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I was 13 years old when I went with my cousins on a trip to Washington. Bob, an experienced and avid fisherman wanted to “catch something” in the Puget Sound. We rented a 16’ aluminum boat and headed out to the hidden spot he had uncovered by talking to the locals. He bought just the right lure to catch the elusive salmon and we were off on our adventure.

As a teenager, spending a cold windy day in a floating tin can was not how I had envisioned my vacation. Trolling, Bob was meticulously reeling and adjusting his line. The smoke of the Honda engine sprayed into our faces as we sputtered through the cove. Rolling my eyes, I held the rod carelessly, let the line fly hopelessly and secretly fantasized about falling out and swimming to shore. Meanwhile, Bob began communicating, “Jennifer, you are never going to catch something, if you don’t adjust the slack and work to keep the line taut. You might as well reel in your line if you’re going to drag the hook on the bottom.”

I, knowing everything at that time, said, “You do it your way, and I will do it mine. You haven’t caught anything either.” Not long after that, my rod had a visual hit and the pole began leaning towards the water. I laughed out loud, “See, I told you, I knew it wasn’t that hard!” As I began reeling and reeling something seemed off. The weight was getting heavier, but there was no fight, no tug, no shimmer; instead, just weight. As I whirled, I wondered, could it be toying with me and waiting for just the right moment to flee? I wish I had been right.

Bob grabbed the net to scoop up whatever it was that I caught as we all shook our heads, perplexed. We regathered our senses, and began trying to release the hook (the $15 plug was buried), which was difficult because there was no mouth and hundreds of thorns all over its body. If that wasn’t bad enough, the bottom feeder, literally, began spraying its guts all over our boat (this is their defense system). The four of us sat in the floating tin can with inches of brown guts floating at our feet after finally releasing the catch of the day.

If you want the stuff worth catching, do the work. If it seems too easy or you are looking for the lazy man’s shortcut, or you find yourself hoping the solution will just jump into your boat, don’t complain when you pull in a sea cucumber. The easiest fish to catch will undoubtedly poop all over everything! DO THE WORK!

Want more insight?
Contact Jennifer at (916) 569-1500 ext 223