Deafening Silence – A Father/Son Fishing Story

I’ve been fishing my whole life. Check it out:

ImageThat was me in Denmark around 1984 or 85. Notice the red bucket and shovel, those two items taught me not to mess with jellyfish. I saw one on the beach so I guess I tried to cut it in half with the shovel. It got me… did you know they can sting you when they are dead? I didn’t either.  I was a weird kid, whenever I hurt myself by doing something I deemed to be stupid… I would suck it up and not cry or tell my dad. In this case I just remember thinking 5 years old was too young to die.

One time while living in Germany I stuck a pen in the socket… you know how they have those mischief attracting, round shaped sockets in Europe:

ImageI was sitting Indian style in front of it with a pen, just wondering how these holes made my stereo work. Naturally, I stuck the pen in the hole and went from Indian style to flat on my back in 1 second. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do so I did nothing and just went about my business. No way I was getting read the riot act for something I would never do again anyway. 

Ok… fishing, fishing…. oh yeah. It was around 1987. I had moved to the States and lived at West Point Military Academy, my father was stationed there. Ton of good fishing holes around there, and on one particular afternoon we were in a boat on Popolopen Lake at Camp Buckner. I was using my favourite surface lure… a Hula Popper!


I had no business using that in the middle of a lake, but I loved those things and just got a kick out them. I was tired of using a plastic worm and wasn’t catching anything anyway so I rigged up my hula popper. I was probably smiling. That little kid excitement, the hope of landing a lunker. I reached back to begin my casting motion, this was to be one of my most impressive casts ever, I knew it… I could feel it. Steadied my arm, faced forward and scoured the area I wanted to hit. I flung my rod forward with what I would describe as the strength of two 7 year-olds. I shielded the sun from my eyes and gazed out. Wait, what’s gone on? I scanned the horizon slowly… where did my hula popper go? I even looked up though I knew no trees were near me. Confused as shit, I turned to my father who was behind me, he already knew what had happened. My confused look turned into the “A-ha!” look which quickly turned into the “I’m sorry” look. One of the hooks on the second treble was lodged in my dad’s neck. Now let me explain the deafening silence. He didn’t make a sound, just stared at me. I didn’t move and just stared back and forth between his glaring eyes and hooked neck. I once caught a pickerel by its back, but this was way more bad ass. This went on for maybe 10 of the longest seconds of my life. Then he reeled in his own cast, took a sip of his Meister Brau, then slowly rowed us to the shore by the first aid building. Not one word was spoken. We secured the boat then I lagged behind him up to first aid and sat on a bench. He went in and came out about 5 minutes later with a band-aid on his neck. I really wanted to ask what happened to my hula popper but I used my better judgement. We got into the boat and rowed back out. We continued on as if nothing had happened and it was never ever mentioned once. A strange duo we made. The lesson was taught though. I never did anything like that again. Image


1 Comment

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