FISHING --- HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER
Powers of Fishing
When I was a kid, to hear the word fishing, sent me into nothing short of a convulsive fit and made me jump up and down for several minutes, until someone thumped me on my head and restored sanity to me, and the world around me. Fishing, meant that I got to go with my pop or granddad and a collection of uncles and pals from the neighborhood, and sometimes my mamma, and little sisters, on a new adventure into the wild, and to one of our favorite creeks, or the river, "The Big Muddy". Here is where I learned the true meaning of "escape", into the fantasies of grown men and small boys, and a world that meant, no matter how hard you tried, you couldn't remember a thing about troubles or worries. Fishing also meant food on the table and was the driving force that helped a Georgia Boy catch the world record Large mouthed Bass, back in the old days, in southern Georgia's waters. This occurred around the time of the depression and the fact that it proved to be a world record, it was put aside, and the fish was devoured as a meal that fed a house full of hungry folks back then.
To me, in the early days, fishing was an art of cork placement, anywhere in a body of water that may, or may not hold fish. I will admit that there may have been times when I was left to my own practices, that I may have attempted to catch imaginary aquatic species where there may have actually been a few frogs and tadpoles in the vicinity. Most times I was with an adult who kept me straight about when and where to try to catch a fish. The basic cane pole, short line, cork and hook were all that were needed to catch a mess of fish, provided that you used the right bait. The bait issue, was a whole new thing and required the qualities of experience and knowledge, about the finest arts of angling appreciation. The angler that was lucky enough to have lead weight on his line was given a little leverage in controlling the hook and bait that was to be presented to the victim, in its disguise, as a fish. Baits were in a wide variety of forms ranging from the animate and insect variety, to the long list of accepted common household foods, such as bread, liver, chicken parts, and a variety of dough concoctions devised to capture catfish species, mainly because it stunk.That reminds me of the time my granddad and I were fishing on a small creek and I kept trying to put my bait in a certain spot. When he asked me why I kept doing this, I showed him the three foot long cat fish that kept swimming nearby, and that was also the time that grand dad almost lost his brand new set of dentures in the Flat Shoals Creek. Now let's go back to baits and the dozens of kinds that were available there, right out in the open daylight. There were a variety of minnows, crayfish, cut baits, worms of all descriptions, and an occasional small snake, that may have been unlucky enough to slither within range, and in my foolishness, use as a form of enticement, that even the fish knew not to go near.
Ah Yes... those were indeed the "Golden Days" of my childhood and the days that many grown men found to be golden, as an escape into the depths of the fishing holes, a way out, in the country. The time back then moved slow and I was glad of this fact. The longer that I had to spend out fishing, the better I liked it, whether I caught a fish or not.
Over the years my fishing exploits added to my enjoyment and fanned the flames of my desires to continue in this most favored of my past times, into which I could place my whole being and drink of the wine of Mother Nature, at her finest. I learned to use the new contraption, called a rod and reel and after bumbling and stumbling for a time, actually learned to wind line properly on the reel and keep it oiled well enough from rusting off the pole upon which it was placed. I was plagued for a time with twisting line and after almost having a mental breakdown, managed to conquer the ramifications needed in properly winding the line onto the spool, and in the right direction, so that it would prevent the dreaded line twist and sometimes an early end to my fishing day. There were a variety of reels and I chose the spinning reel. Over the years, I did learn how it works when it is used in its most simple and efficient application.
Later when the plastic worm came out, as a bait, I hooked into my biggest fish ever, a Five pound Large Mouthed Bass(Black Bass..Whopper) that broke my reel right off the pole. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting the big one to hit just then, and even if I had been prepared, I probably would not have been able to keep the fish from breaking my light six pound strength line. I was "hooked" myself from that point onward, and I then devoted my life to one great and prolonged safari, bent on collecting the world's biggest Bass by my own superb angling techniques. Over the years I have hooked six and eight pound fish, but never have I come close to the twenty-two pound and some ounces world record caught back in the early years in the south, by a man who was trying to find a fish just to feed his family. I will never give up. I will never give in. I will one day catch that bass of my dreams. I will, of course, catch a whole lot of other fish along the way, including catfish, crappie, brim,and plenty of others that may help sooth my jangled nerves, as I hope with every cast that this one will be the one. The one cast that I will hook into that big one and land him .Then I can quit(fat chance). and once again return to the more normal life style of screeching tires on over congested roadways, blaring televisions, blinking computers and technology that is threatening to enundate everyone with no place to escape...wait...I think I heard someone say that word. Yes, it was the one...FISHING! Let's go grab our poles and head on down to that old creek I saw the other day, and how it looked mighty fishy. That's the one! See you there pal.
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