The Fishing TripbyTxRad©
If this was a story about an average, everyday, run of the mill fishing trip, I probably wouldn't tell it. It would be boring at the very least. No, my friends this was either the fishing trip from heaven or hell. I'll let you decide which of the two is the best description. I do know I'll never forget it nor would I want too.
It began at the local bar I hang out in; it's just down the road from my house. The usual afternoon crowd was seated around the horseshoe shaped bar talking, laughing, and drinking beer for the most part. About ten minutes past the start of happy hour on a warm, bright spring day, I stood just inside the front door letting my eyes adjust to the dimmer light. For those that don't know happy hour starts at four and runs until seven. Fifty-cent draft and dollar long necks keep us coming in every afternoon like clockwork.
As my eyes adjust, I look around the bar, yup, sure enough, I know everyone here. Same old shit, different day. The same groups of people sitting or standing around talking to the same people they talked to yesterday and the day before. The same old men on the left front corner of the bar giving the barmaid a hard time or wishing they could anyway. The same bunch of young guys playing pool. The same sets of couples, married or engaged or just living together. The same single or divorced guys hovering over the same bunch of single or divorced women. Yep, this is home.
As I step up to the bar, the barmaid has my beer set out and takes my dollar with a nod and a "Hi, Bob." The reply. "Hey, Brenda." rolls off my lips before I even think about it. For the ten thousandth time I think to myself. "Man, I've got to get a life." As the end of the bar is full, I wander around to the left side and spot a stool close to the far end. As I climb up on the stool, I realize I'm the old single guy between two married couples. I can't help but wonder whose Sister or Aunt happens to be in town and needs a date.
I tried to use the undivided attention on my beer trick but it was to no avail. Almost immediately Ruth asked what I had plans for the weekend. I started to tell her that I had several almost ripe virgins to take care of but realized that it wouldn't work here. I've never seen a virgin, ripe or otherwise in this county in so long I wouldn't recognize one if it bite me. So I replied with the truth, a bad move around here. "Well, I really hadn't thought about it much as it's only Tuesday."
Ruth's husband leaned across and said. "Hey, that's great. Some of the kids and Nieces are coming up for the weekend and want to go fishing. Ruth and I are calling bingo at the VFW hall Friday night and Sunday afternoon so we're tied up. You can use my pontoon boat. They could probably run it themselves but I'd feel better with an adult along, you know what I mean. Anyway you know where they can catch some fish this time of year and they don't. I'm glad that's settled, I'll tell them tomorrow, ok?"
This was one long rushed statement. You may think there was a question at the end but there wasn't. Just an inquiry as to whether I had heard him or not. So I just nodded and went back to contemplating my beer. Early Friday, I'd figure some way out of this mess. I just couldn't see myself spending the weekend on a barge with a bunch of spoiled brat kids who didn't want to be there anyway.
Well, here it is Friday afternoon and I'm back sitting at the bar again. I'd forgotten about the kids and fishing until Ruth walked up and said. "The kids will be ready to go around eight in the morning."
My little pea of a brain was rattling around inside my coffee can head looking for a reason I couldn't make it in the morning but it wasn't having any luck. To give myself time I asked. "How many kids are going?"
"Just my Granddaughter Lisa, her little friend from school and my Niece Taffy. The three boys are grounded for bad grades. The girls have been looking forward to this trip all week."
Three little girls, alright, they'd get bored easily and I'd be off the hook by noon at the latest. "Sounds good Ruth, I'll be at the boat by eight."
As Ruth headed back around the bar, I tried to remember Lisa and Taffy. I know I've met them, but it was years ago. One had dark hair and one was blond. They had been maybe eight or nine years old and I hadn't paid much attention at the time. Kids were never my strong suit; I tended to either treat them to much as adults or too much as kids. I never felt comfortable around them.
I arrived at the boat around seven thirty so I could unload the rods and tackle I'd brought, along with an ice chest with beer and cokes. The paper sack I stowed under the console held sandwiches and snacks for the girls. With everything stowed I fired up the outboard and let it warm up.
It had only been daylight for about a half-hour and was still quite cool. I sat on the large seat that ran completely across the stern of the boat and sipped my coffee. I'd used this boat before and liked it; it was a pontoon boat, about twenty nine feet long and eight feet wide. There was seating for about ten people, four on the bench seat where I sat, two at the small table on my left, one at the steering console and four in back to back seating forward. There was plenty of room to walk around and a half top covering the rear seating area for shade. There was an aerated live and bait well in the floor by the console. All in all it was a nice setup.
I heard voices and laughing coming from up toward the house and figured the kids were on their way. As the three girls came around the end on the garage I was in for a shock. These three young ladies were in their late teens or early twenties. Where had the time gone? They couldn't be this old could they? Well, I guess they could, because they were.
Lisa did have dark hair, and was short and slightly over rounded in the gray sweat suit she was wearing. "Hey, Uncle Bob. Long time since I've seen you. Mom told me your name but I couldn't place you until I saw you. You remember Taffy don't you?"
I didn't really, but if she had looked like she does now, I'd have never forgotten her. Tall, blond, thin, in a college tracksuit. "Yes, I remember you both but you were only this tall, last time I saw you. Was that really ten years ago?"
Lisa laughed and Taffy smiled. In a deeper voice than I would have expected, Taffy replied. "Well, not quite ten but close enough. On the way up here we were trying to remember exactly who you were and how long ago we were here last. It'll be ten years on the forth of July and I was right and Lisa was wrong as usual. She is a P. E. major after all." She ended with a laugh.
All I could do was smile and cock my head. I was learning as I went. I recalled from the past that these two had quite a friendly rivalry going. It still seemed to be in effect.
Lisa broke in on my train wreck of thought. "This is my roommate at school, Terry; she's another P. E. major. We have to go in-groups to protect ourselves from the eggheads like Taffy; she's a Liberal arts major. What exactly is a liberal art, outside of the bedroom anyway?" She asked with a giggle.
While Lisa and Taffy were jousting with their wits, I looked over Terry. She was a nice looking young lady with red hair and a cute oval face. The rest of her was hid under Levi's and a large bulky sweater.
Once they were on board and had their stuff stowed, I untied the four ropes holding the barge centered in the boat stall and eased the motor in reverse. As I was backing around the girls found themselves places to sit. Taffy and Lisa were at the small table and Terry was curled up on the long bench behind me. As I got the boat headed out the channel toward the main lake I asked. "Well, what do you young ladies want to catch? Catfish, Bream, or White bass?"
Lisa giggled at the expression on Taffy's face. "Grandpa said you'd know what was biting and where. What are biting best right now and the easiest to catch? Don't worry about Taffy all she wants to do is work on her tan."
"Bream are the easiest to catch a lot of. A small piece of worm on a small hook in shallow water under a cork works well. Cat is the easiest to fish for. You drop a line baited with shad over the side and let it drag just on bottom, and then we let the fish do the work while the boat just drifts along. When one hits we grab a pole and reel it in."
The girls looked at each other and Taffy said what was on all their minds. "I'm not touching a slimy dirty worm." All of them nodded.
I had to laugh. "O.K. I guess its cat fishing time. Let's get some bait." With that said, I made a sweeping turn up into a small creek mouth and dropped anchor.
Terry looked around and asked. "Where are we going to buy bait at out here?"
Lisa and Taffy laughed as I got the cast net from under the forward seats. "Well Terry, we don't need a store. As usual Mother Nature takes care of her own. If you'll bring that bucket up here, I'll try to show you what I mean."
After unrolling the twenty-foot rope, I spread out the net and held it by the edge with my hands about three feet apart. The bottom of the net was facing away from me as I rolled the edge up in my hands. When the bottom edge was off the deck, I slowly moved the whole thing to my right, and then tossed it across to the left. My right hand and arm moving up and over my left. The net flew out about fifteen feet and hit the water flat with its whole six-foot span open. I let it sink about four or five feet as I knew the bottom was about six feet down. I gave the rope a sharp jerk to close the net and hauled it in hand over hand. I held the collapsed net over the bucket, opened it, and shook out a half dozen small shade.
"Hey, that's neat. Can I try?" Terry asked.
"Sure. Here loop the rope around your wrist." I watch her closely as she concentrated on the net. She had it rolled up nicely as I told her to turn a little more to the left so as to not throw in the same place I had. It was a nice cast although she didn't quite get her arms crossed far enough to get the net fully open. She let it sink almost to bottom before I told her to jerk and haul it in.
As she opened it over the bucket about a dozen small shad and two large shad fell out. Lisa and Taffy both came forward to look at the catch. Lisa said. "That's a much easier way of throwing one of those than anything I've ever seen. Most people spin in a circle and get all tangled up in the rope, if not the net." She ended with a laugh.
"Terry, make one more cast. If you do as good as you did on the first, we'll have enough bait for the mornings fishing." She didn't do quite as well on the second cast, fish wise but it was a much better cast. Four large shad made it into the bucket. "That's enough for now. Let's see how the fish are biting. If we need more we'll get them later."
I took the net from Terry and hung it over the front rail to dry. "Thanks Mr. Harlan. That was fun, I like trying new things."
"Terry, call me Bob, that's my name, Mr. Harlan was my father." I said with a smile.
After hauling in the anchor, I headed us out toward the center of the lake. The ninety-horse outboard was humming along and pushing this big boat about forty miles an hour. I was glad to be behind the console and windshield as it was still rather chilly. The wind was making it down right cold. All three girls moved over and huddled in behind me. I grinned to myself and eased off the throttle a little. It was about a five minute run out to the old river channel I planned on fishing. I just sipped my coffee and continued to grin, thinking about all those goose bumps piled up behind me.
As we neared the area I flipped on the depth finder and throttled down to about five miles an hour. As I got up to get the marker buoys from under the seat my mean streak took hold of me. "Were you girl's cold? Why didn't you say something, there's several blankets under that back seat. All you had to do was ask, I could have slowed down and could have gotten them out and been nice and cozy."
Lisa looked at Taffy and said. "He's just like Grandpa, letting us freeze just to make a point of us standing up for ourselves."
Taffy looked at me and shook her head. "No, Lisa you're wrong on that one. He's just got a mean streak and it's a foot wide." When I grinned in spite of myself, she pointed and said. "See."
I continued to grin as I eased the boat back and forth across the deep channel. When I found the horseshoe bend I was looking for, I dropped a red marker on the outside of each side of the shoe. Then I headed up wind to get ready to fish.
The wind was light and out of the due south, it would be a good day to drift fish, and it would be warmer as the day wore on. There's a half dozen rod holders clamped to the rail along one side, I placed a rod in each. I had fixed them up with new line and rigging the night before. The rig was simple, the line tied to a three-way swivel, and a foot of line tied a one-ounce lead to the bottom and two feet of line ended in a number one hook. On the hook, I threaded one of the small shad and free spooled the line to bottom and stripped off another six or eight feet of line.
As I was baiting the forth rod, the second one jumped in the holder. Lisa grabbed it and gave it a sharp jerk. There was a responding pull, as the fish got the idea it's free lunch had a small string attached. I told Lisa to keep the rod tip up and let it work against the fish. It wasn't a large cat but a nice keeper anyway. I got the dip net out of the overhead rack and netted it. As I hauled it aboard, I handed the net toward Lisa, who stepped back. "Hey, I don't unhook cat fish they have sharp fins. Anyway they're slimier than worms."
I laughed and shook my head. "Just hold the net while I get my pliers. I'll show you the easy way to handle these little ones."
Once I had both pair of pliers, I used the regular ones to grab the lower lip on the fish and the needle nose ones to remove the hook. "See it's just that simple. Hold him firm with these but be careful not to crush the lip on the small ones that we'll throw back. Then just drop it in the live well." I finished as the fish made a splash.
"You caught the fish, you bait the hook. Grab one of the small shad and I'll show you. Place the point of the hook in the mouth and bring it out the side of the gill plate, the turn the hook and run it back through the body near the tail, like so. Did everybody see how I did that?" I asked as I looked at each girl. There were nods all around.
I laughed and said. "Don't worry; I'll do the baiting unless you want to try it yourself. That's what this bucket is for, if someone will fill it about half full of lake water, I can wash my hands." Terry grabbed the bucket and headed up to lay down on the front deck and dips the bucket in. After I baited the other two rods, I washed my hands and dried them on one of the old towels I'd brought along.
By the time we'd finished that first drift it was around ten thirty and we had five fish in the live well. We'd also thrown back four or five smaller ones. Each girl had landed about three fish a piece. When we were a hundred yards past my down wind marker, we reeled every thing in and I fired up the motor to move us back up wind.
This time, when I went to set out the rods I had plenty of help. Returning to the console, I removed my jacket and poured the last of my coffee. I sat down to relax and propped my feet up on the seat across from me. The girls had gotten the hang of getting the fish off and even putting new bait on. They were really enjoying themselves and so was I. They were good company in a young way, something I'd needed for a long time and didn't even know it. The bunch of old farts I'd been hanging around with, were making me old before my time. Three months ago, I'd celebrated my twenty first birthday for the twenty-second time. I wasn't old; I just had high mileage, that's the way I looked at it.
Terry said something to Lisa about it warming up and I couldn't hear her reply but all three girls laughed as Taffy opened the small ice chest the girls had brought. She pulled three cokes out and pasted them around. Terry placed hers in the drink holder and grabbed the bottom of that big bulky sweater she was wearing and peeled it off over her head. For a long time, all I saw was bare skin as she bent forward to ease it off over her long hair. When she stood up there was a lot of bare skin showing except for two small triangles of thin cloth that were straining to hold in and cover up a gorgeous set of well rounded breasts. They were a little large for her small frame but firm, high and tight as only a young girl can be. The large nipples made small tents in the thin fabric; the cool breeze had them standing tall and hard. The bright blue cloth was in sharp accent to her jeans and pale skin.
"It's still a little cool, but it feels great." Was Terry's statement, as she saw the other two girls and me looking at her.
"We really couldn't tell." said Taffy. "If your nipples get any harder, they're going to shatter or poke holes in that excuse for a top your almost wearing."
"Hey, I can't help it if I grew over the winter. This is last years top and it fit fine then. When we dressed this morning I was still half awake. Anyway it's the only one I have, so it'll have to do, won't it." Terry replied then stuck out her tongue.
I had to laugh when Taffy said. "Don't threaten me with that. That's Lisa's department."
Lisa looked around at me and blushed a bright red. "Taffy will you shut up. Your mouths big enough to hold several feet and I'm not talking about the kind that wear shoes."
Taffy said. "Hey, I resemble that remark. Flattery won't get you any points with me."
About that time there was a mad scramble for the rod that jumped in the holder. Once they got it figured out, whose turn it was to do what; the fish was too small to keep. It was a three-ring circus from my point of view. If Terry didn't fall out of that top before the day was out, it would be a miracle. I took bets with myself to see which would be more important the fish or getting the top back on. I was betting on the fish.
The next fish was Terry's; it was a nice one of about four pounds. Taffy had the net and Lisa was on the pliers. They were doing fine until that cat made a flopping roll in the net; Terry had a loose grip on the handle and had the rim of the net laying on the rail. Lisa had a partial grip on the fish but still got slimmed across her chest. That flannel jogging suit top was a mess.
I jumped up to help but was waved away. "We got it." Taffy said to me. After Lisa dropped it into the live well, she turned and stared at Taffy. "You mean I got it. Look at this mess; this is a brand new suit. I'll never get the slime or the smell out."
I heard this one coming from a mile away as Taffy said. "What smell? You don't smell any different."
Terry and I laughed as Lisa sputtered and tried to think of a comeback. It was slow going, finally she asked. "You're going to give me a hand so I don't get this stuff in my hair?"
Taffy lent a hand and between the two of them the shirt came off without sliming the hair. I had been right; Lisa was a little on the chunky side but not bad. A little summer exercise and she'd slim down. She was built a lot like her mom, all tits, and butt. Short of waist and short legs, but all woman.
Her bikini top was better fitting than Terry's but was filled to capacity. I've seen double D's but this was verging on triples. The soft velveteen material and the wide shoulder straps were at their load limit.
Taffy looked at Lisa, then at Terry. "Between the two of you I know where my other three or four bra sizes went. Lisa, you've blossomed or rather bloomed over the winter yourself. You two could make a small herd."