Done This Before by Rick

Morning on the river is cool and damp as I carry my stuff from car to boat. And load the boat with necessary gear. To me it is necessary anyway, don't ask the other guy he'd only say I'm crazy nuts for sure. Too much stuff he'd say, but Dad would say, "It is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." Let the other guy do it his own way. Done this before.

Low in the water, but steady we go out from the pier and across the calm water anticipating, strategizing, organzing things and sipping coffee as we go. Done this before.

Look in the top of the minnow bucket and see all those little eyes looking up at me. I stir them around with the net looking for the best of the bunch. There he is. I dip him and let him sit in the net as I grab a rod. Jig is already there from last time. Done this before.

Check the point. Good and sharp. Ouch, sorry little minnow but that's how the game is played. Wiggle some, that's ok. Toss him over and let him swim. Check his action I tell myself. Really I just like to watch him wiggle.

I give it a toss as I slowly motor along. Putt Putt Putt, real slow. I know just where I'm going. Done this before. Follow the 5 ft. contour this time of year and there they sit waiting for a meal to swim or WIGGLE by. 

I can feel him down there. The little guy is wiggling rythmically. The rod pulses. It is reassuring. Done this before.

I wonder what the tide is doing. Chat with my fishing buddy. He has done the same as me and fishes from the other side of the boat. It's called trolling. Done this before.

Uh, oh. Little minnow is getting nervous. He is wiggling like mad. Poor fella. I think I know what he sees down there. I'm looking for him too. Done this before.

Suddenly it feels like nothing is there. I know better. I'm bidding my time. Timing is everything. Done this before.

Set the hook. Feel the big fish shake. Pickerel for sure. I can tell. Done this before.

Fight him in. Net him up. Admire him. Take a picture. Then let him go. It is all in fun. Done this before and I'll do it again.

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