Welcome aboard! I yam Ol' Cap'n Biff,
An' th' RUDDERLESS I be th' name of me skiff—
Kindly step to the stern an' git moored to a pew
An' I'll tell ye 'bout fishin' fer men - likes I do.
I've been sailin' these waters afore ye was born
From the Berth of Perdition to Gabriel's Horn—
I knows every trick of them fish in the sea
So thar's no better fisher to teach ye than me.
If it's Shallowtail Snapper yer crave to reel in,
Ye jus' cross-bait th' hook with a big glob of sin
An' then dangle it lively in front of th' nose—
They'll snap it right up! Down th' gullet it goes!
When th' hook finds it's mark an' the sea billows red,
Ye kin use th' Good Book to whump hard on its head;
I've hear'd they quit fightin', roll over, an' float ...
... Tho' I've never yet gotten one into me boat.
An' here's a grand tip if ye happen to find
A Lost Mackerel school of th' holier kind—
Persuade 'em their method of swimmin' is wrong
'Cause th' fins they've been usin' are too blasted long;
When they splash up a fuss, ye jus' criticize louder
An' soon ye'll be swimmin' in Mackerel chowder!
Yer young'uns kin feast on th' portions ye,ll waste ...
... Tho' as of today I've had nary a taste.
Beware th' Black Swordfish whot lurks in th' south—
He kin slice up an' parry each word from yer mouth;
Fer three nights an' a day we once shared glancing blows
Whilst I tried to grab 'hold of his well-informed nose;
If I had've knowed more 'bout th' wiles of that beast,
I might stayed thar a-scrappin' ... instead, I released ...
Thar's no tellin' whot evil he's spawned 'til this day ...
... Tho' I've spotted him since ... he's been too far away.
But as a landlubber, ye might want to start
With a less feisty fish whot be fainter of heart—
Some Suffer-Faced Flounder should suit ye jus' fine
'Cause they hanker fer love an' bite hard on th' line;
Once ye heave 'em aboard they ain't much worth pursuin',
Unless coddlin' fish is a thing ye likes doin'—
With gentle persuadin' I've hear'd they rebound ...
... Tho' the ones I have ketched all git weepy an' drown'd.
Wahl, God bless me soul! Twilight shadows are stretchin'!
Thar's Groupers to gather an' Soles whot needs fetchin';
We've wasted th' mornin' with seafarin' talk—
Kin'ly untie me skiff once ye git on the dock,
Or iffen ye'd like, ye kin serve as my crew ...
... An' mebbe someday ye'll steer RUDDERLESS II.
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