Spear fishing gone bad

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
I grew up near silver lake in Grand Traverse County,near Traverse City Michigan. I began ice fishing in 1970 at age ten. I went on to become a know it all teenager when it came to fishing,summer fishing or ice fishing I knew it all back then. Come join the fun on yet another blotched fishing adventure in the Spear fishing gone bad story

Submitted: September 16, 2016

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Submitted: September 16, 2016

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SPEARFISHING GONE BAD

The year was 1977; I was seventeen years old, I was brilliant I knew it all right.  I had never gone spearfishing before, so my knowledge in that area was very limited, to say the least, of course, I did not tell anybody that, I hope that you who are reading this story don't tell anybody either.   However, my grandpa Pringle was a notorious fisherman in his day, both summer fishing as well as ice fishing.

When the fish heard his name, I was sure the fish shuttered.  I remember him [granpa] telling me stories about the big ones that did not get away.  My dad had pictures of some of the monster pike that grandpa speared through the ice.  There for I did have a vague idea how to fish with a spear.

At that point, all I had to do was gear up I already had the biggest piece of equipment that I would need, the ice shanty that my father in law had given me about six months earlier.  The next piece of the puzzle probably the most important piece was, of course, the spear itself.

Grandpa Pringle was still alive in 1977, but he had long given up ice fishing due to the complications of old age thus I inherited among other fishing paraphernalia his eleven prong fishing spear.  The spear head weighed ten pounds the handle was about six feet long it was made of wood quite a tool ay?.  

 The last thing I needed was a nylon rope that was long enough to reach the bottom in fifteen feet of water the line only cost a couple of dollars at the hardware store.  At that point, I had everything that I needed to go spearing.

The year was 1978, then in early January, my brother in law Tony Jackson and I installed the ice shanty at Silver Lake off from Roman Drive just out from the sea wall a hundred yards or so south.

The ice pack was good that season at least fifteen inches that day.   Tony and I spent the first afternoon chopping out our two holes there dimensions were twenty inches long by twelve inches wide and fifteen inches thick.  Now that's a lot of chopping don't you think?  The next step was to brace up the ice shanty so that it would'ent sink into the ice and get stuck.

At that point, it was time to arrange our gear inside the ice shanty, so the next morning we could get down to the shanty at daybreak to take the unsuspecting large trophy sized pike by surprise.  Oh, another thing we needed to do inside the ice shanty was to outfit the speed rig by the door with a piece of nylon rope, or line just a little thinner than the nylon rope that we were using for the spear, then we were ready for the next morning.

We're up at five thirty AM we hopped in the cold car and heading for the cold, ice shanty brain dead right?  Now doesn't that make you feel warm and fuzzy all over the place?  

By six AM Tony and I were sitting in a pitch black ice shanty focusing on two pitch black holes in the floor waiting for the sun to rise.  Oh, the temperature that morning was ten% above zero nice ay!!?  

 As soon as we could see down into the water I tied off the end of my spear rope to a horseshoe nail that I had pounded into the ceiling I tied the other end of the line to the spear handle.  I rolled up the extra rope loosely set it on the floor in between the two holes so that when I dropped the spear on the large lunkers back, the rope would not get tangled up.

What about bait?  Well, I was eighteen years old then, as I said.  I still knew everything right, well almost everything.  Tony and I did not bring any bait how could that be?  As it turned out quite by accident, I did have a few dead gray minnows in my pail as well as some half dead mousies that were left over from our last adventure a few days earlier.  I guess it is true what my dad used to say wonders never cease.

Tony and I both knew that we needed a decoy a man made one or a live one go figure.  Since we had neither one of those our goal was to catch a large perch or big bluegill something broad enough to draw attention to himself from a far distance.  The time was now eight thirty in the morning a small school of perch appeared near the bottom of the lake about ten feet down from the lower part of the ice.

We were able to catch three of them the largest one was ten and a half inches long Walla live bait.  Another thing that I had learned in the past about decoy fishing was that the decoy was to be in a fixed position.

 By attaching the bait in place, this prevented him from swimming too far forward so as to be out of sight, as he would tire from pulling against the rope.  At that point, the bait would settle back in straight beneath the fisherman.  So that when a monster pike would come in to take a closer look at him, the decoy would thrust forward a bit causing the fantastically huge monster pike to line up correctly in the hole so the fisherman could ever so quietly and skillfully drop the spear on him without a trace of a warning.

Another thing my grandpa would do with his decoy was to run the fish line or thin rope through the fish's gill and out the mouth then he tied a knot for some reason he did not use a hook.  I guess the goal was, to spear the pike not hook him. You have probably heard it said that little knowledge is dangerous knowledge, of course, that did'ent apply to me with my vast know-it-all knowledge. I felt well armed with this information under my belt. 

At that point I checked my spear It appeared to be in perfect working order I set it In the middle of the two holes safely on the floor.  I took the ten and a half inch perch out of the pail, ran the rope through the gill and out the mouth, I tied the rope in an improved clinch knot cinched it up to his lower jaw.  

Now I was ready to lower Mr. perch down into his watery world.  I set my decoy up about two feet from the bottom in ten feet of water. I tied him off watched him struggle to pull against my lead weight.  A few minutes later he settled down until he became motionless in the water. We sat there for an hour or so, BORING!

It's getting close to ten-thirty Tony, and I had been in the ice-cold shanty around four hours by then.  I'VE HAD IT! I thought. I decided to give my decoy a little running space I loosened my line the perch seemed to be happy he swiftly lunged forward to take a relaxing swim, as it would turn out it would be his last swim.  I gave him about one hundred feet of the rope, half of the amount of line on the speed rig. I let him swim around about ten minutes then I began to bring him back in. I pulled in around thirty feet of rope then hooked a large snag.

 There were old blue spruce trees scattered throughout the lake; people disposed of their Christmas trees to create fish magnets.  As a result, my perch was able not only to find one of those fisherman's nightmares; he was able to wrap himself up inside of it.  What a SLOB AYE?

I began pulling on the tangled mess; the snag felt implanted in the soft soil of the lake bed. However, the thin rope I was using was three hundred fifty pound test line.  I kept constant pressure on it until the snag began to budge after a few minutes passed.

 The obstacle was moving, but it was hefty I pulled hard it kept on coming in, at a slow rate of speed.  At that point, I thought I was going to lose my decoy; he's going to be torn loose in this brush pile that I'm towing in with my nice strong rope.

 I continued pulling in my rope; I estimated that I was still fifteen feet out at that point. I was now expecting to get my first look at this rotting old blue spruce tree I have been dragging now for what seems like hours.   All at once I went into SHOCK!  My heart rate must have gone off the charts a gigantic silhouette of a fish head appeared in my hole seven feet beneath my feet. 

  The large fish head had a perch in his massive jaws WOW! Or I should say he had my baits in his jaws the tail was the only thing left of my jumbo perch that was visible.  There's one thing that I have learned over the past thirty years of fishing, that is trophy fish of whatever species have distinct features, as did this old giant pike just below my feet in the water. 

His eyes were bulging; they protruded out from the side of his face they were lighter in color than the hue of his facial skin.  His upper lip was very broad as well as long.  His bottom lip had a clear overbite at the end of his bill.  The skeletal structure of his face was very visible.  I could see the two large nostril holes they were long and narrow.  His gill covers were colossal as well, forming the outer edge of his large head, a large pike indeed. 

At this point, I went for the spear!  It was on the floor in between the two holes. BANG- SMACK -HELP ME TONY- SMACK- SLAM- BANG As the spear handle crashed against the ceiling.  Because of this reckless behavior, on my part [Remember I am the brains behind this opperation] our little ambush attempt was now out in the open. 

Emeadiatly my speed rig hemorrhaging out thirty feet of nylon rope into my lap!  That monster pike headed for deeper water quickly.  Since the backlash, it seemed as though hours had passed in reality smaller segments of seconds glued themselves together by the larger fabric of time and space itself.  Enough of that!!  Trying to be a poet Ay?

Anyway, every couple of seconds that monster pike would catch up to the backlash causing an even Larger one the next time!!  Brain dead -Brain dead you think?

Because of my colossal botch a few minutes earlier, all we could do now was wait.  We missed our opportunity with the spear I set it on the floor in between the two holes on top of the nylon rope, which became woven in and out of the eleven prongs on the spearhead.  Yup, I blew it again for being a know it all would'ent you Say?

As the seconds slipped by the monster pike caught up to the final backlash as well as the last ten feet of rope.  "Great," I muttered out loud.  At that point, the line ran out the spinning motion of the speed rig came to a dead stop.  The pike nearly ripped the speed rig off the wall it shook violently.  However, the battle was not over yet, even though I was foolish enough not to use a hook (which was strike two by the way). There was still a chance the pike had totally engulfed my decoy giving me a slight opportunity to getting him in. 

The fish was a twenty-five pounder or better.  As I struggled with this brute, I was able to retrieve some rope, but the pike took it back we went a few rounds.  However, this monster pike was a long way from becoming a bar room wall hanger; he had the advantage totally.  Tony and I both knew that without a hook, it was just a matter of time before the perch would be ejected from the pike's bill voluntarily or it would be ripped loose involuntarily. 

At that point I had gained back a few more feet of rope, then it happened. Strike three!   The nightmare had come to its completion.  The line went limp although it still had some weight on it.  I had to wonder how much of my poor decoy was left.  As it turned out the whole, ten and a half inches of my poor slob jumbo perch were still tightly tied to the end of my rope. 

 However, the remnants of him were nothing more than quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh.  Not only did that jumbo perch have to face being chomped on and being swallowed alive, but he also had the rare misfortune of being violently shredded as he was towed backward against the grain of hundreds of introverted teeth. How bad was it? It was so bad the perch was un-filletable.

As this story shows, being a self-proclaimed spear fisherman as I was in years gone by,  I will confess now that twenty-eight years ago I knew nothing about spear fishing at all, up to this point in case you haven't figured that out by now.  Therefore my first experience in this game was pretty bad.  Although I may go spearing some day again at this point, I don't think so. I will never forget the spear fishing trip gone wrong.

2327 words


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