The Fishing Grounds

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As I woke up from my late afternoon nap I let out a yawn. The sound of crackling and booming in the background could’ve been mistaken for a war zone. The smell of seven hour old coffee made me cringe. A cup of poured brew stood on the counter. I had quickly rushed the warm liquid down my coarse throat, black. To me, coffee isn’t a delicacy. It’s not meant to be a six dollar over priced, half-coffee, half-ice cream drink. It’s meant to get you energized, awake, aware, ready. I turned on the television to catch the evening news. The weather announcer stood giving information, but not enjoying it. I heard the hoarse words “Heavy showers and possibility of a lightning storm coming from the lake region, just as…” I turned it off. I needed to hear no more. It was going to be another perfect night.

I grabbed a thermos of freshly brewed coffee. The smell is so rich and satisfying that it would make even the most depressed person alive grin. I grabbed the keys to my Grandpa’s 88’ Chevy pickup. The real prize was the majestic boat hooked to the back of the truck. It stood tall and proud. The paint was rusty, but it was made to serve a purpose, not look good. It was a little bigger than the truck itself. Once an eyesore, the equipment was restored over the many months before. It only accepts the biggest fish the Great Lake has to offer.

As I loaded the boat past the dock, a fierce lightning bolt shrieked in the distance. I twisted the key six times until it finally revved up, ready to go. I took the boat out into the bay. The bay was always a calm place. Small waves would rock the boat too and fro, just like a mother with her baby. As I left the no wake zone, the lake turned violent. Waves thrashed the boat while the heavy rain poured down from the sky. Once I was ten miles out the rain let up a little, but the lightning still reminded me of the dangers of this dangerous world. A rouge wave nearly capsized me as I set the lines to cast into the black depths. One last time I checked my radar. Over the years, the rust accumulated on the metal sides and the backlight flickered on that ancient radar. When I checked the radar there was black everywhere, signaling a school of fish. I quickly rushed to my lines and set them to drop at 60, 65, 70 and 72 feet below in the abyss. The boat was now rocking back and forth like a rag doll with its three year old owner.

I dropped the lines the sound of them continued for fifteen seconds as they sank deeper into the dark blue abyss. As I watched the poles, the crackling of the radio reminded all the fisherman of the storm. “High wind advisory is in affect now, severe lightning storms will continue, take caution”. I laughed a mad-mans laugh. The rush of knowing you could be swept into the world below was a satisfying feeling. The adrenaline pumped because I knew the sea could never take me. I wouldn’t let it. The pole snapped up quickly after a few short minutes. I jerked it out and started reeling in the first salmon. As it became one with my boat, the lightning flashed off the salmon’s silver scales. The color of the fish’s skin only intensified the brightness of the actual lightning itself. It flopped around one last time, hoping for a way out of the boat. This process would happen seven more times before I reached my legal limit.

As I brought the lines up, a giant wave tipped the boat. The wave should’ve capsized me but it didn’t. This was Poseidon’s water, and he wanted me and my boat. I had stolen his fish and he wasn’t happy. The waves intensified but my boat was already topping 52 mph. The faint distance of the broken down lighthouse guided me to safety. I followed it in where the rain, lightning and waves let up. Besides a medium rain, all else was calm. I placed the boat back on the truck and pulled it out of the water. I looked one last time out at the black lake. The monsoon still took place out there but it didn’t concern me anymore. I took a sip of the black coffee and cringed. I glanced one last time at the lake. A faint grin crept its way across my face.





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