Monday, June 28, 2010

Fishing buddies

First, thanks to those that took the time and trouble to write and comment about my friend, Bill Baker, long time fishing pal, and his deteriorating health.
I realize that many of you reading this have pals you have fished or hunted with for lots of years. I'm certainly not the only one. And I'm not the first to have ever lost a buddy either.
But just like others, this fellow Bill, was special. He knew a lot about fishing, but mostly it was with bait of some sort.
When I came along, I was gradually getting more interested in artificial baits and catch and release.
We never butted heads over these points. When I fished the St. Clair River with him, I used live bait and kept what we caught that was of legal size.
I never used the hand lining Victrola he gave me. It's tucked away perhaps to be brought out and displayed someplace in the house as an antique.
He talked about leads and how they were hooked up. I never saw any nor did I fully comprehend what he was talking about.
He could chug with the best of them and catch fish. I never caught a thing except a sore arm and elbow from continually moving all that line and lures.
Those that know Bill would all agree on one thing: He would complain if he was hung with a new rope. I mean this guy never stopped. It got to be so bad that I would make fun of what he was ranting about just to show him how he looked. Eventually he would calm down and laugh about it.
I'm running out of guys that have been kicking around marinas, boats, tackle shops, and bayous. They all seemed to have been raised around that sort of thing.
While Bill wasn't much of a hunter, he lived to fish. And when his health left him unable to enjoy fishing, he found some interest and enjoyment from my fishing outings.
He always asked if I had been fishing. I tried not to go into too much detail because I could tell he was dreaming and thinking back to the days when he was able to throw a crawler on a harness half way to Canada from the shore near Port Huron.
I'm going to miss him.

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