On the road …again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
Make That A Double!
Jaelyn is not yet 11 years old, but she is already a skilled fisherman….make that fishergirl. More than once this summer she has come back from fishing trips as the one who either caught the most fish, or caught the biggest ones. Sometimes the competition is only Grandma, but at other times when she goes out in the boat with our friend Andre, my brother Paul and Grandma; or with Andre’s brother Nick, she usually catches the most croakers to bring home. Of course there are small ones that get thrown back, or sharks that nobody cares to eat; or flounders that are too small to keep, or undersized black drum, or something unexpected. But Jaelyn has already made her mark as the one who most often manages to catch two fish on the same line. Two hooks, two fish on the same line. She calls them doubles.
Jaelyn is a little older now, but just as cute
Recently she came back from a productive day in Chincoteague Bay and announced that she had managed five doubles—a total of ten croakers on her five casts into the waters. Grandma was proud, Andre was jealous and his brother Nick was amazed. Jaelyn is experienced beyond her years. By now we can’t call it beginner’s luck. The next step is when she wields a scaling knife and completely owns her prized catches. And that means cleaning them but it will bump up her commitment to fishing beyond just reeling them in.
Fortunately, Grandma is already committed to fishing. This season she has spent many hours cleaning fish, drying them in a food processor and/or vacuum packing them for the freezer. Nobody is counting but there are already about 200 tasty croakers that have been packed away. On occasion, we decide to eat a few fresh ones for dinner; or to steam up a few dozen clams; or to serve up the occasional crab that comes home in the bucket. We shouldn't forget the oysters that we ourselves pry from the rocks or anchor points where they are found.
Jaelyn didn't catch them all, but 18 of those fish belonged to her
Just this morning Jaelyn revealed how she manages to remain as champ at catching doubles. Instead of setting the hook and immediately reeling in the line and hauling in a single fish into the boat, she waits to be sure that there really is a fish on the line. Undoubtedly there are other fish that have spotted her second piece of bait, so quite often at least one other fish gets hooked before she reels them both in. By the way, the last time out she had four doubles, so her success is no fluke.
With Jaelyn sitting next to me and serving as a personal reviewer of this story, you can be assured that it is accurate. And that is how I wish future legacy stories get written.