Here, Fishy Fishy...
An Innocent Tale of a Southern City Girl Fishing for the First Time
I know the title sounds like a old regular fishing article, but it’s not. It’s more so about my journey to becoming an avid fisher. Yeah, still sounds a bit article-like, but I know no more about fishing than the next person.
Before meeting my wife, I hadn’t fished a day in my damn life. I’d never even held a fishing pole or been close to a live fish, unless you count all the betta fish that died on my watch from the time I was 13 until I stopped trying to care for them at 16. So, you can imagine while dating my honey I was taken aback when she asked me if I wanted to go one day. Now, she loves fishing, so of course I wasn’t going to say no. We were still new so I wanted to try something new with her.
I remember feeling rather excited about it seeing as it was something I always wanted to do, since I do live by a large body of water. However, I was quite nervous at the same time. How the hell was I going to touch a damn fish? The thought alone made me squirm. My girlfriend (now wife) assured me as we walked the fishing aisle of Walmart that she would take the fish off the hook for me. All I had to do was cast and reel. Sounds easy enough.
Fast forward past purchasing a pole, hooks, line, bait, and a spiffy new fishing license and then we were on the docks of Bayou La Batre. With my pole rigged up, it took me a few times to cast it correctly without nearly hooking the back of my head. After a few failed attempts and a few pieces of bait, I finally caught a fish. A croaker. I was fucking ecstatic!
Through out that first night, I caught way more fish than my significant other and by 3 AM, I was smiling ear to ear, sleepy and smelling like a fish market.
Fishing has become such a foundation for our relationship. While fishing, we talk, we laugh, we gossip, and we just enjoy each other’s time. The humor of it all is that we never eat any of the fish we catch. I don’t eat fish on the regular and my wife doesn’t eat fish at all. So what do we do with them? We give them to my mother. At the moment, her freezer is stocked with freezer bags of fish we’ve caught. She even gives some to my grandma, basically making us her fish plug. It doesn’t bother us though. We just enjoy the sport of it all.
You’d be surprised with the people you talk to while fishing. Most of the people we encounter are older and wiser. They have stories that will make you laugh or just scratch your head with curiosity. People think that fishing is boring or slow, but that’s the best part. The world is moving too fast so what’s the problem with slowing down a bit and just enjoying the moment.
Bill, work, BILLS, life, everything can get in the way of your peace and finding something to balance you out is the key to happiness. Fishing is our happiness no matter how floppy, slimy, and gross the fish are when you reel them in.
Now, a year later, I find myself asking my wife for Salt Life shirts and new poles. Fishing is a way of life for us and our favorite weekend activity. While some of our friends are out and partying, we are planted on the same dock with the older folks, laughing, talking, and groaning over getting catfish off our hooks.
I still rarely take the fish off my hook even after all this time.