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Story 2005 What is wrong with you

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 11 months ago

What's wrong with you, MrJ ?



November 21st, 2005


Merrimack River, MA


Fishing by myself


See also: what's wrong with you, MrP?  (the story which inspired this write-up).


The story


9:30AM. All set and ready on the shore for what might very well be the last warm & bright day of the year in MA. No doubt I'll finally catch my local 30+ today.


I chummed the spot where I was planning to spend the most time. Then decided to spend an hour in another spot nearby, to take a chance of a fish out there. Well, nothing happened. To keep me busy, I tied two new hair rigs because I noticed that some old hooks didn't look too good on the rigs I was using.


11AM. Ok, time to move. I'm sure my favorite spot will produce in no time. I move my stuff, recast as fast as I can (do NOT lose one minute of fishing), and enjoy a good chat with Scotty who stopped to check what was going on before getting to work. He was actually kind enough to tell me where to go if I wasn't successful, a spot that I had never tried before. So I though "ok, a couple of hours here, and I move if needed".


12:30AM. I'm getting a bit bored. Nothing moves. What if I try to put one rod 30 yards upstream where I saw Scott catching a fish two days ago? A tree fell in the water, so this breaks the current nicely. Admittedly, I'll be in deep trouble if I have simultaneous runs on two rods 30 yards apart, but this doesn't seem too likely.


1PM. I'm now almost ready to move to this new spot Scott described this morning... And then things started to go wrong...


I hate ducks. I really hate ducks. Those things just wouldn't understand that they have to leave me alone (and more important the bait I threw in the water). One duck got tangled in my line earlier in the day, I was almost happy to frighten it a good deal, but it succeeded to go away before I could reel in my "PB duck"! And 5 minutes later, it was back like nothing happened! AARG.


So I did something really stupid. I took my (poor's man) net and hit brushes nearby to frighten the duck again. Completly useless. Except that I found a way to break my net in the process.


What's wrong with you, MrJ?


While I was grumbling after the duck (it was its fault that the net broke, right?), I suddenly heard a distant BEEEEEPPPP. Could it be? Yes, I have a run on my distant rod! FINALLY!


I ran, slipped in the mud, fell on my rear end, didn't even swear before running again and YES, I was connected with what seemed to be a nice fish. Could it be? My 30+? But nah, I saw the fish emerge and it was nice, probably a low 20, but no monster. I continued to play it for a little while, and the question was how am I going to land this fish? No net, and not much opening between trees and bushes?


Well, the problem got solved. The hook suddenly pulled. You know, hooks sometimes pull at the beginning of the fight, or at the end near the net. But very rarely in-between.


I sat on the floor. Holding my rod, with the line in the water. I was just so gutted. Don't know why, much more than I should have, but really, really gutted. I was watching the water flow, and just holding on this non-sensical thought: what if this carp would be kind enough to come back and eat my bait again? It was still in the water...


I finally reeled in. Checked the hook. And understood. WHAT A DOPE. I had completly forgotten to replace the damaged hooks by the new ones!


What's wrong with you, MrJ?


So I threw the line in the water (the bait was still there), just for the few minutes that it would take me to go get my stuff, and focus on this specific swim. I grabbed my stuff, cast the other rod, and thought that this swim could really use some lanscaping (cutting branches, etc).


So I started to use my snips (secateur?), and well, there was quite some work to do. I also noticed that I could actually clean-up a much easier access to my car. This kept me busy for an hour. And I got a run! On my 2nd rod! FINALLY!


I grabbed my rod, felt the fish for a second or two and... the hook pulled. Ok, it didn't take me long to understand what was going on this time. So I screamed my hate of the world (and mostly my hate of myself) to the river. Sure enough, this was the second damaged hook that I had not replaced. And by the way, the first damaged hook was still in the water.


What's wrong with you, MrJ?


The two bad hooks were replaced this time. And the swivels while I was at it. Now I had to decide, should I go to Scott's spot or not? I still had a bit of time ahead of me, and it just bugged me to stay on such failure at the "hook pulling" swim. And I wasn't done with my lanscaping.


Snip, snip. Getting better. Snip, snip. Ok, I wa tired. Time to wrap up everything and move. I started to pack, started to dismantle my Euro net (one arm was getting quite fragile, so I was doing it with care). But a screaming alarm startled me!


I got a run! FINALLY! Hey, hey, it feels good. And this is on a brand new hook. And... the hook pulled after 15 seconds... AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGG.


I sat on the floor again. Gutted again. REALLY gutted.


There was nothing wrong with me this time. Er, I think... There must have been, since the duck was gone, it wasn't guilty. And by the way, the arm of my Euro net is now broken. 


What's wrong with you, MrJ?


By then, I was rather pissed. I said "screw it, I'm leaving". I said "screw it, I'm staying". Went back & forth a few minutes. And decided to stay...


4:15PM. Nothing moved for a while. I dozed on my (very dry) landing mat. Pondering to go back to sunfish fishing. Although it's not always that easy to catch the small buggers. Hmm, getting cold & dark. Ok, enough, I'm beaten today. I'm going to write a "what's wrong with you" story.


So I wrapped up. Slowly. With a complete lack of energy. Batteries fully depleted. I carried my stuff to my car, leaving two rods in the water until the last minute as I always do.


And I had to make a very important decision. Which of the two rods should I reel in first? I chose the one which didn't produce. Dismantled it. Then I looked at my last rod. I'm sad, sooo sssaaaddd (Elton John, I need the lyrics!). And I focused on it and thought "BITE, DAMN IT".


And... it worked! The bite alarm started to sing! I let it run for 5 good seconds, this was just so unexpected. I came back to my senses, and started to play the fish with my heart pounding. I DID NOT WANT TO LOSE THIS FISH. NO WAY.


Oh, no... The fallen tree... Why was the darn fish swimming towards it? I succeeded to stop it before the catastrophe. The fish wore out. Now I had to land a feisty river fish with no net at all (never thought I would break TWO nets the same day!). And... I did it! Without even wetting my feet!


I SCREAMED TO THE MOON: YYYEEEESSSS. Ok, there was no moon visible, but I did scream at it!


Nope, not a 30+ or a 20+. An upper teen. The most beautiful fish in the world, the one saving the day! I had to go get the camera in the car (everything was packed up, remember?). I took two pics, and came home without visiting Scott's new spot.


What's wrong with you, MrJ?   NOTHING. Just fishin...


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Post-scriptum (the day after)


Being my stubborn self, although it rained pretty good today in eastern MA, I was back on the river this afternoon. I baited the "hook pulling" swim, then moved to this new spot where Scott did wonders. Well, I did not. Just got soaked. Same story at another spot I wanted to try. It was raining pretty hard! 


So I came back to the "hook pulling" swim, and landed a 17 pounder relatively quickly. Even the rain seemed to collaborate and finally thin out. And I was rewarded for my insanity with this nice 23-8 long fish.


At dusk, I wrapped up my stuff, and looked hard at my last rod thinking "BITE! NOW!". I got tired of it at the 15th attempt... I guess it works only once a year... 

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