Saturday, I set out to see if there was any truth in the saying. It was my first time going fishing. I chose it as my annual birthday trip so that I could force myself out of my comfort zone.
I decided on it after watching a friend clean and filet a fish on my kitchen counter. I stood beside him carefully watching as he sliced the large dark meat out that is actually a vein. He said it’s edible, but based on discussion boards, if it’s cut out, it gives it a less fishy taste. You guys wouldn’t believe how messy it all was. I felt like a surgeon’s assistant passing him what he needed inwardly cringing as my tan countertop turned crimson.
Meanwhile, he wasn’t bothered at all even pulling a fish outside of the fish he was working on. Gag! But y’all know how I feel about passion so my love and I joined him, his dad, and uncle on a trip they go on regularly.
Here’s the thing.
I wish I could tell you that I caught one of the blue fish that was too large to reel in with the fishing rod. I wish I could say that I called the mate over saying “fish on” so he would grab the gaff, which is a long wooden staff with a hook at the end that allows him to quickly pull the fish up and drop it on the deck. But not before yelling “slack off” to me and the nearby fishermen so we’d loosen our lines so when he picked the fish out of the water, our lines wouldn’t pop.
Sadly, I can’t.
While the guys were on the deck, reeling their jig out the water as fast as they could, I was inside the galley trying to keep my blue Powerade down. On several occasions, I tried to overcome the motion sickness that hit as soon as the captain silenced the engine, but I just couldn’t shake it. I’d make it to the back of the boat trying to catch my balance as the Golden Eagle bobbed along the water and quickly slide back inside to reach the trash can just in case.
“You don’t feel too good, huh?” a fisherman asked me. “You need a bag of pretzels or something. The salt helps. Or try fixing your eyes on something and stay like that. It sounds crazy but it works.”
I popped another Dramamine, nibbled on the stale saltines I grabbed from Wawa and tried fixing my eyes on the 100-foot boat’s logo that was on a T-shirt. It hung on the kitchen’s wall where hotdogs were being sold and the fisherman were not-so-patiently waiting for them. On the other side of the counter, jigs (or lures) were being sold for $5. Above, they are the metallic and rubber devices dangling from the fishing rods, but there are different styles. When reeled in fast enough, the fish think they are chasing another fish.
Nothing happened. His advice did not work.
The rest of the trip, I kept my head down only slightly looking up when the boat hit a big wave so that I could prevent our snacks from sliding off the table. I was not getting up. Between feeling nauseous and a horrible headache, looking up just hurt too much.
Even though I couldn’t physically enjoy the day, I was getting really good at predicting what was going on based on the sounds around me. I listened as the cabin’s door hitched and un-hitched each time the boat rocked. There was a light tapping along the boat each time a fisherman cast his rod. That sound intensified as the fisherman felt a fish bite and began following him around the boat. Every once in a while, the mate would scream out “slack off.” A few minutes later, I’d hear a loud thump meaning the fisherman won the battle.
You want to know what’s crazy? As soon as the boat was about to dock at the marina, I woke up and the feeling was completely gone. My friend said that would happen, but I just wish it would have happened after fishing a little even if it was short-lived. I wanted a true fisherman experience complete with boiled eggs as snacks and cold fried chicken that I’ve been eating lately.
Have you ever gone fishing? How was your experience?