When men talk of hunting, fishing or sex, it’s mostly about size isn’t it? How strong, clever, experienced they were to finally get on top of whatever they were hunting for, fishing for or – whatever.
Women tell fishing stories for other reasons. I recall two of my favorites.
Mike and I anchored our boat, Loreley, in the perfect lagoon of Solomon Atoll. We remained near the pass to make it easy for us to get outside the atoll, to enjoy some of the superb fishing and diving outside the reef.
This day we decided to visit friends anchored in the popular anchorage off Boddam Atoll, at the other end of the lagoon. Mike pulled out the tackle box to prepare some light spinning rods for sports fishing en route. I watched him choose lures for the rods. When he pulled out a rather drab, green plastic squid for my rod, I objected, telling him I did not like that lure.
“What do you mean you don’t like it?” He asked – obviously annoyed.
“Well, it’s ugly. If I were I fish I wouldn’t bite that. I want a pretty lure,” said I in my ignorance.
“O.K.” he said through clenched teeth, “Choose a damn lure!”
I scratched around in the box and came up with a lovely specimen that looked as pretty as a ballet dancer, dressed in a bright pink and blue tutu, with generous sprinklings of silver sparkles.
I was told that it would NOT work in this lagoon – but I insisted.
We took off, in the dinghy, trailing lures in the water. In a few moments my reel was whining and I struggled to land a nice sized fish with my small rod. This success was met with a deadly silence. Once again we took off and again it was my rod that caught the fish. It became monotonous and Mike’s scowl became more pronounced.
We had a great visit and lunch with our friends and gave them all the fish, as that end of the lagoon was rather fished out.
As we took off for the return journey, I noticed that I had the rod with the ugly lure and the captain had my pretty (successful) one. I didn’t object. After all, he was the captain and my arm was sore from reeling in all those fish.
Now I LIKE that story and it has nothing to do with size.
The other story began when I was off watch and in my bunk, very early one morning as we sailed across the Pacific. I heard Mike rattling around with fishing tackle box, rods etc. I went out to see what was going on. Mike pointed behind us. There was a large Mahi Mahi having a leisurely swim in the watery slipstream off our transom. Mike chose a lure and tossed it in. The Mahi spun towards it and Mike gave a triumphant yell – which was a bit premature as the fish turned away and resumed swimming behind us. Mike went through every lure in his box but the Mahi refused each one while Mike gnashed his teeth in frustration.
Eventually it was lunchtime and I was eating a sardine sandwich. I tossed a bit of sardine in the water. The Mahi snatched it up and gobbled it down.
“Hah! I’m going to catch that fish!” I said.
“With sardines in tomato sauce – you must be kidding?”
I ignored that and carefully put a piece of sardine, tomato sauce and all, onto one of the hooks, below the lure, while Mike stood there with a pitying look on his face.
I tossed the lure in the water and the Mahi shot over to inspect it and swallowed it, hook, line and sardine.
I eventually landed the beast – to the total disgust and disbelief of the captain.
Why do I like to tell these stories? Perhaps just to show that feminine intuition (idiocy) can sometimes beat male know-how and expertise!