I went fishing last Wednesday and caught a few shad that I put back into the water. A man was there with his black lab. He was straight-line fishing and had four brim on a stringer. He moved to the boat dock and caught another one that he laid on the dock then put his line back in the water. The fish was flopping around and his dog went to it and pushed it with his nose until the fish fell off the dock. “That’s my supper!” the man screamed. Then he moved down to where a tree overhung the river. He climbed out on the tree and let his line down and caught another one. This one was larger, and he threw it to the bank. Well, the fish was flopping and the dog started to push it with its nose. “No, you don’t!” the man yelled as he got off the tree, slipped in the mud, but saved his fish. He caught one more before he left with six fish on his stringer. As he walked past me, slushing with wet mud, he said, “Next time, I’m leaving Jojo at home!” Fishing is good entertainment!
Badona said all I write about is fishing. Now I’m not just writing about it; I’m doing it! So far this year I’ve caught large-mouth bass, yellow perch, white hickory shad, and a rockfish by mistake. I plan to go fishing at least once a week until the end of the year.
I’m struggling to finish my fifth book, The Legend of Tater, because of being so busy. Maybe when I’m older and can’t do much else, I’ll write more. I’m thankful that the Lord keeps me busy doing His work in the church and in the community; and He gives me bonus time to go fishing!
I’m ready for fishing! Some of my fishing buddies have already started, but I will catch up. I have some responsibilities to take care of first, but things will change after the seventh of March. If Johnny says, “Let’s go fishing,” I’m at the attitude that I can drop everything and go fishing! I’m supposed to be retired, but Johnny and I still want to help people.
This morning I was thinking about Jerry Boynton. He died a few years ago. We used to go fishing a lot together in my canoe and later in my boat. But Jerry fell in love with swamp fishing. I don’t go swamp fishing anymore. I can’t afford to tear my legs up anymore.
When Jerry first went into the swamp with me, he was a little nervous. He wore long pants which was smart. I never wore long pants. He carried a stick in one hand and his fishing rod in the other. After we got in the water, Jerry used the stick. When he cast his rod the first time, a large fish took the lure. The fear of snakes and other creatures left his imagination and all that was on his mind was winding that fish in. It was a bowfin. The stick was left behind and never brought again. The swamp became beautiful to him like it was to me and we enjoyed its beauty.
Our trip to Kiptopeke State Park was different. Alvin and I left at 5 am. It took two hours to get there. It was a cloudy morning with a slight breeze, and the tide was going out. I was catching stripers with a speck rig, and Alvin caught his first flounder. I also caught a puffer fish on the speck rig. The stripers were different there. They were long and lean and had a darker color. They weren’t thick like they are here. We caught a variety of species.
We fished from 7:15 am to about 9:30 pm. We do plan to go back sometime in the future and camp along with fishing. The pier there is different. It has grass growing on it. It’s like an island shored up with concrete around it. They also have several concrete ships moored about 200 yards out in the water to make a reef around one side of the pier. The fish like it. At sunset people came out with cameras to capture the sunset behind the concrete ships. Many were taking photos of a crab that was in the grass.
If you haven’t been there, I recommend that you visit. You’ll want to stay for longer than just a day. All we did was fish, but I’m sure there is more to do there. The Lord blessed us. It was enjoyable to experience God’s creation in a different place here in Virginia.
It’s funny that in the Potomac River you can keep stripers from May to December; but in the Virginia waters, there is a summer break. On the first day of the fall striper season, Johnny invited me out to go fishing. I’m glad we went. We caught over our limit but only kept the limit. The first one Johnny caught was only 20 inches. We returned it to the river to keep a larger one. There is one striper out there with my lure in its mouth. It was pulling drag and was able to cut the line on something on the bottom. There is a lot of structure on the bottom that seems to hold fish. They say you’re not fishing if you’re not losing your lures. After that, I kept my rod up and didn’t play with them until we caught our limit.
We like casting lures because when a large striper strikes, you feel it immediately. They are great fun to reel in. Stripers don’t smell like other fish, nor do they have a fishy taste. I still caught other fish for the cats, but those greedy buggers wanted my two fish, as well. I’ve posted on Facebook a photo of what a cat will do to a fish carcass and one of the stripers we kept.
I hope everyone has something that they enjoy doing as I do to get out of the world for a while. It will keep you strong and healthy! A simple life in Christ is all I desire!
This week Johnny invited me to go fishing on his boat. I guess we should have stayed home. The weather said that the wind would be from the northwest, five to ten miles per hour. No, it wasn’t. We were bouncing on the water and fishing and catching fish, stripers. Johnny had one on his line and got it to the boat. We were fishing with Rattle Traps. As he was getting the striper unhooked, the fish hooked him and set the mustard hook into Johnny’s finger. It was a mess. I managed to unhook the fish but was hurting Johnny at the same time. The Rattle Trap, an ounce in weight that was chrome with a blue back, was hanging from his finger. We struggled to get the treble hook off the ring of the lure. Now Johnny only had the treble hook in him. The treble hook was not long enough to push it through and cut. It really hurt Johnny when we tried and going the other way hurt even more. So we got ready to go to the hospital. But our troubles didn’t end there. The button was pushed to pull the anchor up. All that came up was rope. It had come loose from the chain and anchor. At least the boat started. There is always something to praise the Lord for. We had caught fish and now the boat started. I thought about the infection that is in the water. One guy I know, Andy, almost lost his arm because he didn’t take care of a cut.
We left the boat tied to the dock and unhooked the trailer from the truck. Johnny’s finger was really hurting. At the hospital in Tappahannock there was no wait. The doctor shot some numbing serum into Johnny’s finger and used a scalpel to cut the hook out. He gave him some pills and a prescription of antibiotics to take for ten days. Next we went to Rappai where Johnny ordered a new anchor. Chris let us borrow one for the day so back to the boat we went and back to fishing. Johnny’s finger wasn’t working very well. The borrowed anchor really made us work as well as the wind buffeting the boat around. But we were still fishing. We are hard-core fishermen! The doctor had given me back the hook that he cut out, and I struggled to reattach it on the Rattle Trap with the boat rocking all over the place.
What a day! Johnny ended up breaking his fishing rod; and while he was taking the Rattle Trap off that I had fixed by reattaching the hook, it fell in the river. Fishing is expensive! Don’t get out of practice!
I’m suffering from fisherman withdrawal. I haven’t been fishing for a whole week. This is the same feeling I get in January, February, and the first two weeks of March. I went outside to look at my fishing rods in the shed this morning and played with my saltwater tackle and freshwater tackle boxes. I have gotten a lot of things done for other people as well as here at home. I feel good that things got accomplished, but I’m looking forward to getting back to fishing next week. Fishing is my outlet, and I’m glad I have two friends who take me out on their boats. I got rid of my boat a few years ago. I do enjoy bank fishing also.
I’m planning a church fishing trip along with Alvin on the last Sunday in September. Alvin found a flier advertising Ocean Eagle. They charge $40 for 5 hours. It’s a headboat that holds a lot of people. I don’t usually like headboats. I’d rather use lures. But being with people will be fun, and fishing will be secondary. I hope you will be able to get out and enjoy nature this week.