Fish and Fishing

My fishing license came in the mail yesterday an after leaving work today I headed straight to Motts Seafood for live bait (I was fishing before the license came.. but I was exceptionally excited about obtaining my very first fishing license). I was up last night, pretty late, checking out the tide tables, the NC Wild Life website, fishing sites, and so many fish-related sites, I can’t even begin to write them all down! I primarily was wanting to research how I could best catch flounder or drum off my dock or anything edible for that matter. At Mott’s I purchased a grand total of 12 mudminnows for about $7.50 and some change. I stopped by Wrightsville Beach’s LIghthouse Beer and Wine (or whatever it’s called) and purchased a 12 pack of Sierra Nevada in cans (much easier to lug than bottles and easier to recycle). In addition to the bait, I purchased a floater rig that reminded me of my childhood and fishin’ in Southport, along with a fancy-shmacy MirrOlure, which ends up NOT being a lure for dock fishing, but will look nice as some sort of fashion motif in my Hobbit Hole. Anyway- I digress.

I came home, visited with Ms. Mimi, my landlord, and our neighbor Millie ( good friend of hers- she called me cute. It’s nice to be called “cute” at almost 47) for a bit and headed back to my hole to change into “fishing clothes”. I was supposed to work tonight, grading papers from California kids- some state testing hoopla (don’t get me started), but after the day I had at school fishing seemed the most logical, sensible, and cathartic action. I was bit today by a student- yes.. bit, in addition to that I was kicked, punched, scratched, etc.  He was a little thing… but packed a big wallop. It was not traumatizing to me, but rather exhausting and an opportunity for quiet reflection. As I wrote in my earlier blog… self-care and well-being are priorities. So, I gathered my gear, my itty-bitty minnows, my cooler, cutting board, a knife, a dishrag, a few brews, my camp-chair, and hunkered down on the dock. Thinking it was going to be reasonably warm and slick on the water, I wore a tank with a t-shirt over it, a skirt, slaps and sans underwear. Once out on the rocking dock with the wind whipping my face and my skirt flying up in the air.. I opted for additional clothing. From about 4pm-9pm I fished…..lots of nibbles, but not a catch.. not one single, stinking fish. By 9pm I was ravenous and was hopeful that Big Al was playing Bluegrass at Jimmy’s at Reddogs. Much to my surprise the boys weren’t playing. They are at Merlefest (ahhhhh Merlefest, I shall visit you again one day- but that’s another story). I called a few friends, tried to wrangle in a few other comrades for dinner via text and FB messaging… but no one was around or they were busy or in town (too far to drive to the beach.. so they say)… so I headed to Tower 7 and enjoyed my first chimichanga-solomente. It was heaven!!!! Although I enjoyed the yummy grub… fishing was on my mind… like a heroin addict waiting for his/her next fix.. I swear to goodness.. I couldn’t wait to get back home and on the dock to fish again in the dark! And, so I did…..but again… no fish.

There is a difference between fishing and “fishing”. I do enjoying catching fish. I would really like to be able to catch what I eat daily and have the benefit of enjoying the sport as well. For now, I suppose I must settle on the “hobby” of simply casting a line into the water, reeling it back in and casting it back out again with no expectation of anything coming up for air on the line.

Tomorrow is another day. Perhaps the kiddo that bit me will have settled down some and found new meaning from his experiences after conferencing with staff and family about his behaviors. Perhaps tomorrow I will catch a fish…. or not. Either way, I am grateful for that little booger that bit me today….he was the impetus for me to remember to take care of myself and enjoy the little things… like throwing a line in the water and not worrying about whether or not anything got reeled in. I am grateful for my new found source of serenity.

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