Fishin’

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Another fishin’ opportunity yesterday, with calm winds and just a possibility of showers. We left the dock about 8:30 with lunch packed and bait in the well. We went out under the Sanibel causeway as far as Sanibel Lighthouse to try our luck. Jim’s boat will cruise along at 30 mph, which makes for a pretty exciting and windy ride.

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The bait of choice is live shrimp that are kept in a well with circulating seawater to keep them feelin’ fine. Fishin’ for the bait in the well can be an adventure in itself. You net what you hope will be a lucky one, try to grab it by pinching it between your fingers without it wiggling loose, get it on the hook, and cast (or toss) the whole thing overboard.

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Then you pretend you really know what you’re doing, looking cool waiting for something, anything to take the bait. If you feel a nibble, and your timing is right, and you yank the line at just the right moment, the hook is set and the fun begins. I think this is why fishermen fish. The fish goes nuts trying to escape and you go nuts trying to keep the pole in your hand, cranking the reel in the right direction, pulling the now sharply bending pole back to give you some slack in the line making it possible to reel in a few more inches of line, all the while trying to keep your balance on the wet deck that just won’t stay still.

At this point several things can happen–the fish works itself loose, it’s gobbled up by a bigger fish which then gets away, you manage to get it out of the water to find it’s too small to keep and throw it back, it’s a keeper and goes on ice for dinner, or you’ve caught the anchor line (which I did twice).

Much time is spent waiting for something to happen. This is another reason fishermen fish. The beauty of water and sky, sunlight and rain showers, the air, the smells, and the inhabitants of the sea are just astounding. We saw Manatee in the canal, Porpoises following as we entered the sound, large Sea Turtles surfaced near the boat head first, then we’d see the shell as they dove leaving a distinctive circular wake behind.

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Last but not least, fishermen fish for fun, friends, lunch, and beer.

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P.S. The fish I caught is called a Sheepshead and it was a keeper. A fishing tip–when having your catch photographed, hold it at arms length and as close to the camera lens as possible–it looks bigger.

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3 Comments on “Fishin’”

  1. Cara Says:

    Bruce –

    That is a gorgeous photo of you and your gorgeous catch. I think Skye would like it on her photo-mobile… would you mind sending it on.

  2. Barbara Bigelow Says:

    I don’t think so…computer magic! Too still, it might even be plastic. You are not even wet – no sweat marks on your shirt! Keep having a great time – love all the commentary. You may even have a TV travel program here.

    No hurry reaching the west coast – Jim is down with bad allergy – the season is a bad one.

    Take care – Love, Barb

  3. Diane Gallo Says:

    I will remember your advice.

    This is a wonderful picture of you and your fish, Bruce, and I’m glad you included it because I want you to be able to prove you really were there. Your photographs are just killer good and works so well with the text. Just the right balance. Love, Diane

    P.S. You will make a great screensaver.


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