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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fishing

Disregarding a store purchase, the basic steps of putting fish on the dinner table are: fishing, catching, landing, killing, butchering (plus then clean up - unless you are a big fan of flies), and cooking. Miss one of the steps and nobody eats fish. Other than the cooking aspect, all of these steps are typically summarized by the one word "fishing." I speculate the description is shortened to "fishing" due to the disproportionately large amount of time spent on that first step and that if step two is never achieved, no other steps come into play. We have painfully played out that theory all this season.
Our weather window for fishing in the northern Exumas had finally arrived. It was such a nice day, we were able to depart Norman's Cut an hour or so into the ebb flow. We had just over four hours on the Exuma Sound before we would enter a cut on a flood tide Based upon past experience, we had high hopes for a big day.
It was almost an hour before Myron spied our first sign of birds and fish feeding. I kept my eye on the spot while Myron turned Hold Fast about 150 degrees back to the feeding ground. It paid off. We hooked a fair sized bull mahi mahi. He was a tremendous fighter, but soon enough was at the side of the boat. Each time I put the gaff near him though, he found the resources to fight, including spectacular jumps at the side of the boat. This was not good. It is very hard to keep tension on the line if your fish is going vertical at the side of the boat. Four such jumps and he was free. Step one, check; step two, check; three, no joy. Return to step one.
We were both so disheartened that it took twenty minutes for either of us to talk and probably another twenty minutes of pep talk from Myron that we will catch more, that this was a good sign. Yes our first mahi of the season, but at least we hooked one. We went all the way north of Highborne and found ourselves in too much sport fisher traffic. Myron had to sound the loud speaker horn because we almost got hit! It was not until we were headed back to Norman's that we saw sign again. Now we were all alone and could turn back over the spot. Four times we crossed the area of feeding, but nothing we presented was taken. During the course of the day, Myron tried six different lures and now he put frozen pre-rigged ballyhoo on both poles. Our last two. Still…nothing. After all our previous success, this felt like a humbling from God. We had resigned to defeat and were discussing at which point we would bring in the poles before entering the cut when suddenly we got a hit. Less than 20 seconds later we got the second hit. We had come across some schoolies (small mahi). It took us ten minutes or so, but we landed and killed the first. A small bull mahi. Myron began reeling in the second but he could barely turn the reel. Finally he got it close enough to Hold Fast to realize that we had just fed a shark. Myron was able to simply grab the line with his hand and bring aboard what remained of the fish. He would butcher off of it what he could.
I figured the end score as:
Fish - 1.0
Shark - 0.9
Hold Fast - 1.1 AND fish for dinner!

The most important score is God's:
Persons humbled - 2
Persons provided for - 2
Persons praising HIm for His Provision - 2!

Love to all,
Dena

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