Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fun Monday - Home of the Whopper

Fun Monday is being hosted this week by Olive. Her challenge:

I would like to hear about your *whopper* of a fishing story. Yes, you heard it correctly whether it is fictional or non fictional I want to hear a fishing story from you.

My man fishes. He has fished since he was a toddler and his mother took him down to the little pond near their house and he dropped a line in made of a stick and string.

His equipment has improved considerably since then, and he has had a lot more success catching fish since he found out about hooks and bait and such.

Say Ah

When we began dating, I had never been fishing before in my life. I literally had no clue as to what went into catching a fish. My closest brush with fishing was stepping on a hook at the marina where my dad kept his sailboat when I was maybe ten years old. It was not a pleasant association.

This, in spite of having grown up near the coast of Florida and spending many, many weekends of my youth on a boat. Weird, huh?

Once we got past the "are-we-or-aren't-we going to hang out together" question, Darling Man took me fishing.

Sayre fishes

The first fish I ever caught was a large sheepshead. Strange looking critters with teeth like sheep (hence the name).


We were in a little boat on the Aucilla River. Apparently sheepshead are hard to catch, so Darling Man was shocked when I pulled him up out of the water and into the boat.

But sheepshead is not what we fish for. We go for the elusive redfish!

Red Drum Sanibel

Darling Man would tell me stories about bringing in a redfish... how big a pull, how hard they fought. It sounded so exciting! So out we would go, over and over. He would catch them, but I would catch nothing.

Finally, we went out to a little exposed reef off Lanark Village. It had a little sandy beach and lots of reeds and when the tide came in, it was completely underwater. We went out there to fish the incoming tide. Standing in water up to my calves, sun beating down, I tossed my line and waited. And waited. And waited...

A small jerk and I began gently reeling something in.

As it got closer and closer, it fought harder and harder! "HEY!" I yelled, and DM came running down the beach to see what I had. He literally jumped up and down - "It's a redfish; it's a redfish!" he crowed.

Half an hour of tiny gains and finally, I could see my prize. I was exhausted. My legs trembled with exertion and my arms were shaking. "Is that a redfish?" I asked DM. Being taller than me, he had a better vantage point, could see down into the water.

"Uh.... no. Back up onto the beach before you land it, okay?" I backed up and kept cranking - and landed one of these:

hammerhead shark

I pulled it up on the beach, wondering what to do now. A boat was passing by with a father and son, and our friend Terry was with us as well. The four guys hovered over this poor little shark (he was about 4 feet long) trying to figure out how to unhook him without losing a finger. After much thrashing about, the hook finally came out and using oars, they pushed him back into the water.

He lay there exhausted, doing whatever the marine version of panting is, not moving. I stood in the water next to him, casting for redfish and keeping an eye on his recovery. Finally, his tail twitched and he moved his fins and I backed away. He slowly turned around and swam back out into the deeper water.

I can't remember if I actually caught a redfish that day. I sort of doubt it.

But there were other days and other redfish, and eventually I did catch one. He did put up a fight, but not as big a one as that hammerhead shark.

A Keeper

Now go visit Olive and see what fish tales other people have to tell!


SwampAngel65 said...

A Redfish is one fish I have yet to catch. And, yeah, Sheepshead are very hard to catch! Very impressive...Nice fish stories and I love the pic at the end! Too funny :)

karisma said...

Wow! You sure have caught some interesting fish haven't you? Those teeth look a bit freaky, is that really what they look like?

I love the first photo, you should hang that one on the wall. Too funny!

lisaschaos said...

Wow, what a tale! That sheepfish creature is UGLY!

Love the shot of the fish and baby. :)

A hammerhead would be a little scary to catch!

Olive said...

You sure have done alot of fishing in your time. I am green with envy on your shark catch. But than again I would not know how to get the hook released either. You have some nice photos.

ablondeblogger said...

I thought that sheepfish was surely weird!

And you seriously caught a hammerhead shark??????? Wow!

IamwhoIam said...

Ok I think you need a 12 step program, when you measure you fish with your child you addicted. LOL Fun Story

Faye said...

Agree with others Sayre--that photo of you is really lovely--like one of those high school "environmentals." So your willingness to fully take up fishing clenched the deal with DM? Good work!

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh my goodness!!! I like YOUR hammer story better than mine.

What a thrilling story, and I loved all the photos shared. The one of you in the 'reed'...that's one awesome photo [you should have it enlarged and framed]

Loved your Fun Monday fish tale.

iPost said...

Sheepshead fish? Now that is one ugly creature! I surely would not have had my fingers anywhere near his mouth, for sure!

storyteller said...

What a wonderful sharing of memories (complete with photographs) for today’s Fun Monday! I'm unfamiliar with Red Fish. Well done ;--)
Mine’s at Small Reflections this morning.
Hugs and blessings,

susan said...

Great story and really great photos, I can't even decide which is my favorite!

ChrisB said...

I don't think I've ever seen a sheepshead before those teeth are fascinating!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey, the sheephead fish looks so weird. I googled it as I thought you'd photoshopped those gnashers in there. Too funny. And the last picture is adorable - the baby, not the fish. :D

Molly said...

Hmm, you caught a hammerhead shark in a river? That is amazing. It must have been lost. I love your pictures especially the one with the open mouths.

Alison said...

great story Sayre and I love your pictures...I can kind of see the resemblance in the first pic!!

Me said...

lol - i love the pic of the baby next to the fish.
Hope you are feeling sunnier tomorrow :)

Peter said...

Even if your story hadn't been any good, and it certainly was, that first photo should win a prize.

Anna said...

Never been fishing.

Just never felt the urge I guess.

Mind you, I feel guilty when I accidentally step on a snail so I can't see how I'd cope with the killing aspect of fishing. Plus I'm very easily bored when all I have to do is sit.

I'd love to see a hammerhead! When I first saw a pic of one I thought it was a fake.

Rebecca said...

I never knew what kind of teeth sheep had. Now I do. :)

grace said...

look at those teeth!!! you guys are pros

That girl said...

This has got to be the best fish story (stories) I've ever heard. And the pictures that go with them Great post.

Scary teeth.

Slick said...

Awesome story!!

And I can't believe you weren't a fishing pro, living where you loved and all.

I have never seen a sheepshead fish. Looks like it was wearing dentures!

Irish Coffeehouse said...

I LOVE FISHING! I should have joined this FM, but I fell behind on things.

As for the sheephead... that thing is freaky looking. Am I the only one being reminded of the donkey in Shrek when I see it? lol