here!

    • girloutofdixie June 29, 2010 at 12:09 am #

      Sherry,
      Are we long lost siblings? Our summer vacations were inevitably plagued by tire blow outs (or overheated engines). I never had any personal dealings with bears, but family legend has it that my dad once wrestled a bear that tried to make off with his cooler full of food…

  3. Jenna June 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Okay…now I have to correct your memory once again. The reason that you can’t remember what you won that award for was that YOU DID NOT WIN IT I DID!!!!! And I do remember what I won it for, it was “the littlest fisherman award.” Geez! You already pouted and had to wear my ribbon for that beauty contest I won only later to tear off the “T” so that I won “hird” place and now you are trying to steal my fish shaped ashtray too…by the way, that is what it was, a fish shaped ashtray with rubber worms on it…why this was a good gift for the “littlest fisherman” is beyond me, but then again, we were raised in the south.

    • girloutofdixie June 29, 2010 at 12:18 am #

      Jenna,
      Have you ever considered that what you think of as your keen memory might be an overactive imagination? I DID win an award for my fishing prowess. Maybe you also won the “littlest fisherman award,” but is that really such an accomplishment? Being the youngest or shortest person in attendance?

      It was a fish-shaped ashtray, though, now that you mention it. 😉

  4. Jenna July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Not that his memory is one to depend on by any means (after all, he kept trying to convince you that those turtle shoes were yours…sadly you didn’t remember they weren’t, which does boast my claim about your memory)..but I am going to ask Dad what he remembers about this. That ashtray was MINE!!!!! 🙂

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