I look down at my phone for one second, and I hear it - that sound any hook and bobber fisherman fantasizes about. That ”bloop“ of plastic being deep-sixed by a slimy critter. So I did what any sane man who is crazy enough to fish from a kayak would do: I set the hook, baby! The first runs were blazing! The reel was roaring, a wild lion on the loose! Water splashed like depth charges were going off, a copper back taunting my eyes, giving me an itch of invincibility.
But it was just as quick that the red dove under the kayak, and the line broke. My Rockport Rattler® and Gulp! shrimp were both lost, forever in the bowels of Davy Jones' Locker. All I could hear in my head was Kevin Spacey's line from The Usual Suspects: "And like that... he's gone."
First came a blinding combination of irrational sadness and anger. After the initial tears, came the desperation. I dug around, and managed to find one bare 2/0 hook. I didn't know if this hook would work, but... I didn't care anymore. I was Ahab, and any fish that was hungry would be my White Whale.
Fast forward about an hour. I'd moved up about fifty yards. Still sittin' on the ice chest. Just watching for a bite. The cork moves in a weird way. I’m thinking "It’s probably a pinfish, or the cork's tangled." I reel in the slack, and I see the swirl of a hooked fish. Adrenaline starts pumping. Hoots and hollers fill the burning morning. The fish pulls hard, letting out a few hundred feet of line. But I am not going to let this thing go!
She comes to the side of the boat. I blink my eyes. No way. This is... impossible. What are the chances of this? The Rockport Rattler® and Gulp! were in the fish’s mouth from our earlier encounter, with the line between my bare hook and cork caught between the fish's mouth and the hook.
I laugh madly, my sanity slowly gone. Had my luck pulled a full 180? Did I just encounter a bug in the game of life? Perhaps God gave me mercy. Either way, I lost a jighead, and got it back, plus the interest of blackened redfish.