Yesterday was a perfect day, full of fun and even a bit of ironic humor. The morning revealed bait fish schooling around our boat in the marina. That usually means that the trout and drum will also be there chasing them. And fishing was bound to be good. So I netted a bunch of pin fish for bait and floated one out on a bobber in the middle of the marina channel. It took only 10 minutes before it plunged out of site. I played the fish for a few minutes and finally hauled him up to land in my dinghy on the back of my boat. He broke the line just as he was landing in my inflatable. What a beauty ! I had expected a red drum but to my astonishment it was a huge trout… something on the order of 4 to 5 pounds. I had never caught one so large. I showed it off to Helen and then put it on my old corroded stringer tied to the dock. I figured I would keep him alive and fresh until I filleted him late in the day.
From time to time I pulled the fish up to make sure he was doing OK. Then around 6:00 I gathered my scaling and filleting knives to do the nasty work. As I left the boat I told Helen that I felt a bit of sadness and guilt to end the life of such a glorious creature. I joked that I was finally feeling empathy for a fish and that maybe I could work myself up to someday feel empathy for an amphibian. Helen laughed. But then something happened that made her laugh even more. She almost cried laughing. The fish had gotten loose and I only had my corroded stringer with the opened clasp where the fish had sprung it. I couldn’t help but laugh as well….at the irony but also at my relief. With Helen as my witness, I saluted old Snaggletooth’s courage and fortitude. It was a perfect ending.
-Bryce Kaye 10/06/2013