Sometimes, we all need to just play hooky and go fishing. Even in Mississippi Gulf Coast summers, there’s something about climbing into a tin boat, pushing away from the dock, waiting for that engine to catch as it’s pull started…and moving down the bayou.
It doesn’t FEEL like its a gazillion degrees with the air so thick you could braid it anymore.
I know it’s the same air. I know it’s just as hot. I know all that stuff.
But for some reason, it feels twenty degrees cooler.
With a little bag of frozen bait shrimp, maybe some cut bait, some cold drinks in the cooler, the blazing sun overhead…and surrounded by the thick grasses of the salt marshes, the breeze comes flowing over them from the Gulf of Mexico, chasing away the voracious salt marsh mosquitoes, and cooling your brow. Tossing your hook into the dark waters, you don’t know what will grab the other end and begin the fight. A red fish? A speck? A croaker? Mullet perhaps? A sting ray with its ability to fight as it sticks to the bottom so hard, or a hard head catfish with its ability to stick so hard?
It might even turn out to be just a crab, too stubborn to turn loose of the bait on the hook.
Your troubles seem to melt away with the breeze too. Nothing matters but the sounds of the birds, the flow of the water, and the thin monofilament line that connects you to the hook below the surface.
Then, before you realize it, the morning has melted into late afternoon, and your skin is baked, your muscles tired, and its time to start that motor up again and make your way back to the boat launch and reality. Does it matter if you caught anything? Not really. Nor does it matter what you caught. Bragging rights are fine, but at the end of a fishing day, what really matters is that you went.
Sometimes, it just says it all when you say, “I been fishin’ lately.”