Carter and Eagles: my fishing nemesi

Wictionary tells me that the plural of nemesis can be nemeses or nemesi.  I think nemesi sounds away cooler even though spell check is not a fan (you can’t see the red squiggly lines at home, but trust me when I say they are here as I type).  Anywho, back to explaining the who and why of my archenemies.

Traditionally when we are at the lake, all six of us pile into the boat, and in the fashion of a clown car, go crappie fishing at night.  My dad takes care of the trolling motor and generally let’s us do our thing until all pandemonium breaks loose.  My mom and I fish and catch respectable amounts of fish, Rachel catches a fish every time she even thinks about casting, my brother takes off the fish for us, and other Rachel attempts to fish while being relegated to minnow duty (because she is brave and willing).  Whew, I am exhausted just typing all that out.  (p.s. do you love that you never know which Rachel I am talking about??  Welcome to my life).

That is the last few years.  This year we wised up and took turns fishing in the evenings so that we stop stepping on each other.  Probably in protest of our change in fishing tradition, the crappies decided to leave their home where we have consistently caught them by the dozens.  We spent the week following their scavenger hunt clues to find their new hang out spot.  

The night I caught the most fish, I caught two.  (I know, I made it sounds more impressive in my facebook status.)  But since I was the first in the boat to catch a fish that night, my dad asked how I had been fishing.  I said, “um….” and I turned to look at him, and he said, “Never mind, I can’t take you seriously in your hot pink sweatshirt and floral sunglasses.”  To which I sassily replied, “um, these are the sunglasses that caught the fish.”  and my mom said, “yes, I want to hear what she has to say.” I could tell by her tone of voice, she knew whatever I came up with would sound ridiculous to anyone who knows anything about fishing.  My strategy went something like, “Well, you know.  I cast.  And then I let the boat drag my minnow for a bit.  And whenever I got bored I’d reel in a little.”  I clearly am a pro.  Or at least felt like one until we were fishing near Carter and his stupid boat. (we are not bitter).

Carter caught a fish pretty much every thirty seconds.  After Carter caught a fish, his entire family would cheer for him.  Before they were done cheering, he would catch another.  It would have been really quite impressive if we hadn’t been busy angrily muttering to ourselves. (we are not bitter).

I looked at their boat to try and figure out what they were doing that we weren’t.  We were fishing in virtually the same spot.  We all had fishing poles.  We were all casting and reeling in.  Why did the fish like Carter so much better than us?  The observable differences: Carter is 8.  Carter’s boat is very noisy with the chatter of his three year old sister.  Carter’s boat says “Pro Fisherman” on the side.  A HA!  Carter is clearly a professional.  I don’t feel so bad anymore.  (we are not bitter)

Just when you thought we couldn’t be more impressed than by Carter and his awesome fishing skills, an Eagle swoops down and catches a fish in it’s talons.  I can’t even catch a fish with a fishing pole, and now this Eagle makes it look SO easy.  It is like it was saying, “Hey Laura!  Just use your hands.  It’s super easy!  Watch me!  C’mon!  Just grab the fish!”

So, while my dad and I didn’t get to bond this year through me being the assistant while he cleans the fish each night (due to the distinct lack of fish to clean), the rest of us did bond over being jealous of a small child.  And an eagle.

p.s.  Carter, don’t let my tone of bitterness fool you – somewhere deep down inside, I am happy for you.  Maybe next time you could toss me a couple of your catches and I can feel like a champion too??


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