I Just Needed More Time

I’m sure y’all have heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make teach to fishit drink.” Well, I have another one for you: “You can take a man to the lake, but you can’t teach him how to fish—if he won’t listen.” (I made up that last one after I spent a weekend with a couple of “tournament” fishermen one Fourth of July.)It was a hot weekend—over a hundred degrees—and not wanting to be in the way (or out of the air-conditioned cabin) I let the two of them go out without me the first two days of the long weekend.

They caught two fish in two days.

I went with them the third morning, and it became quite clear, quite quickly, my “expert” pals didn’t have a clue. Oh, they had all the cool gear; the best rods and reels, tackle boxes full of lures, a great boat, and one of them depth/fish-finder gizmos, but I guess a football uniform doesn’t make a feller a football player—if you get my drift.

Anyhow, after a couple hours of me sipping coffee and listening to them mutter excuses, I decided I’d show them how it was done.

I deftly cast my lure and—BAM—hooked a monster big mouth bass. I knew that’s what it was by the way it felt when it hit the lure. With my kind of experience, I can perceive these things instantly, you see.

The big fish hit the surface mad and thrashing, and them two fellas about went crazy. One of nearly fell out of the boat and the other one dropped his rod in the lake.

I landed the thing, and the two “pros” wanted to call fish & game to see if it might be a record. You should’ve seen the looks on their faces when I calmly removed the hook and eased the big fish back into the water

After they stopped yelling at me, I asked them if they wanted some pointers on fishing. They eventually calmed down, grumbled something about beginner’s luck, then decided maybe the fish would be biting later that evening. I smiled as we turned toward the marina, and told them I’d be glad to give them free lessons when we came back out. I couldn’t hear their replies over the roar of the boat.

We didn’t go back out that afternoon. The fellas decided it was too hot for fishing.

The next morning I was in my pickup ready to head for home, and I leaned out the window and told the boys how sorry I was we didn’t get to go fishing again. I told them I really thought they had potential, and I could probably help them, but… I just needed more time.

The looks on their faces told me I’d finally stepped over the line, so I stomped the gas and took off. I was laughing and watching them in the rearview mirror as I sped down the gravel road.

Them boys throw rocks about as good as they fish. Never even came close.



  1. r2a2r2j2 said

    Sounds like their tempers were “way too hot” for fishing! They ran into a really good salesman before they ran into you, “a really good teacher”. Like the equipment was going to do all the work for them! Eh!, they’re still gonna tell the story about the one that got away. People are gonna think they’re talking about a fish, not you. Congratulations on the good gettin’ though!!

    • Ummm… I made this up. The weekend was real, but the story is fictitious. I wrote it to poke fun at the other two guys (my step-dad and cousin). They truly are good fisherman, and I’m just a guy ridin along in the boat. 🙂

  2. r2a2r2j2 said

    Well, I must say! It truly was a very, very different fishin’ story. Usually, they are about the fish that got away and not about the “me” that got away. I loved it. I really pictured you racing to your vehicle, to avoid being “stoned” (in the biblicle sense), and racing away like Indiana Jones. I forgot, you’re a golfer! And you’re a good writer.

    Ahhh, riding in the boat, in the warm sunshine, warm blue skies, surrounded by glistening water lapping at the boat, green luscious trees on the horizon. Thankyou for that vision too, Maine has yet to come out of the cold zap, still buried in snow. Loved that story!! Made me remember warm weather.

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