“I figure the depth around 4 or 5 feet. The water is fairly clear; not much wind or wave. They’ll get a pretty good look at the lure so I won’t tie on a wire leader.” You could tell we both began cogitating tactics, because there was a little less communication ping ponging from our bow to stern.
The sun slipped behind the high small thinnest of a cloud. It did not take us long to be alongside the weeds, set parallel, at a decent casting distance — close enough to cast cleanly without having to disjoint a shoulder to get the length needed; but far enough away to not intimidate a wary fish.
“I think a medium retrieve,” I said, ” You fish the middle and towards the left; I’ll start right and move to the middle?”
“What are you fishing’ with?”
“Imitation worm, red, with a small sinker.”
“That new, overly soft, squishy, rubbery worm, that’s a translucent red so the sun’s light can reflect through it?”
“Giving it a whirl.”
I hesitate launching my bait for a minute and watched Pastor take the first cast. Splunk; it met the water; the ripples run outwards in that familiar circular pattern. Linger a couple seconds and it will be on the bottom. Let it rest; bring in the slack. Okay, lift the rod a bit and back down. Pause. Repeat, lift the rod and back down. Pause. Pull the rod up again and — feel some resistance with a twitching, jerking. Set the hook! as the line moves sideways and a little more pulling and aaaargh! As Pastor begins to reel the line in, the line goes limp. Working the lure back to the boat to see a partial worm; the missing segment from the trailing end; the trailing end without a hook.
“Think he’s still chewing on it?” I asked, tongue-in-cheek. Pastor saw through me.
“I doubt it. Maybe he would like to see it again? Doesn’t really matter — either way I am casting it again without changing the worm just to see what happens.”
“Sure , why not? I am wondering why that fish did not hit it again, with the way he tried to snarf it when he first took a look.”
Hesitantly, I ask, “I suppose you will be saying something about people?”
“Something like when teaching about Faith one can just eat up part of what you have to say and leave the rest for you to wonder about, as they swim away to another part of the pond?”
Without thinking much I thought, “You can talk all you really want, saying good things, and whoever you are talking to can chew on it awhile — as long or as short as they prefer — and simply spit it out.” But, anyway what I said was: “What if it is a rivalry thing. The fish was trying to say for your lure to grow to maturity somewhere else — outside of his territory.”
“So your theory is that Mr. Fish is still here waiting to see if I challenge his territorial jurisdiction. Well, I accept the challenge,” he said as he checked to see just how far away the lure dangles from the tip of the last eyelet and winded the reel’s handle so the gap is well-suited. And with an air of confidence mixed with what-do-I-have-to-lose, I heard, “Let the games continue!” He threw the lure just to the left and a little beyond the first cast.
“You know with a cast like that you might just make that fish think there’s a horde of new little critters wanting claim to his enclave solitare.”
“That is what I am counting on, now that you mention it.”
“You know all to well it’s what I would do.”
To Be Continued. . .