The sun was just peeking over the mountaintop across the lake from our campsite on that chilly spring morning. We struggled to pull our jeans and sweatshirts over our insulated under ware in the cramped quarters of our tent. Then crawling through the opening, we joined the chorus of birds flitting about greeting the new day. Soon the aroma of sizzling bacon and brewing coffee filled the crisp air and stirred our appetites.
My husband and I were excited to get out in the boat and see if today would be the day we would catch a lot of fish. The previous day we had gone to bed discouraged about the lack of “keepers” on our stringer. Pushing out from the shore, we trusted the promise of the Spring nesting season to provide us with a great catch.
“Watch out large-mouth bass, here we come, armed with special plastic worms and guaranteed lures just made to bring you into our grasp!”
Steering the boat into one of the many long narrow coves, we slowly fished the shoreline where the bass were fanning their nests. Suddenly a fish nabbed my husband’s lure and ran with it. After a short but exciting battle he landed the first good sized fish of our trip.
One by one he started filling the fish well with a collection of “keepers”. I, on the other hand, hadn’t even had a bite. I’d never been able to catch onto the art of bass fishing and using all the artificial bait. My childhood was spent fishing with minnows and drowning worms on my hook. The fish evidently weren’t interested in my offerings. So I contented myself with enjoying God’s creation and watching my sweetheart reel them in.
As the day progressed its way toward noon the very personal call of nature urged Karl to guide the boat ashore. While I stayed by the boat, he ventured up the thickly wooded hillside to take care of necessary business.
I walked a short ways alone the shore. After a few minutes, as I glanced at the clear water lapping at the rocks, a large shape glided to within a few feet from where I stood. I couldn’t believe it! With tail fanning slowly, a very big bass seemed to be flirting with me. My husband would never believe this! None of his catch had been this huge. I decided to experiment. Very carefully I tiptoes to the boat and picked up his pole with the brush hog jig dangling on the end of the line, all the time praying the fish wouldn’t see me and flip away.
My husband had caught every fish with this clunky looking lure. So I tried to mimic his jerky little maneuvers, trailing it just under the surface very near the big boy bass. Whoop! Quicker than I could blink, the fish snatched the lure and spun away from the shore. Startled, I immediately jerked hard, landing him flopping at my feet.
Not being able to capture him with my free hand, he suddenly jerked free of the hook and began wildly flipping and flopping , trying to get back into the water. Without thinking twice I flung my body on top of him and screamed for my husband to come quick. I couldn’t stand the thought of this monster getting away. No one would ever believe me and I would be the subject of many a joke in the days to come.
As I kept yelling , I heard a rustling up the hill that grew into quite a ruckus. I turned my head from my precarious position hugging the wiggling fish under my chest, to see my husband stumbling down the rock and underbrush strewn hill!
Laughter bubbled up from my stomach as I saw the wild look on his face. My hero was grasping the top of his jeans halfway between his knees and his waist. Staggering to come save his damsel in distress, white thermal under ware announced his arrival against the dark background of the woods.
Seeing me lying on the ground in such an unnatural position, thinking I had been bitten by a snake, he quickly came to my side. “Look what I caught!”, I gasped between howls of laughter. Startled relief flooded his face and a huge smile stretched from ear to ear as he hastily took charge of the result of “my grand experiment”.
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