I had no expectations of catching anything, but sitting on the side of the boat was pleasant and my casts were getting a little more coordinated. Suddenly there was a tug on my line. I would love to say that I gave it a practiced yank, but in fact I just jumped and the hook was set. With visions of grandeur I yelled for Jim to get the net, which I most certainly did not need. I pulled the fish onto the boat and the hook that had gone through its cheek caught on a jib sheet. (a rope attached to the jib) So, here I am with a squirming fish, not only caught on the hook, but also on the jib sheet. Jim started to release the hook then realized that he needed pliers and a towel to protect himself from the barbs both on the hook and on the fish. My excitement for having caught a fish was slowly turning into distress for the fish and a sinking feeling in my stomach! Jim first got the fish loose from the sheet and then loose from the hook and threw it back into the water. (my request) It was between 10 – 12 inches. I pulled out a book on Gulf fish and identified what I had caught as a Channel catfish – excellent eating according to the book. There was no way I could have eaten that fish and in fact I was so upset that I put the fishing gear away and contemplated whether or not I ever wanted to fish again.
|My first fish!|