On the lighter side of things (referring to my few last political posts), Termite and I braved the August heat earlier in the week and went fishing.
The captain of the vessel didn’t even think about retrieving the GPS from its storage box in the shed or hooking it up. She doesn’t use it for her wetland tours. Therefore, her skills at navigating to an area to which she had not been in many moons were about to be challenged. That captain would be me, and it was a test of my bravery and memory. All you male readers, just get a grip and don’t guffaw, roll your eyes, or shake your heads at me too much.
I can remember the time, years ago, when I navigated totally without a GPS, depending solely on my memory to get around. Each time I ventured out, I went a little further and put that spot in my mental GPS, but the purchase of my first GPS literally set me free. It was liberating to be able to explore further and further, marking “waypoints” on the screen as I went, a virtual Hansel-and-Gretel-bread-crumb-trail that would only be eaten by the birds of an electronic glitch. (And yes, that has happened more than once.)
Even though we were only going about fifteen miles by water through small bayous, around islands, and across lakes, doing so was still a little bit of a challenge for me. The islands through which we had to cut seemed smaller than a year ago. Could that be true? Yes, it could and it was. The shoreline seemed to have receded in some spots, to the point that I wasn’t sure where I was momentarily.
Once we settled ourselves into the northeast corner of the Lake Mechant, near a coffee-ground colored shoreline, we thew down the Cajun anchor, baited our Kale hooks with dead shrimp and went to work. Disappointingly, there were no signs of reds running the shoreline at all.
While contemplating our next move, my thoughts were interrupted by Termite yelling, “Mom! Look!”
while he, in true professional photographer style, grabbed my camera from the bag, threw on the zoom lens and clicked away. I, on the other hand, was not so cool. I was barking orders like a Navy Admiral, wanting him to “snap to”, and all he could do was snap photos! I yelled at him to pull up the anchor and put down the bimini top. Truthfully, though, I wasn’t sure exactly how to avoid being sucked up by a waterspout. Bigger boats than mine met its demise in a waterspout in these wetlands.
Turns out, I was over reacting. By the time I pulled up anchor and headed closer to the bank, the darn thing had dissipated and the excitement was over quick as it had begun. I’ll be honest with you, though, it shook me up. We were far from solid ground where we could shore up and disembark, and the last place I want to be when a waterspout is coming is in the middle of a lake. I’ve never outrun a storm in my boat, and I wasn’t about to start that day.
Shortly, we fished a few more spots, catching only gaftop sail catfish. After a long series of thunderheads passed over, threatening rain, and with only one keeper trout to our credit, we ate our PBJ sandwiches and headed home.
On the way home, we ran into the star of the latest episode of National Geographic’s “Monster Fish”.
You know him as Bayou Fabio. You can find the episode here, and I encourage you to watch it. Bayou Fabio is the one who says, “Better watch your toes!” to host, Zeb what’s his name. Oh, and look. Fabio is wearing a cross made from gar fish scales, made by our famous jewelry maker, Kim. Remember the set we gave away here launching her career?
It was a beautiful, though cloudy, day on the water. We saw a rare event, and we saw a rare creature. Where else can life bring such fantastic surprises, short of camping and having your tent mauled by a bear, huh? Tell me!
I’m off to the Louisiana Outdoor Writer’s Conference, and will hopefully have some good news for you upon my return. Wish me luck at Saturday night’s awards banquet. I hope something I’ve done in the past year was prize worthy.