Fish Story

June 14, 2005

I went on a fishing trip last week. We went out to a marsh in the middle of nowhere Wednesday evening, and spent the time fishing off the dock, grilling steak, and drinking beer. On Thursday, we took a guided charter out around barrier islands and caught fish all morning. It's a good way to spend a day and a half.

When we got out there on Wednesday, we had company on the pier. There was a older guy and his new wife, who locked their keys in their car in their excitement to catch fish. There was also a guy with a little coon ass girl, who started running smack as soon as I started fishing.


Eddie drinks beer and cooks steak.

(Put that annoying Cajun accent on a little girls voice in your head): "What you doing? You killin him," she said, as I tried to dig a deep hook out of the mouth of a trout.

"Throw it back. It's 10," she hollered as she left, meaning that the fish that I was measuring to see if it was big enough to keep (12 inches) was actually only 10 inches. For the record, it came in at 11 7/8.

The fish bit well early, but I never caught a keeper on Wednesday night.

We fished hard on a warm, sunny Thursday morning. It took a while to find a spot where there was a consistent bite. We probably brought up around 40 speckled trout from this one site. Then, a group of porpoises swam in and broke up the party, running the trout in all different directions. We ended up with a total of about 75 fish from both Wednesday and Thursday.

Sam reels in a giant redfish.

Our route home Thursday afternoon brought us through New Orleans. We had to cross from the west side of the Mississippi to downtown over a bridge that charges a dollar to go in that direction. Of course, we couldn't come up with a dollar in cash.

I was looking for an ATM on the west side, when my buddy Eddie made an argument to just go try to sweet talk my way through.

"You don't think this is the first time someone tried it do you? I bet people show up all the time without their dollar. People just forget. And they can't make you back down the bridge. What can they do, other than just let you off?"

It sounded like a good plan. And besides, there were no ATM machines in sight.

I rolled up to the toll booth, gave the lady my most charming smile and the lamest story she had heard in months: "I thought I had a bill in my wallet, but someone must have borrowed it." I offered to write an IOU, or to give her a one-dollar check.

Unfortunately, I picked a booth operated by a bitch.

She told me that I would have to turn down a little lane right past the toll booths, go back to the west side, and get money. I started to roll forward, and she yelled at me because I wasn't supposed to go until she had all of the other traffic stopped so that I could get to my loser lane.

So they really do have this little lane that loops you off of the bridge and back to where you came from. Who would have thought.

After I went to the ATM machine, I was tempted to go back to the same toll troll.

"I still don't have a dollar. Would you take a ziplock of speckled trout?"

Unfortunately, the lane I came in on made it tough to get back to that same toll lane. Besides, I was getting to tired to mess with that woman, as fun as it would have been.

We got to Eddie's house, and we dropped him off and unloaded all of his gear, with the exception of his keys. He came by the office on Friday to pick up the keys.

The lady at the front desk called: "There is an 'Eddie' here to see you."

Me: "Tell that loser to take a hike. I've got no use for him."

About 15 seconds of uncomfortable silence followed. Then, she just hung up without saying another word. I was apparently on a low-volume speaker phone, and the lady at the desk didn't know what else to do.

I walked outside with Ed to share a laugh at my obnoxious behavior. Then, he told me something I would rather have not known: he had a dollar in his wallet the whole time.