The Last Word at the Lake: It’s Always Fishing Season

I was standing on my deck the other day watching a guy on a fishing boat slowly troll past my dock in the pouring cold rain. He didn’t catch anything and meandered along the shore testing all the docks for bites but coming away empty handed. As the rain turned from downpour to sideways I thought to myself, “That guy either really loves fishing or really hates being home on his days off.” 

Observing the people who come by my house fishing is one of the great joys of living at the lake. No one ever catches anything by my house. It makes me wonder if there’s some kind of buried toxic sludge or something else keeping all the fish away. I wish I could warn the fishermen or put a sign by our cove letting them know that they won’t catch anything if they enter, but I’m afraid it’d backfire and they’d think I’m hiding some top notch fishing hole from them and they’d come en masse. 


I like when they get close to my dock doing slow drive-bys and steering with their feet as they cast. If I tried to steer with my feet, fish, and chew gum at the same time, you can be guaranteed that someone’s dock would be getting run over by my boat. 

Some of the fishermen who come in close will wear big, expensive looking glasses and vests full of tiny pockets with inflatable life vests that explode on impact if they fall into the water. I sometimes wonder if I sprayed them with my pressure washer while cleaning my dock if their vests would inflate. Their boats are covered with stickers of what I assume are fishing companies, but I’m so out of touch with fishing that I don’t recognize a single one of the brand names they’re promoting. It’s probably not a big deal for those fishing companies since I found my fishing rod on the bottom of the lake when I stepped on it — I’m probably not the target market for the fishing industry. 


While my fishing rod came off the bottom of the lake, my tackle box disappeared there. One of the neighborhood kids kicked it off the dock along with my sunglasses after he ran through my line as I was trying to tie on a hook that ended up embedded in my finger. I wish I could say it was my worst day fishing, but one time my friend and I had waded in the lake up to our waists while fishing and that’s when he realized his phone and car key fob were still in his pockets and that we would be (briefly) stranded. 

Once that same friend hired a guide to take him and his dad fishing and they zipped around the lake catching fish with every cast. His dad had a GPS unit in his jacket pocket and was dropping pins on every spot the guide took them. Those two hit all the same spots a week later and didn’t get a single bite. I guess that’s fishing for you. Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you drive into my cove and get skunked. 


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