Early last October, on a cool and breezeless morning, one o’ my grandsons, Grant, and I had a half a dozen lines
Bobbin’ near the cattails, in a small secluded bay…catchin’ perch and crappie…when the little feller whines,
“Grandpa, I don’t get it. Every time you catch a fish, you look ‘im over good and then - you throw 'im right back in!
Everybody else I fish with keeps at least a few. Don’t you think we oughta keep one every now and then?”
“Anyone can catch a fish the first time,” I explained, “but, even if it’s really big, that still ain’t sayin’ much.
All the greatest anglers know the most important things are - where to try - what to use - and…workin’ on your touch.
“Catchin’ and releasin’ makes it all the more important to rig your line with something that your quarry’s apt to try,
Then every time you land a fish you’ve landed once before…he’ll know that he ain’t messin’ with no ordinary guy!”
“Oh, I see,” he smiled and said. Then turned and faced the lake. I watched him very carefully as his mind was hard at work.
Then, suddenly, his bobber dropped, and, like a dog on point, his eyes grew only larger with each quiver…with each jerk.
He gently raised the pole, whose tip was bobbing up and down, then slowly squeezed his fingers ‘round the handle on the reel.
With only incremental twitches guiding his response, working hard to hone his skills of suddenness…and feel,
He knew the chance to set a hook was brief, and quite elusive. He knew that fish were wary…and particular…and smart.
And now that I had told him why I often threw mine back, his resolution heightened as he took my words to heart.
The prospect of his catching one that he had caught before challenged him…taunted him…became his one intent, And every single muscle in his focused little face was bursting with excitement when his pole was fin’ly bent.
He whipped it back above his head, he knew the fish was on, then dipped the tip and spun the reel…his hand was like a fan.
The boat was rocking wildly as he fought to bring him in. He whipped and reeled, then whipped and reeled…then whipped and reeled again,
Until, at last, it surfaced, and he dragged it toward the boat, then hollered, “Holy crap, it’s huge…better grab the net.
I knew it was a monster…he was pullin’ like a tractor! Maybe this ‘ll be the biggest fish I ever get.”
I slipped the net beneath the fish and scooped that sucker up. Grant reached out and grabbed the line and swung it free and clear, Then said to me…dead serious………“I recognize those eyeballs!
I’m absolutely positive…I caught this fish last year!”
And FYI: I plan to post many of my AUDIO files over the next few months, most from my 4 new AUDIO-CDs, along with many more text files from my several books of verse. (Only a few CDs and books left - 2-10-21).
Because, as with most poets, it simply depends on the mood I’m in at writing time, my pieces vary greatly, from lightheartedly comical to meaningfully poignant, and even a few slightly irreverent works. If you happen to enjoy contemporary “traditional verse” - and my personal style, and appreciate great variety, please visit my website’s at: WWW,WRITEROFBOOKS.COM --- or Google me...after 58 years of penning verse and authoring books, I’m all over the place!
Copyright © Mark Stellinga | Year Posted 2021