George should know better. My unflappable fishing partner knows that I’m competitive enough without any extra motivation. Then, a few days ago, he sends me this text message on his way to the lake to go fishing:
“Biggest fish or most fish? You choose. Loser washes the other contestants truck. By the way, bring soapy water.”
By the time I got down to the boat dock, George had already been in the boat for what he said was five minutes, but was probably more like an hour. I stepped and in and raised the lid on the livewell.
“Don’t do that,” he said. At first, I thought he had brought a shiner along to fish with but upon further inspection, noticed it was indeed a small bass struggling to swim out of the water intake hole in the livewell.
We agreed we’d make the tournament about the first one to catch five fish. I felt confident. I even let George count the little one. We were a day ahead of the coldest weather of the year and the fish should have been feeding if they had been watching the weather forecast. And even if I didn’t catch five, I figured George wouldn’t either….
It didn’t take us long to hit a good little spot and the shad were popping the surface here and there. I explained to George that something was probably chasing them, because shad usually don’t jump just for exercise. We almost always fish with soft plastics because we love catching bass on them, mostly because both of us are squeamish about the possibility of a treble hook from a crank bait imbedded anywhere in our body.
“I let you count that first one because you’ll need it,” I told him, just after a good little fish grabbed the shad colored crankbait that I had secretly tied on. My secret was out when I had to borrow his pliers to get the hook out. That’s 1-1.
Next cast, it was 2-1, then 3-1 and in no time, it was 5-2. Winner, winner..clean truck dinner!
Never have I heard so much complaining and gnashing of teeth.
“I thought we were going to decide it on big bass,” George said, quickly turning to his politician-like selective hearing and memory. “Isn’t that what we said?”
About 15 minutes later, that didn’t matter either. I landed a six+ pounder, again on the crank bait. George mumbled something about taking up fly fishing like his younger brother Larry and his older brother, also named Larry. But I knew better. In fact, I think it was just a diversion, because he borrowed MY ice chest and kept the nice mess of fish, mentioning something about hosting a fish fry. I haven’t gotten an invite yet, and…..
My truck is still dirty.