Sunday, March 19, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 71th Installment

could bring the bait right to the snout of the big sucker fish.

These buggers must be vegetarians; maybe we should try some lettuce or a carrot for bait,” I laughed.

Not a bad idea,” Russ said, “the carrot I mean.”

I was only joking, fool,” I replied, but in a comical voice.

Russ was fiddling through our tackle box and came up with a large treble hook. “Okay watch this,” he said, as he tore a little piece of fabric off the bottom of his white tee shirt and threaded the hook through the cloth. He snelled the hook on a heavy length of 30 pound fishing leader and lowered it to the bottom. We could clearly see the white spot on the bottom. We waited, and soon the suckers started floating by. When one had passed over the white marker, Russ jerked the line and the big treble hook snagged the sucker fish near the tail. The fight was on. When you hook one of these fish in the mouth they don’t fight much. However, when you hook one of these suckers by the tail, they have the advantage, and you have a good fight to get them to the surface. The cheap fishing rod that we had was not up to the task of reeling in very big fish. I was trying to help land this big sucker and I grabbed the line. The line is small and slick so I quickly wrapped the line around my fingers so I could pull without slipping. Big mistake. The line tightened around my fingers causing a great deal of pain but didn’t draw blood. I shook loose noticing Russ snickering at me and with the next pull I wrapped the line around my shirt cuff at my wrist which worked well and we dragged the fish on the bank. We caught several more using this method. Occasionally the thirty pound line would snap, and we’d lose our treble hook, which were always in short supply, and we’d have to use a regular single hook which wouldn’t work nearly as well. Soon we were out of big treble hooks and it would be a while if ever before we could get more. We went home.

We asked Vernon if he had any more big treble hooks, but he didn’t, so this was the inspiration for our harpoon. We had a fifteen foot bamboo pole we sometimes used for a flag pole, and we attached a barbed point to the end of it. The barb was made from a ¾ in. wide by 1/8 inch thick by one foot long flat iron. We cut the end to a point by sawing the end off at a 45 degree angle. Then, we cut a ½ inch slot in the edge and pried the cut open to create a barb. We used a file to sharpen the point and the barb we created.

After all our labors, we

500 more words tomorrow

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