Almost died and went to Valhalla last night....
What a night...
Just got home from a REAL nightmare night. I almost lost it all. I went up ta Newmarket to fish tha dam and test out some of Roc's wood plugs, as well as a few of Jimi4290's new plugs. Saw tha police tape, then noticed tha floatin dock was totally gone, the place looked like a waste land.The floods completely tore the place up. I then left and headed back to Hampton, came home and pondered what to do. It was drizzling lightly, but quite warm and even somewhat humid. I didnt want to go out and piss a bunch of money away at a useless barroom or go shopping for shit I dont even need, like I usually do when I am bored. It was a little after 7pm, and decided to just head out the marsh and fish the trestle. I knew I could catch the whole incoming tide if I left pronto. I threw the bait in the cooler, and headed out. I called nobody, figuring nobody else would have interest in going out fishing on a gray drizzly evening. Only stubborn, loyal fishermen do that.
Got to my spot, set up shop, and within minutes I had my first "topwater fish" of '06. Although it was a schoolie, it was fun to watch the 10 schoolies before it come up and go sideways as they attempt to slap the little Chug Bug popper 10 feet in front of me. Flashed of young Stripers while it was still a little light out. The tide started coming in enough for me to decide on hanging up the light-tackle popper setup and start throwin' the chunks. The sun had set.
Fishing "Bass Alley" on a good night will show you hits on every chunk of herring thrown, and I know a few people that can attest to that. I landed several fish, 3 of which being over 5 pounds, and the last being a little dink, check that, make it a Twink, as it barely reached 11". I figured since 3 out of 4 were somewhat larger than the tons of other small very young bassy's, that I would re-rig and use a longer leader with a larger hook, and a larger piece of bait. "Fish big, catch big". On a flood tide, its not a bad idea out in marsh. It didnt work the night before, but I also was on the wrong side LOL. I did so, then set my rod up firmly in position, then sat down to enjoy the peace and quiet, as there was nobody else out there. Doh! Then my cell rings, my best friend wondering what is up. Told him where I was and said the fishing is great. He said he would be along within 45 minutes. I put my cell phone back in my pocket, then took out a cig, went to light it, and thats when all hell broke loose..........HELL
With the unlit Marb in my lips, I saw my rod bend down so violently the tip damn near touched the water. Then, on the next violent tug, it ripped out from its "holder" between the granite stones and went into the water in front of me. I knew this had to be somewhat of a decent fish, and without hesitation and the unlit cig still in my mouth, I kneeled down to grab the butt end of my rod.....and something completely ****************ED UP happened to me. I must've moved that 1 inch...that 1 goddamn inch too far forward, and at the very exact moment, the fish yanked as hard as it probably could, with help from the ripping flood tide behind its broom tail, I fell into the ripping flood tide head first. As soon as I leaned forward and grabbed the butt of the the rod, a tremendous tug was let loose. I had moved too quickly, only an inch too far forward, while forgetting my respect for nature. Thats all it took. I vividly remember saying "oh ****************" as I was falling in...or maybe I just thought it aloud in my mind. And alot of things raced through my mind at that moment.
Now here I am, fishing alone, on a foggy overcast night, out in the middle of the marsh at 10:30 pm, next to a railroad bed that has been pretty much abandoned since the 70's....and the only person who knows I'm out there is my best friend that I talked to a little earlier, but wouldnt show up until a little while after.
Now I'm in the water, completely submerged, and doing a ****************ing somersault underwater. A complete 360. Upside down. Ears fill up with water, quicker than you'd think, and oh yeah, I didnt have the time to allow myself the luxury of a nice deep breath before falling in head first. Did my best to right myself and figure which way was up, while shitting my pants in the current. As I fought my way to the top, I realized I was a little farther from the granite than I thought I was, or wanted to be. And, I was facing west, AWAY from the trestle and its granite foundation. At this point I pissed, because I had already shit....then I said, **************** YOU MUTHERF'R C#%T!........I still gut my fishing rod in my hand!!! The fight was on! It was death, a decent Striper, and me..............floating down ****************in' Hampton River. Nudd's Canal Nuthouse.
I swam, with my rod, back to the lowest granite block I could see and climbed my big ass back onto land. The fish was still on, and I yelled out loud...if this ****************in fish aint ATLEAST 15 pounds, I'm gonna be some ****************in pissed and probably torch this town!!! MUUUUTHERFUUUUCKER!!!! So now here I am, completely ****************in drenched, head to toe, and even had my wet Stripers247 hat on (yup, managed saved that ****************in thing too!), and this fish is zig-zaggin all over the goddamn place. Now I'm thinkin', watch my ****************in knot break after I damn near drowned out in the middle of the bayou. I kept my composure though, and continued to fight. Upon landing this creature that almost cost me my life, I yelled I BEAT YOU, I WIN, before even measuring or weighing it. Because at that point, I was completely and utterly drained and exhausted, and I could not believe that had I not only managed to reach the granite stone in order to live, but that I had never let my fishing rod go in doing so....and I still landed this fish. It turned out to be only 16 pounds on the boga. But somehow, it seems worth it to me. I beat it, and I beat death. I ****************ING WIN.
My best friend eventually showed, and saw me sitting on the trestle with my head in my hands, trying to understand all that happened in that short period of time. I explained to him what happend, and he was more than stunned. I then walked him over to the fish, which I had laid down on the 'ol railroad ties between the tracks. I told him that he could have it, because I dont eat them, and I know how much he has been dying for Striper steaks and nuggets for a year. He just looked at me like I was the Wildman from Borneo.
We packed up my shit, and headed back to my house so I could fillet the fish. Before doing so, I stared at the fish....and within 60 seconds or so, I did all of the following..............realized it could've killed me, realized how much I respect the fish and the water and nature, realized what it meant to survive, and then gave the fish respect. I rarely keep fish, 1 a year. But this one, this one felt ok for once. I was ok with it. It fought, and it fought HARD, like a fish atleast 25 pounds. It almost took me out, but I had to take him out instead. And I felt such a sudden peace with everything that happend tonight.
I'm still in limbo, but if there's supposed to be a moral to this story......I guess its "try not to move that extra inch forward"...cuz it might cost ya more than you are willing to pay.....
P.S. Please excuse any graphic language I may have used. I could use a break.