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Bass Fishin'
by MartyM martym@frontiernet.net

Well, Charlie was a typical outdoorsman, you know the kind of guy who even wore hip waders to church on occasion. His four-wheel-drive truck was outfitted with a gun rack, salt water rod holders on the front bumper, tool box full of tackle boxes, 9.9 Merc and trolling motor, john boat in the bed and bass boat in tow. I had just joined the local bass club and was going out on my first fishing trip with the guys.

We met down at Johnson's Creek and I was helping Steve get his boat inthe water when Charlie showed up with his rig. I have never in my entire life seen anything with that much shiny stuff on it, let alone a boat! Lucky for me I had a pair of Ted Williams super no-glare fishing glasses that I donned immediately to prevent retinal burn.  Steve nudged me as Charlie put a 12-gauge shotgun into a holder on the back of his fishing chair, indicating that Charlie was deathly afraid of snakes. Well maybe even the best of the best great outdoorsmen have their little quirks too.

As we headed up the creek, it was fun listening to the 200hp motors running at just above idle, trying not to get hung up on the many obstructions populating the water. The creek began to narrow, with the trees touching overhead from opposite banks. It was like entering a darkening tunnel, with Charlie in the lead and us about a hundred feet back.

I don't know what made me look up, maybe the slight movement in the trees. Taking my sunglasses off, I was barely able to make out a water moccasin, a good six feet long, in the tree up ahead. It appeared to be crawling across a branch when suddenly it dropped, right smack in the middle of Charlie's boat! It hit the console, about a foot in front of the steering wheel, then started thrashing. I swear, Charlie jumped at least six feet straight up when that snake came down! Next thing I know, Charlie was up on the gunwale, arms out to his sides, looking every bit like a ballerina on a balance beam inching toward the front of the boat. The snake had fallen off the console and was on the floor of the boat with Charlie intending to stay as far away from it as possible.

Charlie made it to his fishing chair in the front of the boat and grabbed the shotgun. I figured he would use the gun to flip the snake over the side and into the water. Was I surprised when he clicked off the safety and leveled the gun at the snake! Well, old Charlie must have fired off about 6 rounds in two seconds; all we could see were flashes and lots of smoke. He put every one of those rounds right through the bottom of his boat, which immediately started to sink.  Trouble is, he didn't hit the snake, merely upset it with all that commotion. The snake was looking for a way out and unfortunately decided to head right for Charlie, who was in the process of abandoning ship. Charlie had jumped in headfirst and surfaced about the same time the snake was coming over the bow, right on top of him.

I will never, ever have any doubt when I hear stories about people walking on water, not after what I was witness to that day! The creek was about 50 feet wide where Charlie decided to assassinate his bass boat right there in mid-stream. The snake landing on his head really sent Charlie over the edge. He sort of went into convulsions and simultaneously hit the snake, grabbed what was left of the boat and rose up out of the water about three feet. His right hand clawed the boat, his left hand smacked the water, and I do believe I saw a foot sticking up somewhere in all that. Charlie sort of took running across the water, that's the only way I can describe what happened. Three steps or so and he was on the bank, very pale and still convulsing with one trembling hand trying to point at what could be seen of his boat.

Charlie didn't say a word as we pulled him into our boat and headed back to the bait shop. As a matter of fact he still doesn't say much, but at least his color is coming back and we're thinking he should be about ready by next season.

MartyM
http://www.frontiernet.net/~martym
Never buy version 1.0 of anything!

 

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