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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
A Fish StoryPosted Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at 6:49 AM
I went to Ball State University, Muncie, in the mid-to-late 1980's. It was my first taste of freedom. I liked it so much, that after the first year, I sighed up for summer classes and signed a three-month sub-lease for the lower half of a house just off campus before discussing the matter with my parents.
Mom and dad were not pleased. They decided that since I had made my bed, now I must lay in it. I was all on my own. They were not paying for anything and I was not eligible for financial aid. I was going to spend the summer working very hard and being very poor.
All in all, it was a great summer. I had the lower half of a two-story house, a good roommate, a motorcycle for transportation, fishing tackle, and both my roommate and I had jobs at the local Bob Evans Restaurant. What more did I need? The job paid tuition, books, half of the rent, and half of the electricity. There was no telephone and no TV. I did have the all-important radio, which was free.
However, after the above-itemized expenses, there was virtually no money left for food. Fortunately, employees who worked until close typically got to eat for free. My roommate and I typically worked until close. To cover the rest of the food needs, after work, my roommate and I spent the rest of the night fishing. At that age, I thought nothing of going to school, going to work, fishing until about sun up, sleeping for a couple of hours, and repeat. Ahhh, youth ...
After a while, we discovered the same people would be out at the lake at the same time on the same nights and we got to know them. Among the regulars were twin brothers who worked second shift at the local Delco plant. Unlike poor college students, they had money, and used lighted bobbers; an expensive novelty. (Remember, this was 1986.)
Although all of the fish common to Indiana would bite from time to time, at night, when your line started to move, it was typically a catfish or a crawdad. If you wanted to avoid the crawdads, you would suspend your liver, worm, or minnow from a bobber to keep your bait off the bottom.
Often, the twins would typically start the night by using different baits to see what was likely to be most successful. That is what they did on this particular night.
It was a hot, humid, still night. The fish were not particularly active. Bobbers slowly drifted with the subtle currents. The lighted bobbers of the twins eventually drifted together. They reeled in and cast their lines back out into the dark water. After a while, the bobbers eventually drifted together again. Again, the brothers reeled in and cast. Yet again, the bobbers slowly drifted together. This time, frustrated, they decided to leave them together.
After a long while, one of the brothers decided to reel in and change bait. Both bobbers came in together. More frustration. No one likes to sort tangled lines in the dark.
To everyone's amazement, the lines were not tangled. Rather, the minnow had taken the hook with the worm!
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