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Story 2009 The Curse of the Net

Page history last edited by Jerome Moisand 7 years ago

The curse of the net

 

When

April 10 and 11th, 2009

Where

Merrimack River, MA

Who

Me and the net

See also Same story in French

 

This story is dedicated to Jim Pankiewicz. If he doesn't understand why, his wife will tell him. 


The story - day 1

 

Early April, I spent a day trying various new spots which seemed promising for spring time. Pic below is a small lake where nobody fishes for carp. Maybe I should buy one of those cute houses. Well, after checking that there are indeed carp in this venue - I'm not sure yet, my lines didn't move an inch when I gave it a try...

 

 

I spare you the details, nothing worked this day. Except the last hour. I has ended up fishing the Merrimack river, at the outflow of another small river. The outflow goes under a railway bridge where never-ending trains go by at times. I had one rod on the left side (a fairly quiet area, out of the main current because of the shape of the shore downstream), and one rod on the bridge itself. On the bridge, I needed a drop-net, and guess what, I had not used yet the triangular drop-net that my friend Daniel constructed last year, a nice gift from Quebec.

 

 

After a little while, I got a run on the left rod and landed my first Merrimack carp for 2009. Which tried its best to crawl back to the river from the landing mat. Interesting orange lips, I wonder what those fish eat in the river.

 

 

While I was waiting for another run, I heard two big splashes. A jumping carp in April, this is unusual, and it seemed really massive. Yeah, well, turns out to be massive indeed, but a massive beaver! I came back to my rods, I really wanted to catch another fish to finish the day on a good note, I called my wife, negotiated 30 more minutes of fishing, hung up and got a run right away. Cool. This was on the left rod, and sure enough, I forgot to take the net with me while rushing to the grab the rod. I started to play the fish and... my right rod started screaming too, and it was 50 feet away, way out of reach. It is very stressing to listen to an alarm which doesn't stop screaming, the fish had gone in the current and kept going and going.

 

I  horsed the first fish, lifted it out of the water, put it on the shore and... did something really stupid. I left the fish on the shore, close to the water, with the hook still in its mouth. And didn't engage the baitrunner on my reel. I rushed to my right rod, luckily, I had quite a big reel on this one because this second fish had gone far, far away. I played it for a while, it was getting close when I heard a splash on my left side. And I suddenly realized that the first carp made it back to the water and was working hard on dragging my rod behind it. So I put my 2nd rod back on the rod pod, this time, I did think to engage the baitrunner, and rushed to go get the first rod before it made it in the river. Here I was again, working on the first carp while my alarm on my rod pod was screaming with the second carp having found the current again. Back to square 1!

 

All right, this time I quickly landed (again) the first carp and took a few seconds to unhook it and to secure its position on the landing mat, far from the water. It was a nice golden fish, great colors. Back to the second rod.

 

 

At this point, I was actually quite excited, I  was going to finally baptize Daniel's net, with quite a story to go with it. I played (again) the second carp, brought it close to the bridge, grabbed the drop-net and... NO WAY... how the hell did this carp suddenly unhook itself? I sat on the floor, watched it slowly swim and fade away, taking my high spirits with it. I finally took care of the first carp, took a quick pic, threw it back in the water rather unceremoniously and wrapped up, very late for dinner and not exactly in a good mood for the rest of the evening.

 

On the way back home, while I was ruminating on my failure, it struck me. This drop-net was cursed. Obviously. I  mean, how could I lose a fish which stayed hooked for two very long runs on an almost free wheeling line and lose it right when I was grabbing the net? This had to be the net. Cursed, I tell you. Right?

 


The story - day 2

 

After sleeping on it, I was determined to break the curse. I came back to the same spot in the morning, pre-baited a good deal, and went walking along the river to explore a bit more. I did find another interesting spot, then came back to the bridge after two hours. Since I'm a stubborn silly guy, my two rods were positioned in the same way as the day before, far from each other, except that this time, I had taken a regular net for the left rod and the (cursed, I tell you!) drop-net for the right rod. I quickly got a run on the left rod, missed it, I cast again and got a second run right away. And this fish was landed with a net as it should be. Now that's better.

 

At this point, those two runs having happened very fast, I hadn't found time to assemble the drop-net. I was working on it, almost done, shoot, my right rod started to scream! So I had to play the fish and go down the shore through brambles, and guess who ripped apart his pants? The stupid carp angler. And why? Because of this *&%$#@ drop-net!

 

 

Once this carp was released, I just couldn't find where was the bolt I needed to finish assembling the drop-net. Took me 15 minutes to find it - and in the mean time, I landed two more carp on the left rod, including an immaculate 20+ carp, my first river 20 this year.

 

 

I finally found the darn bolt, the drop-net was fully set up, it was just a matter of minutes and I will baptize the net, yes, I can! Ok. Let's wait. And wait. 20 minutes later, I was still waiting. I shot a very dark look at the cursed drop-net, used a few unflattering epithets (a sophisticated way to say I wasn't exactly polite with it!), and... the drop-net angrily replied that maybe, maybe the issue wasn't with the net but with the inept angler. Well, I have to say, maybe there was some truth in there. You know how it is downright annoying when you assert something rather silly and your wife points it out rather plainly, and you really don't want to acknowledge your mistake even when you know you're dead wrong? I  tell you, this net was not only cursed, this was also a she-net. Had to be. Right?

 

Finally, I got another run. On the left rod. Of course. I  played the fish, landed it, brought it back to the landing mat, I looked at my rod on the bridge and it started to sing. I never played a carp so carefully... It fought for a while, then gave up and didn't cause me any more troubles when I dragged it in the water over the drop-net. YES, GOT  IT. The curse was broken! Finally! Well, was it? Compare those two catches? Hmm, one of those fish was real small. Guess which one. This cursed she-net was still having a good laugh at my expense!

 

 

I released those two, landed two more on the left rod, and then history repeated itself. Again. First run on the left rod, fish on the mat, a run on the right rod, the drop-net performed as intended, both carp on the mat and which one was the biggest? The left rod fish, of course! I wouldn't claim that the cursed she-net was rolling on the floor laughing, but it certainly intended to, don't you think?

 

 

Overall, I landed 10 carp in less than 4 hours. And missed two other fish. For a new spot in April, this was quite remarkable. Actually, I can't remember having such a session in April, ever. I was pondering to go to the other spot I had discovered during my morning's walk, but decided instead to recast my two rods, never interrupt a good time! Ten minutes later, a run on the left rod, fish on the mat, a run on the right rod, perfect timing, landed it. And finally, the cursed she-net played it nice and it did deliver the biggest fish of the brace.

 

 

I  wrapped up my gear, I  was quite ecstatic, I drove to the other spot while thinking to the way I was going to write the story, carried all my gear in a remote spot far from the parking lot, and... Damn it! Where is my bag with all my tackle? AND the camera? I hurriedly gathered my things (again), rushed back to the first spot and... relief... my bag was there, patiently waiting for me. While I was at it, I took a better pic of the area where I was fishing earlier with great success.

 

 

Twelve carp landed, including a 20 pounder. And no tackle bag lost, camera and pictures all safe. Now that I think about it... Maybe this drop-net brought me luck. Maybe. But this is a she-net, I will not budge from it. Has to be. Right?

 

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