Ain’t No Story Like a Fish Story

“A catfish party?” She said incredulously while swishing and spitting the toothpaste into the bathroom sink, “Whose idea was it to have a catfish party?”
“It’s a catfish tournament/fish fry and it was my boss’s idea,” He responded while deciding which tie would complement his grey suite and white shirt.
“So we have to catch them and fry them ourselves?” She asked confused. “What about that sounds like a party?”
“Randal’s planned a big team building afternoon that starts with a cat fishing tournament at their fully stocked pond. The three biggest fish earn their captures a ribbon. Then Randle and his wife fry the food and we enjoy a feast. It should be fun,” He sounded less than convincing.
“So this is an excuse for Randle to show off his new house and fully-stocked catfish lake.”
“Ah, you are a quick study,” He kissed her on the cheek while tightening his tie.
“Do you know how to catch catfish?” She probed.
“How hard can it be? Hook, bait, sinker, and reel them in,” His answer sounded overconfident.
“Remember that time we visited the fail-proof Texas Fisheries to show the boys how to fish?” She reminded him.
He winced at the memory. “But those were very well trained fish,” He teased sardonically.
That’s what the woman at the fisheries joked about when she handed out the corn for bait and special catch and release hooks, “They’re extremely well trained fish.” Everyone chuckled at the thought.
Nine year-old, Jordin dropped in the first yellow kernel of bait. Three eager fish hungrily dashed toward it. The fastest swam away satisfied; the other two drifted off disappointed.
“That was easy,” Jordin said. So Mom and Dad added the corn bait to the special hooks of all four fishing lines and simultaneously plopped them in the water.
Jordin checked his bait about a tenth of a second later. Nothing.
Another thirty seconds later, Jordin reeled in his line sure something had taken his bait. This time he was right. Dad added another gold nugget and splashed the line in a third time.
Jordin immediately started to reel in his line when Mom stopped him, “Jordin, I’m no fish expert but I think you actually have to leave the line in the water before the fish will bite the hook.”
Three hours, two cups of bait, and no fish later, they resigned to simply dropping the corn in the pond and admiring the fish happily munching away.
“I think they’re laughing at us,” older brother, Thomas said.
“They’re definitely laughing at us,” Mom concurred.
He willed the image of the failed fishing outing out of his mind and replied to his wife, “That time at the fisheries was totally different. Those hooks were rigged so the fish could get off too easily. Randall’s got real hooks and bait and guarantees everyone will spend next Saturday morning successfully reeling in plump, well-fed, tasty catfish.”
The morning of the tournament/fish fry was unusually cool for a spring day in Louisiana. Mom was prepared with extra sweatshirts and fleece leaving them no excuse to avoid hiking down to the lake to “rustle up some grub.” Whatever that meant.
The unsuccessful foursome relived the failed fish routine of hook, sinker, bait, bobber, plop – with the same predictable result. Fish swim up. Fish see bait. Fish swim away laughing.
“We really are fish repellant,” Thomas moaned.
“Persistence pays off. You just have to stick with it,” Dad encouraged.
“Does it unnerve you in the least at that between the two of us we have advanced degrees from two of the leading universities in the entire nation; and yet we are routinely outsmarted by fish?” She asked her husband with a endearing grin.
He grunts, “We’re going to catch one, just be patient.”
Thunderous cheering and splashing disrupted their conversation as the couple to the left of them reeled in their first catch of the day.
“See,” He told his family. “The fish are biting.”
At that same moment, cheering and splashing once again filled the air as the couple to the left pulled in a second fish. The woman proudly held the slimy trophy in the air like a scene out of The Lion King while we all cheered and made exaggerated “whoa” sounds.
Before the excitement died down, the now obnoxious couple to the left reeled in their third catch in about 15 minutes, an accomplishment that’s met with the loudest applause of the day.
“Get that one weighed. That’s a blue ribbon contender ya got there,” Her fellow fishing buddies cried out in excitement.
She scurried up to the weighing area with an excited grin beaming from her lips. Her fishing line hung dangling just above the water, bait precariously sagging from her overworked, bent hook.
While the fishless foursome sat less than two feet away with four baited hooks dancing provocatively in the water to lure fish, that damned obnoxious woman managed to catch a fish on her unattended, just hovering over the water fishing line.
Fishless family was understandably stunned. “What luck,” Jordin exclaimed.
“I don’t believe in luck. You make your own luck,” Mom said while scrambling across the damp earth to drag the already hooked line on to the blanket of mossy grass at the pond’s edge. Seizing the unlikely opportunity, Mom barked orders to her family before the other fishermen notice. Both boys stood victoriously by the borrowed line and its miraculous trophy.
Dad smiled, flashed the photo, and high-fived his resourceful spouse.
“Who needs hooks, bait, and bobbers? With a little luck and ingenuity, we created a little “fish story” of our own,” Mom beamed.

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One thought on “Ain’t No Story Like a Fish Story

  1. Pingback: Ain’t No Story Like a Fish Story | tequilaandlemonade

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