Fishing mania takes over the house

Harry and Junior love to fish. It’s their favorite sport.
Harry and Junior love to fish. It’s their favorite sport. Personally, I can’t think of anything more boring than sitting on a boat in the hot sun or freezing cold waiting for a fish dumb enough to eat a hot pink plastic worm at the end of a hook. But since it gets Harry and Junior out of the house on Saturdays, I have kind of gone along with the whole fishing thing.

Until now. You see, now we have a boat.

I don’t really like boats. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the ocean is a vast, deep body of water and boats are not nearly as large? There are fish bigger than the boats I’ve been on. And lakes aren’t much better. I mean, what’s the difference in size between a little old fishing boat and some huge lake?

But Harry loves boats. And fishing. So now he has a boat. It was free – a generous hand-me-down from my great uncle. Of course, you’d think a free fishing boat is a great thing. But nothing, and I mean nothing, in life is ever free.

This stupid boat is costing a fortune.

Apparently, boats need lots of accessories. There are entire catalogs and stores devoted to allowing boat people to spend their life savings on boat stuff. Okay, I wouldn’t begrudge Harry a life jacket or two. But come on. Have you ever seen some of the stuff they have for boats?

First you need fishing stuff. Now this makes sense, it is a fishing boat. But apparently a little case for plastic worms isn’t what Harry had in mind. No, he needs something called a critter cage. I guess the fish in the lakes around Gilroy are so smart that they aren’t fooled by hot pink plastic worms – they prefer critters.

I don’t even want to think about this. It seems weird to me that people would keep live things in a cage just so they can feed them to a fish that’s going to be dinner that night.

But, if you have critters, you need fishing poles. I guess it’s a law that if you fish from a boat you need approximately 72 fishing poles with which to fish. Not that you use them all at once, mind you. But you need to store these 72 poles, each of which has some special, secret purpose known only to fishermen and never, ever to their wives. But between you and me, whatever happened to a stick with a string on the end? It worked for Huck Finn. Why can’t it work for Harry?

Then you need tackle boxes. I don’t know why they call them that. Football players tackle each other, okay? Have you ever seen a fisherman jump out of a boat and tackle a fish? Anyway, there are soft tackle boxes and hard tackle boxes and for some reason, fishermen need both. I don’t know why. And I’ve stopped questioning it.

Of course, you also need electronic doo-dads – what would life be without gadgets? Now I wouldn’t begrudge anyone a GPS System. I don’t want Harry and Junior on the boat without any way to know where they are or how to get home. And I don’t expect them to use a compass and sextant to do that.

But what about fish finders? Using a fish finder strikes me as having an unfair advantage. You can drive around a lake for a few minutes and find all the fish swimming beneath you. But fish don’t have boat finders. It’s not like one fish is running around with a boat finder yelling at all the other fish to veer off to starboard because there’s a fishing boat coming their way.

And speaking of starboard, does anyone really know what port and starboard mean? To me, port is something you drink and starboard is, well, it’s the opposite of port. Can’t people in a boat say right and left? And I’m not even going to get into aft and fore or bow and stern. Why isn’t front and back good enough for boat people?

I guess I’m just not a boat person and I never will be. But I have learned something from this whole boating experience. There’s no such thing as a free lunch – even if you did catch it yourself.

Laurie Sontag is a Gilroy stay at home mom who wishes parenthood had come with a how-to guide. She can be reached at [email protected]

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