(Keith and I are on our way to The Finn’s for breakfast. But one little stop is required before our arrival.)
The Finn’s cottage was about three hundred yards away on our right when Keith cut the engine, lowered the the trolling motor and moved us closer to shore. There were a few weed beds and intermittent rocks that ran almost all the way down to our pal’s place. A spot way too good to simply pass by. And…that’s when I pulled it out (Oh, minds out of the gutter, folks. Minds out of the gutter!). For your information, what I pulled out of the rod holder was my wonderful and famous (at least on The Finn’s shoreline), now over thirty years old, heat seeking, wacky-worming, Shimano ultralite FX-2550A teamed up with the FX 200 graphite reel that was spooled up with 6lb mono. (Most people would consider it nothing more than an old piece of crap, but I have caught tons of fish with it, still have a soft spot in my heart for it and intend to keep using it every so often until it or I falls totally to pieces. And I’m not betting against the rod.)
“Oh, I see you brought the sissy stick,” Keith noted, a haughty tone of distaste in his mouth. (Keith thinks of ultralite rods the same way serious drinkers think about lite beer. They are only fit for men of dubious masculinity.)
“Well, up yours, my dear friend,” I replied. “How about ten bucks to the guy catching the first fish down this shore and twenty bucks to the biggest?”
Keith tossed a Texas-rigged pink worm towards shore. I underhanded a salt and pepper wacky worm. I watched as my rubber lure floated down and settled on a rock about three feet under. BANG! A largemouth zipped out of a weedbed and grabbed the worm. I set the hook. A couple of minutes later I lipped the 3 lb’er at the side of the boat. Hee hee! Ten bucks for the Ultralite King Paulie! Then Keith nailed one. Then me. Then Keith. Then me. And so it continued for about one hundred and fifty yards. One after another. Fourteen or fifteen very decent sized bass. (And you already know who was first but, gee, can you guess whose was biggest?)
We tied up at The Finn’s dock and The Finn himself strolled down to greet us.
“Hey, Ollie,” I called to him. “I just made thirty bucks!”
“Good for you,” he said, grinning at me. Then he smiled at Keith and chuckled. “Screwed you again with his little one, eh?”
“Only metaphorically,” Keith muttered under his breath. Keith doesn’t like to lose money. In fact, he hates to lose money. And that is why, as his dearest and best friend, I stuck it to him good.
“Thirty dollars!” I exclaimed to The Finn. “Just imagine what I could do with thirty dollars. Holy cow! Just thinking about it fairly boggles the mind. Why, if that ad on TV is true, I’d probably be able to have a whole village in some wacky African country inoculated against some terrible disease like whooping diphtheria or bubonic scurvy or something equally crazy. Man, I could be a hero, Finn. A real hero. I might even be made king of the tsetse flies. Or, alternatively, I could always buy lottery tickets and licorice. Or I could even…”
“Why don’t you just shut the hell up?” Keith interjected in that grumpy tone of his, handing over three colourful Canadian bills with the number ten on them. (Man, talk about a grouch. What’s the point of winning thirty dollars from your bestest mate if you can’t playfully rub his nose in it?)
I promptly handed one over to The Finn. “Thanks for the tip about the salt and pepper worms,” I stage-whispered to him.
“My pleasure,” replied The Finn, folding the bill before pocketing it.
Keith stared at The Finn for a moment. Then he stared at me for a moment. Then he simply grinned and shook his head. “You are such a prick,” he said.
(Oh, how I love days with recurring themes!)
“Breakfast?” The Finn asked.
“Breakfast,” Keith replied.
“Sounds good, Ollie,” I agreed, stuffing the two remaining tens into Keith’s nearest jacket pocket.
The Finn smiled.
And three nice guys moseyed off the dock and up to the cottage for strong, hot coffee and a bite to eat…
(Enjoy breakfast with us in Part Three…wherein The Finn tells a strange tale or two.)