The Fishing Grumbler
Updated: Jan 31
When fishing, there comes a point when you better start catching or it’s all over. It ends up feeling like a complete waste of time floating around on a boat in the middle of the lake just to get sunburned, waste money on a bunch of lost bait, and have to haul all your gear back in at the end of the day with nothing to show for your efforts.
Then there is the lucky bastard in the boat who is constantly catching fish. You know the one… that cheesy grin, the shrug of the shoulders like, “I don’t know why you aren’t catching anything.”
Sometimes you can ignore it, and for a time you work for a solution by trying different baits, trying the same exact bait, or even throwing your line in the water right next to the guy catching. But when you’ve tried everything and all attempts at catching fails, fishing just plain sucks!
Since I’ve told you all about my lucky green fishing pole, you all know that I’ve been the one catching. Unfortunately, my husband was the guy getting sick and tired of fishing after reeling in a half dozen 2-inch perch, enough seaweed to make salad for a month, and to top things off, he couldn’t seem to get my big fish netted when I reeled them up to the side of the boat.
The first miss with the net… yeah, it was a mistake when that big ‘ole Walleye went swimming away. The second miss? I’m not so sure.
So how much fishing and netting does a person have to do before it’s their turn to catch fish?
Really, I can understand his growing frustration, but it was getting to the point I was ready to throw him off the boat with all of his grumblings.
We’d start every fishing trip with a good attitude. Then the grumblings would begin as soon as he would ask where I wanted to fish. Because we didn’t have a fish finder on the boat yet, we were depending on Google Maps to take us to the walleye ice fishing spot we had marked last winter. No problem, right?
For whatever reason, Google Maps started glitching. We’d be motoring around in circles, or going in the wrong direction completely. Sometimes it would take us right to the spot, but every time it did my dear husband would argue that it wasn’t even close to where we caught the fish last winter.
I fixed the google maps issue by buying a fish finder. He got it mounted onto the boat pronto fast, and the next thing we had to do was figure out how it worked. With a little more arguing over buttons, and finding the waypoint marker and how to navigate to saved spots, I was sure that all the arguing and fighting over where the fishing spot was would be over.
Nope! No such luck.
As I continued to reel in fish, he continued to claim my fishing spot was WRONG, the fish finder was WRONG, Google Maps was WRONG, and he wanted to go to the correct spot.
Maybe I was being a bit of a brat, too, as I wanted to go to MY spot… the spot where I kept catching walleye. And the spot I had marked on my phone last winter where we caught our first walleye was the same exact spot I have claimed as MY spot. So I was a little bit perturbed that he thought my spot was wrong, even though I had been catching Walleye there.
The next time we went out, I let him have his way. Even if it meant I wouldn’t throw my line out in the water. Whatever makes him happy, right?
Temperatures in the 80s dropped in the 70s by the time we went out. Skies were overcast with lots of big, fluffy clouds and pop-up thunderstorms all around. Winds were growing in intensity and the waves were a foot high, just starting to white-cap from the high winds.
“Where do you want to fish,” he barked at me.
I could tell by his tone that he was in no mood to go to MY spot.
“Go wherever you want,” I said, smiling.
So we headed to HIS spot. “This is where we caught that walleye last winter,” he informed me, maneuvering the boat along a weedy drop off.
At least there were Walleye Weeds, I thought, even though his mood was a mix of happy and grumpy as he flung his lines out into the water.
The depth was a mere 5-1/2 feet deep. I groaned, stalling till I saw the depth get a little deeper. I knew that all we were going to catch was a bunch of little perch, and there’s nothing more irritating than having to dig worms out of the worm box, and constantly have to bait your line because the little bastards stole your worm. But I played along like a good team player would and finally threw my lines into the water at 8 feet deep.
We drift fished with crawler harnesses, moving fast through the weed bed. We knew it was going to be a good night when we caught a fish with the first line in the water.
First fish on was a cute little bluegill. Next were a handful of perch… just the right size for a big fish to chow down on if they were in the area.
We were still going through worms like we were feeding a nest of baby robins. Two boxes down, I opened the last box.
He must’ve known I was irritated with his choice of fishing spots because the grumbler started grumping about stuff as usual. I finally asked, “Are you trying to pick a fight?”
That was when the strike occurred.
All grumblings were quieted as we would soon discover it was ripe time to have a new lucky fishing pole on board!
The next fish on was a monster. I mean, it was BIG! And guess who’s turn it was to operate the net?
I perched myself on the back sundeck because the fishing net had a small handle, and I needed to be able to reach far over the side of the boat if I was going to get it netted. As always, the good fishing partner encourages the one reeling in the fish.
"Don't horse it!" I said. "Slow and steady now..."
"I know! I know!" he replied. He was super excited, so I kept up with the moral support like he does for me.
Meanwhile, the wind was blowing like a storm was brewing and the waves were rolling our little pontoon boat over white caps as we hung on... Kurt fighting with a fish that was taking forever to tire out, and me clinging to the sun deck for dear life, wondering if I should maybe have a life jacket on.
The fish fought for a good 5 minutes when he finally surfaced. One look and I said, "I don't think he's going to fit into this net!" The only net on board, we had to make it work.
Kurt drug the fish over to the mouth of the net and I took my first scoop and missed. "Shit!"
He did it again, and I missed again! "This net sucks!" I said, rethinking the moments that he tried netting my walleye's and bumped them off the hook. I could not, WOULD NOT, let this fish get away!
Finally, I got the big guy in the net... just barely too! He was so big, he curled around in it and both his mouth and tail were sticking out of the top. And HEAVY! Wow, was he ever heavy! I drug him up onto the sun deck where he hopped out of my net and started flopping around.
"Ahhhhhh! Don't let him get out of the boat!" I hollered, as he flipped down onto the seat with Kurt, his big old, Pike teeth chomping at Kurt's legs.
As the big guy flopped onto the floor, we both laughed, happy and excited that we had landed this huge Northern Pike.
The proud, lucky fishing guy posed for his picture, then released the big monster back into Houghton Lake.
Then the rain started. Heavy, sideways rain. The wind whirled and swirled every which way, and I felt like we were in a toilet bowl. This wasn't so good.
Suddenly, a crack of thunder made us both jump out of our skins.
"Time to go in!" Kurt said, and even though the weather was looking scary as hell, we were both grinning like idiots over the catch he just made.
Wow, what a fish!
Zooming back to the boat hoist, I gathered all the fishing gear I could carry while Kurt wheeled the boat up out of the churning water. Running for cover, we made it inside before the lightening joined the thunder in a nasty, pop-up thunderstorm.
...and we haven't been fishing since! LOL
I guess that's how you end things on a happy note?
I hope we will be doing some fall fishing soon, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Kurt's fishing pole turns out to be as lucky as mine so the grumbler won't be coming along on anymore fishing trips!
Do you have a big fish story?
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