A Fishing Story (painful) from our Pal Butch Rickey………………….
DING DARLING DOOZY!
Last Friday Jen and I went to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, on the Pine Island Sound side of Sanibel Island, to fish the creeks and try to escape the wind. It’s a wonderful place – healthy mangroves, beautiful water with good tidal flow, a plethora of birds, and a fair amount of fish. It was a gorgeous, warm spring day, with plenty of sunshine but winds predicted to be gusting well over 20 knots. When we got there and started fishing, we were happy that we had made the choice.
At first we were fishing some little bays near the mouth of a creek, getting plenty of bites and landing a trout from time to time. After trying several different types of lures I was fishing a Mirrodine, a fairly new lure that seems to catch all species of fish, trout, snook, reds, even tarpon. The lure was getting either bites or follows on almost every cast. In the water the Mirrodine looks a lot like a baitfish, especially when “jerked” erratically, and it has two treble hooks that are quite effective in catching fish. Of course, I routinely crimp down the barbs on my lures, and I had sharpened the hooks on this one before I began casting it. On about the sixth cast I got a good hit, and reeled in a nice trout.
I thought about the technique that all fisherman have read about, but I had never had to try: tie a length of monofilament around the hook shank, then pressing down on the hook, jerk it straight out so that the barbed area comes out the same hole it made going in. It was obvious that I couldn’t do it by myself; could I teach it to Jen in such circumstances, when I had never done it myself?
Before I could discuss it with her, she turned on the trolling motor and began moving the boat toward the only fisherman in sight, a fellow who a quarter of an hour before had actually pulled onto the flat near the shoreline in front of us, anchored, and put out a couple of lines. We had to ease around him to continue fishing our planned route.
As we got within hailing distance, Jen called out, “Hey, we need your help!”
He immediately began apologizing. “No, that’s not what I mean,” Jen said. “Do you have any experience at getting hooks out of hands?”
I steeled myself and with a quick movement he jerked. The line parted; the hook was still in my finger.
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