A Flip Side Collection

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On the Water ...

As the boat coasted to a stop in the middle of Merrymeeting Bay, Andy and I cast our lines into a school of running stripers. It was 7:30 a.m., the Kennebec was calm as can be on the way south, and we had a large boat filled up with gas.

I just felt in my blood we would have great luck and catch stripers and blues larger and meaner than Jaws.

Next thing I knew, my line starts tugging and an angry striper greeted me at the other end. The first thing that went through my mind is, "We’re going to have the best luck today!" And my hopes of catching a prize to claim a place in last weekend’s bluefish tournament skyrocketed.

Then I reeled him up over the side, and Steve dropped our angling knet (cq), anxiously leaned over him and exclaimed what a beauty he was.

He was the only beauty.

For the rest of the day we were doomed to catching nothing but weeds and long naps (when the Richmond landing was sighted). Our lines we would cast again and again in the river until we expertly decided we were in the wrong place (since no fish were biting in that particular place) after the 5,498th hopeful try.

Starting from the landing in Gardiner, our Sunray drove all down the Kennebec into the ocean, then back down to Augusta, going in any random location that fish did not inhabit. From Augusta, our fruitless striper search resumed to Bath, then back to Merrymeeting Bay. We must have driven by the Richmond landing that day about 74 times, not counting the ones when I fell asleep.

Once we were informed of a great place to catch bluefish in the ocean, we headed for the mouth of the river still hopeful. But sadly we never quite made to the fishing ground. The ocean was a tad rougher that we expected, and Andy was halfway to revisiting the stale doughnut he had choked down for breakfast. (He almost lost it right when he ate it, which was before we first got in the boat.)

If we hadn’t turned back we might’ve invaded Gilligan’s Island, or done something far worse like... Catch A Fish.

Severe paranoia and hints of mutiny broke loose on board many times when Andy happened to see on the fishfinder that the current depth of water was under 60 feet.

"Oh my gosh! Dad, get out of here; we’re going to hit something!" he’d calmly state while hastily preparing to abandon ship. "C’mon are you blind?" He had good reason to do this, since three props have been mangled from past collisions with objects in the water.

A few good things did come out of this badly warped fishing trip. The boat has received a new call sign thanks to this endless search for fish. Tom Cruise has already applied for a Captain’s position on our boat, and British Secret agent 007 wants to be first mate. The boat’s name? Fishin’ Impossible.

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© By Paul Adams