When I was in high school I dated an outdoorsy kind of guy. And, being sixteen, I needed to do everything he was doing. So I went to Walmart, got a fishing license and joined him on the docks near my house. The first time I went I got chiggers. If you’ve never had chiggers count yourself lucky. It’s basically like having tons of mosquito bites in a collective area. They are a form of a mite that bites the back of your legs usually.
I quit fishing after that.
Enter lovely vacation. Lovely, lovely vacation. With a fishing competition. And while I really didn’t care one way or another about fishing, I did care about beating the boys at the fishing competition. So I fished.
I think I can hang in the outdoors. While I don’t like bugs (I mean, really, who does), I don’t mind a couple of ants or mossy rocks. But I am a girly girl. I won’t deny it. And the thought of taking a live worm and stabbing it on a hook or grabbing a live fish and wiggling a hook out of its mouth is not something I particularly want to do.
We went out to fish on the first full day there and I was determined to not have everyone do everything for me. So after my worm came unfurled from my hook, I knew I needed to man-up. Ewwing the whole way, I grabbed my worm and poked it through the hook. I felt awful about it.
I threw my line back in and caught a fish! I was excited. It was pretty cool seeing that I can do it. My friend unhooked it, put another worm on it and I threw it back in.
Then I caught this one:
This big sucker gave us some trouble, as he had swallowed the hook. As you can see, I’m not too happy about it. I felt terrible. My friend in the background helped me out by attempting to take the hook out, but it was too deep. After tearing up my friend’s hand, we ended up cutting the line and sending him back in the water.
By the end of the week I had baited and taken a fish off the line by myself. I didn’t end up fishing very much. I felt really bad about it. I think had we kept the fish, cleaning them and eating them, I might feel differently.
But I am proud of myself for not being intimidated by the slimy stuff. If I’m ever stranded in the woods, I know at least I can fish!