The Nickle hole

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Most people that i know like to talk about the fish thy catch,not me. I like to tell the story of the ones that got away,you know the biggest fish in the lake. This story like all my other short stories is true. Come join in the fun,and read about one of my many fishing blunders in the story. THE NICKLE HOLE.

Submitted: September 14, 2016

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Submitted: September 14, 2016

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THE NICKLE HOLE

 

The year was 1997, my friend Howard and I had made plans to go fishing on a weekday.  I was self-employed at that time, so I could take off a morning to go fishing when I thought conditions were right for catching fish.

Howard was a mailman, so he got like every other day off, or I should say every federal holiday as well as all other holidays.  Howard and I wanted to catch walleyes and jumbo perch that day.  

We went fishing on Long Lake in Grand Traverse County near Traverse City Michigan.  The weather that day we chose to go fishing was like a blizzard.  Once we got the car unloaded at Crescent Shores at the boat launch area, we dragged our gear to the edge of the lake. 

As Howard and I stood there looking out across the open lake into a total white out the visibility that day was fifteen to twenty feet.  At that point, I asked Howard if he was up to the task at hand since he was way older than I was.  Three no four days.  

Three or four days at first does'ent sound like much I know.  However when dragging three hundred pounds of fishing gear on plastic fold up ice shanty, through ten inches of freshly fallen snow, through massive snow drifts, while underneath the freshly fallen snow, there were three or four inches of slush that was a life changing experience.  

As we dragged our gear on the ice shanty, it sunk into the slush, which froze to the bottom of it, seemingly doubling the weight.

Add to this the tremendous amount of sweet, strain, anxiety, and exhaustion well you get the picture this was down right hard work for a thirty-nine-year-old man let alone for a man who is four days older than that.  Conditions like those would test our endurance.

  The temperature that day was around ten degrees above zero the wind chill factor was around ten degrees below zero.  Howard and I put our faces to the thirty some mile an hour wind; we headed straight into the white out.  

Oh, I forgot to mention the fish never seem to bite at the point where the fisherman enters onto the frozen lake, in the winter time nor in the area where the fisherman is launching his boat in the summer time. 

Howard and I walked out halfway between long island and Crescent Shores, a good quarter of a mile or so.  On the way out we drilled eight depth finding holes when we found forty feet of water we set up the shanty.

 Howard drilled three more holes two inside the ice shanty; the third hole was just outside the shanty door, so the open door would serve as a wind block for the poor slob who would be sitting outside in the weather that poor slob was me of course, what we do for our elders.  

Howard and I knew that we would be unable to set up tip ups because of the torrential blowing of the wind.  Finally, it was time to bait up the hooks and send them down to the bottom.  The bait we were using were big blues between three and five inches in length [a blue is a live minnow].  

I put a three-inch minnow on along with two medium sized split shot sinkers.  Howard and I were both using ultralight fishing rods with four-pound test ice fishing line.  As far as hooks go, I used small treble hooks size 16 to 18.  

Howard and I had been fishing for around ten minutes when my rod bent over in slow motion all the way until my rod tip touched the water; this usually meant a jumbo perch.

I set the hook I felt quite a bit of weight on my line, I could tell it was a perch now because it held it's ground pulling sideways with full weight on all the way up.  Sure enough, as the fish neared the surface, I could see a yellow background color with broad black stripes, a large yellow-bellied perch twelve to fourteen inches in length. 

  As I began lifting the fish out of the water through the hole that Howard had drilled for me, Howard bent over to get a look at the fish but the hook came out of its mouth and down the fish went back home in the deep blue water.

"What happened?" Howard asked. 

"He got off he must not have ben hooked very well," I reply.

"Man, that was a big one Randy you're supposed to catch the big fish not lose them in the hole haha." Howard giggled.

I rebaited my hook with a three-inch blue once again I dropped him down into the dark blue abyss.  I watched my line slowly unravel off my reel; the minnow tried to defy gravity by pulling up on my sinkers soon enough he gave into the weight down to the bottom he went.  I was still excited from the battle of the jumbo perch that I had just lost a few minutes ago. 

  As my minnow settles in near the bottom, a minute or two passed my rod bent over once again.  However, at that point, it only moved slowly in a down word motion very slightly then just stopped there bent at a funny angle as still as can be, a walleye.  

 I set the hook, and the fight it felt like a giant fish.  I knew that it was a walleye by the way he bent my rod.  A walleye tends to swim in circles as you bring him up, unlike a yellow perch.  There is no comparison to the way these to different fish come up out of the deep they are total differences I guess you have to feel it for yourself. 

  Once again Howard leans over to watch the battle that ensues.

"What is it?"  Howard asked.

"It's a walleye, and it feels like a big one,"  I replied.

Howard-"don't lose him this time!" Don't lose him this time Howard taunts.

Randy-"I won't lose another fish, not today!"  I won't buddy.

As I reeled in the last few feet of line, I could see that natural darker background color with large dark colored strips.  The walleye was around seventeen inches long.  

 As I began lifting the fish out of the hole, it felt as if he had scraped along the bottom edge of the ice in my hole; then he came off the hook as did the perch earlier.  At that point, Howard was a little upset with me.

"What are you doing Randy!?  That's two beautiful fish that you have lost now!!"  Howard snorted.

"It's not my fault Bub those three fish got away.  I don't understand what happened It felt like the fish hit the bottom of the ice but I know they didn't because I saw all three of them in the middle of my hole when I tried to lift them out.

You know I have done this a few thousand times in the past!  I don't know what happened, why don't you catch a fish, Howard?!!"  

I felt pretty upset at that point, as I was sure that Howard thought I was losing fish on purpose.  It was around ten o'clock in the morning now the weather conditions it was still a blizzard.  I was beginning to fell a little bit cold sitting outside the shanty in the brute wind and blowing snow.  

 Shaking off the cold I hooked on my fourth minnow I wondered in bewilderment what was going on today?  I dropped my minnow in the hole as before he went down very slowly I watched my line unraveling off my spool suddenly it came to a dead stop, quite a bit short of the bottom, quickly I pulled up and, sure enough, fish on.  

Once again Howard bent over to watch me struggling to catch a fish this time hopefully.  He didn't say much he groaned a bit I was glad he contained himself, I was not real happy with the situation either.  This fish felt like another jumbo perch as I reeled in the last few feet of line I could see the fish it was indeed a jumbo perch around fourteen inches long.  

 At that time before I attempted lifting the fish out of the water I got down on my hands and knees.  I pulled up very carefully; I reached my hand down into the hole to grab the perch as I tried to lip him once again it felt as though he ran into something then he was gone.  

I could not believe my own eyes the fish got away.  I had no choice I groaned from deep in my soul at the top of my lungs in the blizzard wind "aww!!!" Howard didn't say a word he just gave me a look a very sour look.  

I think he realized that me being the younger man by four days and because of the inner turmoil that I was experiencing right then he would have been no match for me I would have skinned him alive.  

As I stood up something fell out of my top coat pocket splashing in the water in my hole, I sat back down on my pale in total exhaustion I was cold and hands were freezing and Howard well he was still giving me the silent treatment.  

As I sat there with a frozen frown on my face looking down in my hole caught my attention we had been fishing in forty feet of water.  There was something that appeared to float in the bottom of my hole about fourteen and a half inch from the surface of the hole it was round and shiny.

Randy-"Howard take a look at this you are not going to believe it."

Howard-"what is it?."

Randy-"This is impossible there's a nickel floating in my hole."

I could see a shiny Jefferson head floating in the middle of my hole, attached to nothing."

Howard-"What are you talking about that's impossible a nickel floating in mid-water are you sure?"

Randy-"Take a look for yourself that is MR Jefferson, right?."

Howard-"Yes that's a nickel alright I don't believe it."

At that point, I began thinking, hmm hypothermia.

1] Stage one-numbness in fingers, arms, legs and toes.

2] Stage two-numbness in fingers, arms, legs, toes and uncontrollable shivering.

3] Stage three " " " " "  " " " and stuttering speech.

4] Stage four  " " " " "  " " " " " " and a strong urge to lie down and go to sleep.

5] Stage five all of the above and a death-dealing slumber as the rest of the body shuts down to conserve your last vital energy, to keep the heart and brain alive as long as possible.

Waite a minute!! I was only at stage one the beginning of the stage to at the most besides that as far as I know there is no stage six of hypothermia the hallucination.  So were back to the MR Jefferson in my hole I reached into the cold water picked up the nickel and pulled out to safety.

Randy-"I don't believe this Howard when you drilled my hole you did'ent drill out the last circle.  You left about a quarter inch shelf of invisible ice in half of the hole this is hard to handle.  All of the time you shifted the blame toward me it was your fault that I lost all of these fish, you short sheeted my hole you bum!!?

More than likely I would have lost fish after fish in this hole all day long if it had'ent been for the nickel in the hole. 

1991 words


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