“YOU’LL CATCH FISH!”

I love to fish.  I’m no good at it, but I love to get out with a rod in my hand and relax.  My philosophy about fishing is simple:  Sit back on the dock in a lawn-chair, cooler by my side, sunglasses and sunscreen on, relax, unwind, and really don’t care if I catch anything.   That way, I’m not disappointed.   Nobody can accuse me of not doing anything, being lazy, wasting daylight, or the like.  Hey, I’m fishing!  It’s a perfect excuse to relax.

I do love to catch fish, you know.  I don’t mind cleaning them and I sure don’t mind grilling them.  Eating them?  Love to do that.  Trout or bass served over a bed of rice with just the right touch of seasoning is my idea of a great meal.  So when a friend offered to take me fishing, I was more than up for it.

“I know this great spot on the river.”  Chad said.  “I have a friend who lets me borrow his boat when he’s not using it and I go a lot.  It’s a great spot and I do really well.  I guarantee you, you’ll catch fish!”

So Chad picked me up in his Chevy S-10 truck and off we went for the river.  We got to the spot and hitched the boat.  It was a fourteen foot flat-bottomed john boat with two seats and a 9.9 horsepower outboard engine.  I was excited.  This combo was perfect for river fishing.

They say that getting there is half the fun, but that would be an understatement.  That little boat skimmed  across the water with some pretty descent fun-factor.  Just a summer boat ride would have sufficed, but we were fishing and I couldn’t wait to get to this productive spot.   Chad slowed the boat and cruised quietly into a cove.

It looked perfect.  Overhanging trees, felled logs in the water, secluded and quiet.  Even with my limited fishing knowledge, I could tell that this was an ideal spot.  So we cast our lines.  I had never fished from such a small boat before, and this was poor-man’s fishing (the boat is borrowed, remember?).  Chad brought a single oar.  “Why just one oar?” I asked.  He explained that he used it to paddle short distances and to change the position of the boat relative to the shore.  The motor, he said, would scare the fish.  He even suggested that we speak in hushed tones.  How well he knew me!

We sat there and sat there.  Nothing.  Not even a nibble.  As time went by, Chad became more impatient.  Apparently, he didn’t share my philosophy on fishing.  Finally, he said, “We’re going somewhere else.  I know another spot where the fish will definitely be biting.  We’ll have better luck there.”  And then he said it again, “You’ll catch fish!”

After another fun boat ride, we eased into another cove, cast our lines and a minute later, I caught a small crappie.  I was going to throw it back, but Chad said there was enough meat on that fish to make it a keeper, so I threw it into the cooler on ice.  After a couple minutes more, I caught a bigger crappie.  Delighted, I threw that one on ice.  Then, to my delight, I caught a bigger one than that!  I was on a roll! “This place is great! I’m catching one fish after another!”  Chad didn’t share my enthusiasm.  He hadn’t caught any, and his frustration showed.  He was determined to catch something and after an hour, neither one of us got a nibble.

Firing-up the motor we headed up-river for the pickup.  Chad was in a fowl mood.  The best part of my day was the boat ride.  He hadn’t caught a thing, but he was right when he said, “You’ll catch fish!”