Monday, February 8, 2010

Underwater Photography!

I watched the Superbowl Sunday night as I'm sure most of you did and I came away from the game and evening with a sense of pride for the Saints, the City of New Orleans, and yes even the Colts too! The game was well played with a story book ending that started way back in the center of a Hurricane named Katrina in 2005. Without a doubt, it was the shot in the arm that "The Big Easy" needed since it was left in such devastation just five short years ago. Congratulations again to the Saints! It was nice to see them get their chance at history and not disappoint the many Saints fans who have suffered for so long at the bottom of the NFL.

A final score of 31 to 17, (I predicted Saints 26, Colts 17) I had no idea at the time, that the Superbowl outcome would have such significance on my next day of fishing. What does the Superbowl have to do with fishing? I thought you would never have asked, but I am prepared with an explanation. Friday I managed to make my way out to a local forest preserve to try for a few tasty bluegills. I set up my shelter on the lake and fished hard, moving from spot to spot, from about 11:00 am until 5:00 pm, with only three dinky gills to show for it. Try try again. I went out again on Sunday from around 11:00 am until 4:00 pm and my nephew Tyler and I picked up a few dinky bluegills and a 6 inch bass. Try try again. I watched the game Sunday night at my brother Keith's house. While we ate and drank, the three of us started planning a fishing trip for the summer. By the time the game was over I couldn't wait to go ice fishing.

Monday morning arrived and I planned it perfectly. Shirley would drop me off at our neighborhood pond on her way to court (lead foot). She would call me from her cell phone and pick me up on her way home, after running a few errands. I got to the pond a little before 11:30 and drilled a few holes in different locations and started fishing. Now I was as determined as Drew Brees and the Saints to complete my quest for a few delicious bluegills. Around 12:15 pm or so my sister Cindy called to talk to me about her trip to the Bahamas. I wasn't catching anything yet so I was holding the phone and fishing at the same time. She got interrupted from some guys that were hammering on the back door of the foreclosed house behind her, and as a concerned neighbor she wanted to verify that they were legit, so she hung up to call the police. I went back to jigging and watching my line and she called back again. Somewhere in the next conversation, the phone slipped out of my hand, rode down my chest, bounced off of my right knee, and slid across the ice right into the hole I was fishing. It looked like a combination between a Peyton Manning perfect pass and one of Tiger Woods' miracle putts. After a few choice words and some laughs, I realized that the only thing to do now was to keep fishing.

I continued to catch a few more gills but nothing of any size. Around 2:30 pm I got a bite on my jig/spike combo and it hung on to the bait ever so slightly but it didn't feel the same as the other fish that I had caught. I set the hook lightly and the line raced off of my spool like Jeff Gordon's #24 in the Daytona 500. A few minutes later I was releasing a 14 inch largemouth bass into the icy water. Damn! No picture. Camera phone is at the bottom of the pond! Who's going to believe me? I went back to fishing, thinking I only had about 30 minutes or so until I had to leave. Wouldn't you know it I caught another one, only this time it was about 17 inches long. Damn again! No picture. The one time I don't have my camera, I catch two nice fish. Both of the bass were the biggest fish that I have ever caught while ice fishing! As always it's another story to add, to the many that I have been a part of, over my 40 years of fishing. It never gets old! Oh, by the way, the 17 points that the Colts scored, was the 17 inches of my biggest bass and the 31 points for the Saints was the combined inches of my two bass (14and 17). Did I forget to mention that I was using a gold and black jig?

Now in all this Superbowl and fishing excitement I had forgotten that the last words my sister Cindy had heard during our phone conversation was "Oh Shit!" as the phone slid like a hockey puck past a flopping Cristobal Huet. By this time the family had started to gather the search party to see if; A. I fell through the ice. B. I was mugged or C. I had dropped my phone in the water. Cindy guessed correctly! I was walking home from the pond, when she pulled up beside me to see if I was OK and offered to take me home. A great Superbowl. A great day of fishing (pictures or not). And to top it all off I get a new cell phone. I wonder if I can get one with a wrist strap?

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