Night Fishing



I hoped he would forget.  But he didn’t.  Sigh.  Jon came home from work and promptly got ready to go fishing.  The problem?  I was going too.

I don’t mind fishing.  I find it peaceful.  Mostly because I never catch a darn thing and I like staring a lot.  (The Tired makes me stare.)  Evening fishing, which was fast becoming night fishing is not my cup of tea.  Alabama may be the new boy in my life, but I know two things about this wild one:  he’s hot, and he bites.  As in lots of  mosquitoes, and lots of dripping sweat.  Both of those scenarios drive me batty.  Sweat from exercise is one thing.  That’s accomplishment, expected.  Sweat from just standing around is like a salted donut.  Just. Not. Right.

He drove me to his super secret fishing spot along the Tennessee River.  We parked on the one of the most beautiful thoroughfares I have ever seen.  Trees with kudzu, moss, and vines dripping down, forming an envelope of ethereal beauty all around.  Bugs chattered and clicked in the evening air.  I took deep breaths of the silky air and grabbed my fishing pole.  Patriotic feelings burst from my heart like fireworks.   Then….

We turned a corner on the path and were greeted by the remains of a trashed out camp site.  Too bad it wasn’t a campground.  There was a mashed down tent.  A canopy with chairs and tackle boxes.  A knife was stuck in the dirt.  Trash was strewn about.  I was looking for evidence of some sort of camp out murder scene.  It was all wrong.  My eyes darted to the trees, looking for collegiate serial killers, or booby traps.  Jon looked everything over and stated that it all seemed to have been there awhile.  I wasn’t buying it.

As we made our way down to the water I was sure there would be bodies face down in the river.  There wasn’t.  Jon knew what I was looking for as I scanned the water and said, “If we find any floaters we’ll just leave.” Oh great.  Not good.  Especially since we didn’t have a cell phone.  I wasn’t comfortable leaving my footprints all over a crime scene.

Soon we had our crickets on hooks and were fishing.  There was a 30 foot band of slimy moss floating hovering around the river bank as far as the eye could see.  We had to cast out beyond all of that goop.  Strange creatures poked their heads out of the moss and blooped back down.  I joked nervously about hooking a fish that would drag me belly first through all the glop.

The sun began to dip down behind the mountain and the trash and moss disappeared into a pink and orange glow.  The colors of melted pineapple and orange sherbet warmed the river.  It was amazing.  Once again, the patriotic thoughts rose to the surface of my mind.  I longed for my camera that was sitting at home.  (I really didn’t think I would see anything all that great.)

After an hour of only getting a few nibbles we decided to head to another spot before it became too dark.  The second spot was near BB Comer/Bob Jones bridge construction redo thing.  I waited while Jon grabbed all of the stuff and we hiked down the steep drop off to the river.  By then it was so dark I couldn’t see my floater in the water.  I reeled it in to see where it was and about four feet from the shore, I hooked a fish.  I thought maybe I had hung up the line on some rocks but Jon said “No!  It’s because you got a big ole fish on there!!”  Big old fish?  I panicked and kept reeling it in, not realized the float was at the top of the pole and I couldn’t reel anymore.  Then Jon looked at me crazy and said “What’re you doing?  You’re acting like you have some monster fish!  It’s just a little bitty bluegill.”  MmmHmm, so much for the big ole fish.  He picked up the fish and showed it to me, explaining that it would be good eatin if we had about 20 of them that size.  We stared at it, and then released it.

With the evenings excitement over with, he and I swatted at mosquitoes for another hour.   No fish was gonna come near that place with all the whining and slapping going on.  (Me, mostly.)  I enjoyed watching the lights come on in the houses that were close to the water.  The occasional boat puttering through.  And the moon!  It was so bright and beautiful we almost didn’t need our lantern.

I think this California girl accomplished a lot.  I went night fishing on the Tennessee river with my love and a lantern.  I fished with crickets and Powerbait.  My only wish is that others would see this wonderful beauty that is worth preserving.   Let’s pick up the trash people.  Keep Alabama beautiful!


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