Fishing in the Dark: Not Just a Metaphor

fishingA few Saturdays ago, my husband suggested a relaxing evening of fishing with our youngest son and a few friends. We’d leave the house at 4:30, drive 50 minutes or so to the dock, and have a few hours of fishing while the sun set.

Earlier in the day, we went out to buy bait and tackle. As we parked the truck in front of the bait shop, I heard a suspicious rumble. I raised an eyebrow at Dale, my husband. “Does that sound like thunder to you?” I asked. He assured me it didn’t. Even though fishing is one of my favorite activities, I really didn’t want to spend my whole day planning and preparing for an evening fishing trip only to be rained out.

fishingThere were a lot of things we could have done with our Saturday night if we knew it was going to rain – like the road trip to Montgomery that I had suggested. Thunder and lightning aside (yes, I saw and heard both!), we pressed forward and got on the boat around 6 pm – just as the bottom dropped out of the sky and it began raining buckets on us.

At least the boat was under shelter, so we fishingdecided to wait out the storm by grilling up some dinner while listening to the deafening rainfall on the tin roof. Wouldn’t you know it – my son dropped a line off of the boat while we were cooking and caught himself a nice-sized catfish. Maybe they like the smell of hot dogs?

Fishing at night is SUPPOSED to be a lot of fun – fewer boats on the water, it’s not nearly as hot, and there’s less wind to blow your line. However, my experience was not so great.

By the time the rain cleared, it was pitch black. We had to use flashlights on our baseball caps for lighting, as the boat lights drain the boat’s battery down. We kept blinding each other with the cap lights as we swatted all of the bugs and gnats that were drawn to the lights the second we switched them on.

My husband bought glow-in-the-dark bobbers for everyone, but as a coastal saltwater fishingfishing girl, I’d never used a bobber. After countless struggles with the bobber, I finally opted for bottom fishing; it was just me and my line dragging the bottom while the boat drifted along in the dark. Not exactly the pleasant sunset fishing trip I was hoping for.

It used to be an old wives’ tale that the only way to catch some of the most troublesome catfish was at night, but that’s not true! It turns out that one’s ability to catch fish has nothing to do with the time of day or night, and everything to do with luck. And, except for my son, none of us were lucky that night.

We finally came back at 1 am, rained out and fishless, but for the two small fish we caught on pool noodles.

Needless to say, I was not a happy girl.
The next time my husband suggests evening fishing on a stormy night, I’ll be telling him he can take his glow-in-the-dark bobber and stick it where the sun don’t shine!

Happy Monday,